Rooted in STEM

Saturday STEM mentorship community

Rooted in STEM brings together 11th and 12th grade students from historically underrepresented identities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to learn about STEM academics and community support at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Along with an undergraduate mentor, participants will relate their individual identities and experiences within STEM.

One Saturday per month October through April

Each month, participants will network with peers while learning about current topics in research and academic programs, and explore potential careers. There will be presentations, laboratory tours, science and technology demonstrations, and Q&A sessions. Presenters will include College of Science and Engineering faculty and graduate researchers, recent alumni in industry, and current undergraduate students.

Scheduled session dates:

  • Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021
  • Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021
  • Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021
  • Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022
  • Saturday, Feb.19, 2022
  • Saturday, March 19, 2022
  • Saturday, April 30, 2022

Example session schedule

  • 10-10:30 a.m. – Morning huddle
  • 10:30-11 a.m. – Opening keynote
  • 11-11:15 a.m. – Brain break
  • 11:15 a.m.-noon – Research session
  • Noon-12:30 p.m. – Lunch and discussion groups
  • 12:30-1 p.m. – Pathways session

Engagement expectations

This program is designed to be highly interactive. In an effort to build a robust community, participants will be expected to respectfully engage with each other as well as with presenters. Participants also are expected to attend all seven monthly sessions and for the entire time from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.


The Rooted in STEM program is offered free of charge and lunch is included at each monthly session. However, participants must arrange their own transportation to and from the University of Minnesota campus. Rooted in STEM does not want transportation costs to be a barrier to participation, so transportation scholarships are available upon request to participants demonstrating financial need. For more information about scholarships, contact the program coordinators at

Application information

Rooted in STEM will be limited to a small group cohort, and admission, therefore, is expected to be competitive. Admission will be based on the number of applications received and the qualifications of each applicant. Because enrolling an academically qualified, diverse student body is essential to Rooted in STEM, applicants from historically underrepresented identities are especially encouraged to apply.

Eligibility criteria

  • High school students entering grades 11 or 12 in fall 2021
  • Applicants must attend high school in Hennepin or Ramsey counties to be considered
    Program activities will be scheduled according to Minneapolis Public Schools, St. Paul Public Schools, and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities academic calendars.
  • Examples of historically underrepresented identities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Black/African American/Somali
    • First Generation
    • Hispanic/Latinx/Chicanx
    • Indigenous/Native
    • LGBTQIA+
    • Multiracial
    • Southeast Asian/Hmong/Pacific Islander/Karen
    • Students with disabilities

Application submission requirements

Submit the online application form, including complete responses to the two personal statement prompts below, by the application deadlines listed in the admission timeline. Applications received after the Friday, Sept. 24 deadline will not be reviewed.

Personal statement prompts

  1. Describe what admission into the Rooted in STEM program would mean to you. Include your relevant academic accomplishments, extracurricular experiences, and future goals.
  2. Relate how your identity and experiences have affected your ability to achieve your academic and career goals in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

Admission timeline

Admission decisions are based on the applicant's responses to two personal statement prompts. Personal statement responses will be reviewed by the selection committee after the Friday, Sept. 24 application submission deadline. Applicants will be notified of their admission status no later than Friday, Oct. 8.

Please note: Applicants who applied by the Friday, June 11 early-action deadline can expect to receive an admission decision by Friday, July 2.

COVID Protocol

We are committed to providing a safe environment for our community, and we are looking forward to welcoming participants to campus safely this fall. However, given the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we reserve the right to adjust the program delivery format. Additional information about COVID protocols will be communicated to participants before the program begins in the fall.