July 1 - July 23, 2021
Dates include move-in and move-out days (if needed).
Applications are now open.
Residential and commuter options (if in-person)
Eligibility: Current 9th-11th grade students
International students welcome
Financial aid for select Philadelphia students
The Experimental Physics Research Academy focuses on modern physics, specifically mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum dynamics, and astrophysics. Through lectures, activities, projects, and discussions with their instructors, students move past memorized equations to gain an understanding of cause and effect, and ultimately an appreciation of physics on a higher level.
The Experimental Physics Academy has traditionally been an on-campus, in-person experience. Because of COVID-19, the program was delivered entirely online during the summer of 2020, with great success! No decisions regarding delivery (on-campus or online) have been made yet about the summer of 2021.
If you attend a School District of Philadelphia public or charter high school, you may be eligible to attend a Penn Summer Academy free of charge with a Penn Summer Scholarship.
If you have a problem viewing this video, you can watch it on YouTube.
Lectures and discussions: Students receive an online guided tour of physics, starting with kinematics and building through electricity and nuclear physics to modern physics and quantum mechanics. Additional class time is devoted to the philosophy of science; experimental design; choosing education paths; and the ethics of science.
Broader Penn research: Each week there are several research talks given by Penn faculty members about their fields of specialization and active research, which include question-and-answer sessions with our students.
Previous physics experience is encouraged, though not required.
Penn Summer online system requirements
We recommend that all operating systems, browsers, Flash, and other software be up to date before the start of each online class. Most courses use Canvas for assignments, discussion, and watching video, and synchronous sessions can happen in a variety of platforms. Students will receive all important information before the beginning of class.
Program Director: Peter Harnish
Peter Harnish is the Undergraduate Lab Manager for the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where he designs and runs the first- and second-year physics labs. While his physics experience includes theoretical graphene research and experimental quantum optics, his vocation has always been toward teaching, both collegiately and through museum education and Scouting programs.