• SATURDAY ACADEMY

    5000 N Willamette Blvd
    Portland, OR 97203

    (503) 200-5858

Student Information

The Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering (ASE) Program provides current high-school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors with full-time, 8-week internships in a professional scientific or engineering environment. Positions are available in Oregon and southwest Washington.

ASE Flyer and FAQ

What is an ASE internship like?
How much time does an ASE internship take?
Who is eligible to apply?
What are the benefits of an ASE internship?
What are the costs?
What kind of support does ASE provide to the student/mentor?
How can I apply?
How are students selected?

ASE Internships
We typically offer between 120-140 internships in a given year.  Our internships vary each year depending on the mentors that we are able to recruit, however they generally fall under one of the following general disciplines: Biology, Health or Medical, Earth or Environmental Science, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics. Please see our position description page for more information on our internship positions.

The ASE program is a certified educational internship program adhering to federal and state regulations for student volunteers and interns. Students assist one or more professionals (called “mentors”) and gain first-hand, pre-professional experience in the mentors’ career field.  Some interns focus on a specific project that they can complete by summer’s end, while others may contribute to an ongoing larger project, and some participate in multiple smaller projects.  Pre-professional experience means that the majority of the internship time is spent on projects that are engaging, challenging and more than simple office tasks. To ensure program quality, ASE hires teachers to monitor field placements and act as a resource for the students and mentors.

Program Participation Requirements
Total Minimum Student Hours in ASE Program: 318 hours

This total only includes the internship hours and required ASE events listed below.  Student “after hours” preparation will vary, as with any educational experience.  Substantial reading is typically assigned by the mentor. In addition to the mandatory activities described below, many program applicants attend one or two 2-hour workshops on essay writing and interviewing skills held in late winter as part of the application process.

1.    Student Orientation: 2 hours at the end of May/beginning of June
Students are given a professional skills training to get them ready for their ASE internship experience.
2.    Internship Experience: 295 hours usually scheduled between June and August.
Students contribute to one or more projects at the mentor’s organization throughout the course of the summer.  Students must complete their 296 internship hours before August 31st.  Internship hours are usually scheduled by the mentors for 8-5 Monday-Friday.
3.    Midsummer Conference: 10 hours on July 14th
This conference includes: (a) career lectures and seminars led by scientists, engineers and other technical professionals; (b) hands-on workshops in various technical areas such as DNA electrophoresis, measuring air-pollution, and computer modeling; and (c) a workshop on making professional scientific presentations.
4.    ASE Symposium: 10 hours in late August
Interns present their summer projects to each other and other guests.  This conference includes: a) Each student gives a 15-minute oral presentation presided over by professional scientists or engineers; and b) each student prepares a scientific poster for a 1 hour scientific poster session.  When students are not presenting their own projects, they are required to attend sessions where the experiences of other students are described.  Students typically spend several hours preparing for the Symposium.
5.    Other Internship Requirements:
Internship Evaluation with Teacher Monitor: ASE hires high school teachers during the summer that are liaisons between ASE staff and the students and mentors.  Students must complete an evaluation of their experience with the teacher monitor twice during the summer.

Internship Summary and Thank You Letters: Interns must write a 500 word internship summary at the end of their internship summarizing their project and what they learned during the summer.  This summary is often used by the student to develop their Symposium presentation.  The student also must write formal thank-you letters to people who made their internship possible.  The students are given training on writing thank-you letters as many of the letters go to high-level professionals in the academic, business, and governmental sectors.

Student Eligibility Requirements
1.    Has not been selected as an ASE intern before. A student may only have one ASE internship during their high school career.  This is to ensure that more students are able to participate in the ASE program.
2.    Currently enrolled in 9th, 10th, or 11th grade (during this 2014-2015 school year).
3.    Interested in pursuing a career in math and science, motivated to learn, and prepared to participate in a professional environment.
4.    Live near our internship locations (usually in the Portland-Metro Area, the Dalles/Hood River Areas, the Bend Area, and the Albany/Corvallis/Eugene Areas) OR have adult family or friends that you can live with during the summer near our internship locations.

ASE does not provide housing for students and does not allow students to live on their own.  We do not encourage students to live in university housing during the summer as the housing schedules and logistics haven’t historically worked well with our program’s schedule and requirements.  Please contact ASE staff for more information.

If you apply for positions that are greater than 50 miles from your home, ASE will ask for your transportation or housing plan by the end of May.  It is up to the discretion of the program to accept a student’s housing plan.

You may also choose to describe your accommodation arrangements to the mentor in your application cover letter.  Otherwise, the mentor may think you have made a mistake in applying for his/her position.

5.    Have reliable transportation to and from our internship locations (public transportation is fine).

ASE does not provide transportation to and from internships.  We would be happy to discuss transportation options that have worked for students in the past if you need additional assistance with transportation.

6.    Have health insurance by May 1st.
7.    Complete our application process.

Program Benefits
1.    296+ hours of pre-professional experience with a scientist, engineer or computer scientist
2.    2 conferences that build your science career knowledge and network
3.    High school credit where applicable
4.    All students receive a stipend of $1,000 paid in two or three increments during the summer

Program Costs
All fees are waived for students who qualify for reduced priced meals based on the Federal Free & Reduced Program OR for those who submit a hardship waiver on their application and then receive a waiver from the ASE Director.
A $25 application processing fee is due when a student fully submits their online application.
A $250 program fee is due in May once students are selected for an internship.

Program Support
For over 25 years the ASE internship program has inspired students to become the next generation of scientists and engineers. In the end of the summer responses, typically 100% of our mentors would recommend our program to other colleagues interested in mentoring and 100% of our students would repeat their ASE experience if they got the chance.

ASE’s success couldn’t be possible without some quality checks throughout the process:
1.    ASE staff screen position descriptions and speak with mentors during their sign-up process to make sure that the internships are high-quality opportunities for students.
2.    Mentors agree to adhere to our mentor expectations guidelines when they sign up to participate in our program.
3.    We conduct student and mentor orientations in the spring before the internships begin to give the mentors and students some of the skills they need to make the internships successful.
4.    Our program hires teachers in Oregon and Washington to monitor the internships and act as a resource for students and mentors.  These ‘Teacher Monitors’ conduct two formal site visits at the beginning and end of the internships and are available for questions throughout the summer.
5.    ASE covers the mentors and students with liability insurance for their summer experience.

How to Apply
Please see our how to apply page for more information on the application process.

How Students are Selected
Please see our selection process page for more information on how students are selected.