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UM Chemistry/Faculty/Professor Houk's Summer Programs

Precollege Education Programs

Summer Pre-College Academic Enrichment Programs directed by Dr. Larry Houk

This program is currently offered:

These programs were previously offered:


Preengineering Enrichment Project (PEEP)

An environmental enrichment program, Pre-Engineering Enrichment Project (PEEP), will be conducted during the summer and directed by Dr. Larry W. Houk, Professor of Chemistry at The University of Memphis. He will be assisted by a graduate student or city school teacher who will serve as a liaison, mentor, advisor, and counselor. Ten high school scholars from East High School in the Memphis City School System will be selected as program participants. All participants are currently majoring in either mathematics or science and are members of economically disadvantaged families.
The program will be approximately seven weeks in duration. Participants will work and study in a variety of local settings in order to become familiar with a wide range of water resource needs and challenges. Students will acquire first-hand experience:

  • testing treated wastewater to manually check settling and removal efficiencies at each stage of treatment at two advanced wastewater treatment facilities;
  • inspecting sewers, manholes, and flood control equipment for maintenance, repair, and/or replacement;
  • using surveyor's equipment to read topography; and
  • studying aquatic life found in neighboring streams, lakes, and rivers.

Students will meet professional role models (chemists, engineers, journalists, biologists, journalists, professors, administrators, regulatory specialists, etc.) who gladly entertain questions regarding careers, on-the-job training, and educational preparedness. The students will receive attentive, hands-on instruction and coaching throughout the course of their classroom, laboratory, and field assignments. A salary is provided.


Not currently being offered: Solid Waste Environmental Enrichment Project (SWEEP)

The Solid Waste Environmental Enrichment Project (SWEEP), a seven-week, environmental, academic enrichment program, will be conducted during the summer. The program will be directed by Dr. Larry W. Houk, Professor of Chemistry at The University of Memphis, and will be assisted by a graduate student or city school teacher who will serve as a liaison, mentor, advisor, and counselor. Ten high school scholars representing the Memphis City School System will be selected as program participants. All participants are currently majoring in either mathematics or science and are members of economically disadvantaged families.
Students will meet professional role models (chemists, engineers, journalists, biologists, journalists, professors, administrators, regulatory specialists, etc.) who gladly entertain questions regarding careers, on-the-job training, and educational preparedness. The students will receive attentive, hands-on instruction and coaching throughout the course of their classroom, laboratory, and field assignments. A salary is provided.


Not currently being offered: Radon, Energy, Air Project (REAP)

The University of Memphis is conducting a pre-college enrichment program for twenty-five academically talented students completing the ninth grade in May/June. The program runs from 9:00 A.M.- 3:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, from mid-June to the end of July. This science program hosted by the Department of Chemistry at U of M will expose students to such topics as principles of chemistry both in the classroom and laboratory settings, environmental issues, and production and transmission of energy. Home radon testing; activities on location at the Memphis Public Works and Memphis Light, Gas, and Water; field trips both in Memphis and in out-of-town locations; and many other activities and events will be a part of this summer enrichment experience. A wonderful learning summer awaits those students who participate. There will be no fee charged and a stipend will be provided.
Admission Requirements

  1. Be completing the 9th grade in the of Memphis City School System.
  2. Be nominated by a teacher, counselor, or principal and must submit a letter of recommendation from a mathematics teacher, a science teacher, a school counselor, or school principal and must have a grade point average of at least a B (greater than or equal to 3.0) in all courses. A student who has a grade point average of 3.0 or above in all of his/her mathematics and science courses may be nominated for this program.
  3. Have a parent or guardian willing to attend an orientation session. Parent/guardian must submit a signed statement supporting their child's involvement in the REAP program. Each student must submit an interest essay statement indicating why he/she would like to be selected as a participant in the REAP program.
  4. Be interested in pursuing career path in science and mathematics or in other related fields.

In selecting individuals for participation and otherwise in the administration of this project The University of Memphis will not discriminate on the grounds of the race, creed, sex, color, age, handicap, or national origin of any applicant.


Department of Chemistry, The University of Memphis | 213 Smith Chemistry Bldg, Memphis, Tennessee 38152-3550
phone 901.678.2621 | fax 901.678.3447