A-Z Index

Major Components of UBMS


  • Curriculum
  • Counseling
  • Weekend Trips
  • Campus Living

The Summer Component


In the 6-week summer session, participants are exposed to enrichment curriculum designed to maintain the students' motivation to continue taking math- and science-related courses. The various topics may not be available to students at their home high schools. (See the list of courses and activities.) The units are either one or two weeks in length, so we can present a great many diverse topics in the short time available.

NOTE: Participants do NOT receive grades or credit for their UBMS participation. Because of the short duration of the units, we cannot justify granting credit. However, participants have found that the exposure to these enrichment topics motivates them to return to school and explore the available curriculum in greater depth.

Students are exposed to team teaching and cooperative learning as they take part in hands-on activities. The teaching teams consist of a University instructor or an outstanding high school teacher from the 4-state region, assisted by University students acting as Teaching Assistants (TAs). In-class assistance is available from the instructor or from the TA. 

Where feasible, students are immersed in cooperative learning. This means that students are encouraged to work together to solve problems, much as scientists do in the real world.

A summary of the classes for a recent summer is available.


Northwest's UBMS Center strongly supports the students' growth and development. This goal is achieved by devoting time to group and individual counseling. Group sessions are devoted to relationships, study skills development, career awareness or career testing, and to personal development, including sessions directly addressing self-esteem. Students also work on time-management, stress-management, decision-making and goal-setting. Individual counseling sessions are "personalized" for each student, as necessary.

The importance placed on the counseling phase of UBMS is reflected in the make-up of the central staff and the frequency of the scheduled counseling activities.

In our follow-up evaluations of the participants, many of the improvements noted in themselves by the participants and/or their parents are directly due to our counseling efforts. Indeed, at the beginning of the program many students do not like the idea of being involved in counseling, but by the end of the program, they realize they benefit from counseling at least as much as from the classes.

Weekend Trips

UBMS schedules weekend trips that will provide a variety of cultural and educational enrichment as well as be entertaining. These trips may vary each year and they are selected depending on the available time, the distances involved, the learning potential, and the available budget. All expenses for admission, meals, and transportation are paid by the program. Students only pay for their own souvenirs. (See descriptions of weekend trips for last summer.)

Past UBMS trips have been:

  • to Omaha (NE) to the Henry Doorly Zoo; Durham Museum
  • to Lincoln (NE) to UNL's Morrill (Elephant) Hall;
  • to Kansas City to Worlds of Fun, to Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Star of Arabia, Zoo and the New Theatre Restaurant;
  • to Lawrence (KS) to the KU Natural History Museum;
  • to Leavenworth (KS) to the Carroll House (the Leavenworth County Museum);
  • to Des Moines (IA) to the Challenger Center, the Science Center, and the Botanical Center;
  • to Iowa City (IA) to the Raptor Center, the Hydraulics Lab, the National Driving Simulator, and the University Hospitals;
  • to St. Louis (MO) to Magic House, the Science Center, and the Gateway Arch

Campus Living

While on Northwest's beautiful campus, UBMS participants are housed in one of the residence halls. Living in the residence hall is a valuable growing experience for students, as they begin to learn what life will be like when they go to college for real. They become acquainted with people from different backgrounds, experiences, and outlooks. They learn about having to live in shared space, and about taking care of themselves in a new environment.

Each UBMS student will be issued an individual laptop for use during the summer session. (The laptop will remain in the residence hall). Students are expected to use the laptop to write reports, do homework, and access email and the Internet. In addition, UBMS students will have access to many other University facilities as well.

Academic Year

  • Mentor
  • Project
  • Saturday Academies
  • Stipends

The Academic Year Component


When students return to their schools in the fall, they will meet with a mentor. The mentor and the student are to meet at least 12 times to discuss items of interest to the student and provide guidance to the student on the selection and completion of the project.


During the academic year, the student completes an individual project which they select with the approval of their mentor and the UBMS staff and sends a write-up of the project to UBMS. The project should be related to math, science and/or technology and be an extension of the learning experience, not just a duplication. If local rules allow, it is okay for the project to be used in a science fair or for 4-H in addition to being used for UBMS.

Saturday Academies

During the academic year component, participants will be taking part in Saturday Academies held at the Northwest Kansas City Campus and the Northwest Maryville Campus. UBMS will design activities to enrich the participants' educational experience.


During the academic year component, UBMS participants may continue to earn a stipend. They do this by taking math and science courses each year, by meeting with a mentor throughout the school year, by working on their project, and by submitting class schedules, transcripts and mid-term grades. Their mentor will send reports to UBMS in October, January, and April. Both the participant and his/her mentor are paid the yearly stipend according to the reports UBMS receives from the mentor.


  • Description
  • Eligibility

The Bridge Component


After a student has been in regular UBMS for at least two years, he/she may be eligible for the UBMS Bridge Component.

The purpose of the UBMS Bridge Component is to provide a solid, successful foundation for transition from high school to college. It is the "natural" conclusion to the UBMS experience and is so named because it provides a 'bridge' between high school and college enrollment.

It takes place in the summer following the student's graduation from high school during the University's 4-week June summer session block. UBMS pays all expenses for the selected Bridge students to enroll in up to six credit hours of University classes. These credits may then be transferred to the college of the student's choice for the regular fall term. As with the regular UBMS program, there is no cost to the students or their families, except for the investment of time and energy.

During the summer, Northwest classes meet Monday through Thursday. UBMS Bridge students will attend their classes Monday - Thursday, will be involved with some different activities on Friday, and also will go on the weekend trips with the regular UBMS participants. 

Bridge students will be assigned to the UBMS families so that they may participate in the evening recreational activities as their schedule allows. Although group counseling will not be a part of the bridge students' schedules, they will meet individually with the Project Counselor 2 or 3 times during the Bridge session.

Eligibility for Bridge

The cost of the Bridge component is based on the tuition rate charged by Northwest, so UBMS must limit the number of students admitted into the UBMS Bridge component in order to control costs.

In general, to be eligible for Bridge, a student must

  • attend two summer components,
  • be a graduating senior
  • be an active participant during the current school year (meeting with the Mentor, completing a UBMS Project and submitting required reports), and
  • receive appropriate ratings from the RTs, TAs, and Teachers for the previous year.

The UBMS staff will send the Bridge application materials directly to the seniors who are eligible. The Bridge application should be completed and returned to the UBMS office.

The UBMS staff will accept students into the Bridge program based on available funds as well as other considerations noted above. Note that the necessary application materials must be completed and returned prior to the January 31 deadline. (This will allow seniors to complete the applications and mail them to UBMS during the Winter break.)