A Bridge to the Stars

NASA Space Grant/A Bridge to the Stars Pipeline Program at UMKC

The Pre-application period for high-school students is now open! It will close at the end of day on Oct. 31st, 2019. We will send scholarship award notifications by Nov. 7, 2019.

Watch this short video to learn more about this unique opportunity now!

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Why fill out the pre-application now?

To be eligible for one of a number of full scholarships for interested high-school students to take a freshman astronomy course at UMKC in Spring 2020 with Prof. McIntosh, a distinguished educator (2017-2019 Norman Royall Professorship, 2016 UM System President’s Award) and professional astrophysicist (like Neil deGrasse Tyson!) We particularly welcome female and minority students.

Spring 2020 Course Description

ASTR 150 Astronomy: Motions of the Cosmos – Tu,W,Th 4:00-5:30pm
Students learn how astronomers decipher the cosmic message in starlight; we learn about light and atoms, telescopes, the birth and death of stars, monster black holes, the Big bang, and more. Students gain a strong conceptual understanding of physical laws of nature, and develop important skills and experience (technical communication, team work, quantitative problem-solving).

What is the goal of this program in a nutshell?

“Through this program, we’re providing students with high impact exposure to science through innovative experiential learning with a professional scientist. It’s a bridge between high school and college, and it fosters student success.” (Prof. McIntosh)

What are the benefits?

  1. Free tuition and enrollment fees. Free required course material. A free Metro bus pass for entire semester. Earn transferrable UMKC credit for a freshman course that meets standard, general education science requirements nationwide. This credit and experience looks good on college and university applications.
  2. Learn about space in a fun, interactive, inclusive and student-centered course designed to help every student gain a strong conceptual understanding of how nature and the physical universe work. Prof. McIntosh’s introductory astronomy courses offer an exciting way to explore the cosmos, to learn about science, and to see how advances in technology & engineering continue to expand our knowledge. This is very helpful for all students, but particularly those who are thinking about pursuing degrees in STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math).
  3. Weekly mentoring sessions at UMKC with near-peer mentors dedicated to helping Bridge students succeed in this course, specifically, and at college, in general.
  4. Regular round-table discussions with Prof. McIntosh and your fellow Bridge students to talk about any subject related to space, astronomy and how to pursue a STEM degree/career.

Who is Prof. McIntosh?

Dr. McIntosh is a Distinguished Associate Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics. He joined the UMKC Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2008. Prof. McIntosh is a science educator with a passion for bringing a conceptual understanding of the physical universe to all students. “Because my classes are very active, meaning there are many opportunities to discuss ideas with peers, students gain an excellent understanding of scientific concepts and they really have fun learning!” Dr. McIntosh is also an expert on how galaxies like our Milky Way have changed and grown during cosmic history. Much of his scientific work over the last 16 years has involved using the Hubble Space Telescope (read more) to study the development of galaxies.

Our Mission and Community Partnerships

A Bridge to the Stars is committed to actively engaging students from all backgrounds in enriching and impactful experiences related to astronomy, the physical sciences, and STEM.

Educational Partners: Kansas City Public Schools, KC STEM Alliance, PREP-KC, Science Pioneers

High School Partners: Allen Village, Basehor-Linwood, Center, Crossroads Preparatory Academy, East, Frontier School of Excellence, Grandview, Grain Valley,  Hogan Preparatory Academy, Lee’s Summit West, Summer Academy of Arts & Science, University Academy

What Kansas City high-school educators are saying about ABttS:

“A great program taught by a very inspired professor!” (Dr. Larry Weible, East High School Science Dept. Chair)
“Students and parents need to realize this is a GREAT opportunity.” (Ms. Crystal Ward, former Hogan Prep High School Principal)

In the News

Oct. 1, 2019 we are now an office STEMConnect-KC organization!
Sep. 28, 2017 featured in UMKC Today (story)
Sep. 15, 2016 featured in UMKC Today (story)

For questions, send an email to: (ABttS@umkc.edu)
Made possible through funding by the NASA Missouri Space Grant.