The 2021-2022 Research Apprenticeship program is a new college credit bearing program at the UA where high school aged youth are enrolled as non-degree seeking undergraduate students. While taking part in a class centered on an introduction to higher education (study at a college or university), students are provided an opportunity to engage in self-directed, hands-on experience conducting scientific research in local outdoor places. Each student will be paired with a University of Arizona (UA) undergraduate student mentor and a UA graduate student science advisor as they design and carry out an original field study, in an area of the students choosing. This is a valuable opportunity to gain experience in the scientific inquiry process, utilizing the unique environments of the Sonoran Desert.
This version of the program is generously supported by a private foundation and NASA Space Grant. It builds on best practices learned during a prior version of the program that was supported by The North Face‘s Explore Fund.
Student Benefits
  • Learning how to develop and implement your own field-based scientific research project
  • Having access to equipment, transportation, and other resources to do authentic scientific research
  • Utilizing skills from a variety of science and engineering disciplines
  • Relating learning to the larger framework of science research and how it applies to your own life
  • Gaining confidence and skills in science and engineering to pursue higher education and STEM careers
  • Developing and maintain working relationships with UA scientists
  • Developing a better ‘sense of place’, the natural and cultural history, of the Tucson region


[The program] has been an amazing experience for me. Hanging out with college students and professors is awesome. I hope when I am a little older I will be as kind to kids as the mentors have been to me. The few months I have spent with U of A students on the U of A campus has already made me less anxious about leaving home for college, and made me understand I can study whatever I want.” Pilar, 9th grade student at Tucson High Magnet School

[The program has] shown me that I can actually see something to the end and be proud of what I did. Being a part of it has helped me find motivation and the will to do things outside of the program when I couldn’t find the motivation in anything else. I have made connections with people I normally wouldn’t have made and those people have helped greatly be staying connected and a part of my life, by just simply wanting me to strive for what I don’t think I can do.” Richard, 12th grade student at Flowing Wells High School

Applications are not open to the general public. More information will be made available shortly.