Skip Navigation

Academics - Academic Curriculum

Academic Curriculum

As a college-preparatory program, UBMS staff help to prepare students for collegiate study and even graduate school through the following processes:

1. Familiarizing students with the higher education admission process and the college environment,
2.  Assisting students with the college application process and in locating financial assistance,
3. Providing students with opportunities to perform research and scholarly work,
4. Exposing students to the scientific literature in their field and requiring them to read and to use this information in their written work,
5. Enhancing students’ computer knowledge and skills through direct experience using various forms of technology,
6. Enhancing students’ oral and written communication skills, and
7. Sharpening students’ SAT vocabulary, math foundations and test-taking skills.

The Group Research Project rests on the foundation of scientific research through observation and inquiry – learning by “doing”. This project develops student teamwork and group mastery of content material, and includes experimental design, data collection, statistical analysis and the skill of drawing reliable conclusions. The Group Project promotes a participatory, interdisciplinary, hands-on, minds-on approach. Innovative invention-based inquiry and group work grounded in real-world problems may also be part of the project during certain summers. Students work in groups of 5-7, and each group’s progress is guided by a Group Facilitator. The end results of this project are a collaboratively written group paper and group video creation and presentation. Group papers are published in A Journal of Explorations.

The Group Design Project involves innovative invention-based inquiry and group work grounded in real scientific problems. Students take part in a scientific field experience or lecture with a professors or graduate students to learn the scope of their research, along with problems or issues they have encountered in their work. Students take this information to the UMaine Foster Center for Student Innovations, where they work through the process of choosing the most important problems to tackle and then generate ideas for possible solutions to these problems. Student groups then work with Group Facilitators to develop a “works like” or “looks like” model of the invention that they are the most excited about developing. Frequent group presentations to the Innovations Center are part of the design project. The end results of this project are a collaboratively written group paper and a group video that is presented to the entire UMBS population. Group papers are published in A Journal of Explorations, the UBMS in-house publication!

Individual Projects give Math Science students the opportunity to investigate questions they may have about the world around them – how and why things work the way they do. Through experimental research or exploration, mentors help students learn new ways to answer these questions. Students take ownership of the details and course of the research, while mentors guide students on best practices in research within their academic field and in the general scientific community. Often, during their second or third summer, students will have the chance to explore research in a university laboratory, under the guidance of graduate students and faculty. Final products include a scientific research paper (staff and peer-reviewed) that is ultimately published in A Journal of Explorations, as well as a poster, presented at the annual STEM Symposium.

Experimental Design and Statistics are taught as a separate class linked to students’ research projects. This class provides the foundation for designing a viable research project and the steps taken to statistically analyze projects from the perspective of various research designs and variables.

Scientific Writing takes place as two writing instruction courses for rising juniors and for rising seniors. Through these classes, students learn how to write a scientific research paper based on their afternoon Individual Research Projects.  The courses focus upon format, grammar, structure and content, as well as SAT Preparation, and Latin and Greek roots of scientific terminology and traditional English vocabulary.

English 101 is a college-level preparatory course designed to expand students’ awareness of college-level expectations through reading, writing and discussion of literature and its cultural implications. The class reaches beyond undergraduate studies in scope, allowing students to consider their future roles, perhaps in graduate school or in the professional world, with the instructor serving as professional mentor and role model.

Algebra II/Trigonometry is offered to students who want an in-depth review of Algebra II and Trigonometry in preparation for the SAT, and also for those who plan to take PreCalculus in the fall. This course strengthens foundations in core mathematical skills, provide an opportunity for mastery of material through traditional and exploratory styles of inquiry.

Calculus class at Upward Bound prepares students who have completed PreCalculus and are planning to take Calculus in the fall. It is also a class for those who have taken Calculus and want to reinforce core concepts before college.

SAT Preparation functions in conjunction with Algebra II/Trigonometry and Scientific Writing classes. These Instructors provide test-taking strategies and the opportunity for students to take practice tests throughout the summer, while also providing core content knowledge as related to SAT preparation.

Junior and Senior College Visits give rising juniors and seniors the chance to explore several Maine college campuses throughout summer program. Colleges students may visit include University of Maine at Farmington, University of Southern Maine, College of the Atlantic, Bowdoin, Unity College, Eastern Maine Community College and Husson, among others.

Senior Seminar is designed to prepare rising seniors for their senior year, including meeting UBMS Bridge eligibility deadlines, as well as the college application and financial aid processes. Major portions of the class include college essay writing, developing a resume, as well as filling out three college applications.

Bridge Seminar provides Bridge students the opportunity to have a direct voice to the full-time staff, allowing them to voice concerns and address issues arising within the Upward Bound community.  In addition, this class is the Bridge students’ time to make sure they submitted all necessary acceptance and financial aid paperwork to their intended colleges and that students make contact with their future Financial Aid Offices and Registrar Offices.

Community Service experiences allow the UBMS students to offer service to local community organizations, while at the same time meeting high school graduation requirements for community service hours. During summer program, all UBMS students will have the opportunity to participate in a community service project.

Back to Academics