Take Your Research Further

One of the most distinct curriculums offered by any independent high school in the country, the St. Paul’s School Applied Science and Engineering Program (ASEP) engages exceptional science students in a project-based STEM curriculum that provides them with hands-on research experiences, on campus and in some of the leading laboratories in the U.S. and beyond.

Highly competitive, the program admits 12 Fifth Form students each year and includes seminars and project work, as well as a summer research externship taken between Fifth and Sixth Form years. The program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore a field of science at the university/professional level. View recent externship locations and areas of research. 

Gabby in ASEP class

I came to the School with expectations for how my time here would go, but instead was able to try new things and I got to become a different version of me.”

Meet Gabby '24

The ASEP Curriculum

ASEP participants attend regular planning meetings with faculty advisers, and in the spring complete a seminar that will allow them to start their externships with the technical skills and knowledge base they need to hit the ground running. The centerpiece of program, the ASEP externship allows students to take a deep dive on interests in engineering, astronomy, computer science and biology in academic and commercial laboratories. In summer 2022, ASEP students learned about the interactions between antibiotic-resistant bacteria and host cells, studied the cardiovascular effects of a common diabetes drug on the cells of diabetic mice, built and prototyped a lower-extremity exoskeletons for children who use wheelchairs, examined the impact of social media on financial trends and e-commerce — and much more.

The program consists of four parts:

  • Fall/Winter Preparatory Seminar (Fifth Form)

  • Spring Term Applied Science and Engineering Seminar (Fifth Form)

  • Summer Externship. Program directors visit in person or online with each student during the externship. Students must submit periodic self-reflective journals on their externship. (summer between Fifth and Sixth Form years)

  • Sixth Form Applied Science & Engineering Capstone. Students design and execute a project related to their externship material. The Capstone course includes weekly lab meetings, a poster session for students to report on their summer research, and a presentation to the School.

ASEP older

“Our students are fortunate to have access to cutting-edge technology in our molecular biology laboratory. Not only do they have the ability to grow and manipulate human samples in our cell culture room, they can begin to examine what is happening inside the cell on the molecular level. … These resources allow our students to have a world-class biological education and give them a window into scientific research that is rare at the high school level. Our students arrive at college well prepared.”

—Sarah Boylan, ASEP program director and SPS science teacher


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