Bethel College Summer Science Institute

    You are invited to the Bethel College Summer Science Institute, to be held online on June 13-18, 2021. This institute was held annually on our campus for 20 years and was moved online in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The institute offers opportunities to participate in research investigations in several fields of science and mathematics. You will be able to study fascinating and challenging topics that high school courses typically do not cover. The institute will focus on learning how to do research through close interaction with faculty. Readings will provide background for laboratory and field study. Two Bethel professors recently published an article describing the experience and benefits of the Summer Science Institute.

    Research Groups

    Students will select among the six research groups listed below with up to 20 students in each group. This selection will be done on the application by ranking the areas from 1-6. Each student will be limited to two research groups to allow opportunities to more students. We will assign groups as high as possible on the student’s ranked list. Thus, early registration is desirable to ensure enrollment in your preferred areas.

    • Understanding and Measuring Attitudes — led by Brad Celestin, Ph.D. (Bethel assistant professor of psychology)
    • Exploring Enzymes — led by Jeremy Mitchell-Koch, Ph.D. (Bethel associate professor of chemistry)
    • Neuroscience of Music — led by Dwight Krehbiel, Ph.D. (Bethel emeritus professor of psychology)
    • Probability: Know Your Odds — led by Paul Regier Ph. D. (Assistant professor of mathematics, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma; Bethel alumnus)
    • Personality, Digit Ratio, and Risk-Taking — led by Rachel Messer, Ph.D. (Assistant professor of psychology, University of Pikeville, former Bethel faculty member)
    • Astronomy and Digital Image Processing -- led by Martin Ratcliffe, astronomer (degree from University College London, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and of the International Planetarium Society, faculty member of the Wichita State University Cohen Honors Department)
    More information about the groups is listed on the application. The groups will also involve Bethel science and mathematics students who will serve as assistants.

    What to expect

    Sessions will begin on Sun., June 13, with a joint online session.

    Schedule for June 14-18:
    • 10:00 a.m. -- Understanding and Measuring Attitudes
    • 11:00 a.m. -- Exploring Enzymes
    • Noon  -- Neuroscience of Music
    • 1:00 p.m. -- BREAK
    • 1:30 p.m. -- Probability: Know Your Odds
    • 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m -- Individual Differences, Digit Ratio, and Risk-Taking
    • 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. -- Astronomy and Digital Image Processing
    • Evenings -- online gatherings of institute participants
    Each student is sponsored through a donation from a Bethel science or mathematics graduate. You'll have a chance to communicate with these sponsors to learn about their careers in science, mathematics, medicine, and related fields.

    Students who complete all requirements in their two areas of research will receive a certificate of completion.


    The institute is open to students entering grades 10-12, and if space is available, to 2021 high school graduates.


    The application process consists of completing the application form, below, and obtaining a letter of recommendation from a science or mathematics teacher who has worked with the student. The letter should be e-mailed to Dwight Krehbiel ( Applications and recommendations must be received by April 15, 2021, in order to be considered.


    We will select applicants based on their application, recommendations, strengths in science and mathematics, benefits they would be expected to receive, and interest in Bethel's programs in science and mathematics. Preference will be given to students who have just completed the sophomore or junior year of high school. Enrollment is limited to 60 students.


    Students who are accepted will be notified by e-mail on or about May 1, 2021. Accepted students must confirm their intention to attend by e-mail and by submitting the registration fee of $20 by May 15, 2021 (fee waivers are available for those who are unable to pay; e-mail to request a waiver). Students who do not confirm their intentions to attend will be dropped from the roster to accommodate others since enrollment is limited, as noted above.


    Dwight Krehbiel, Ph.D. ( is the director of Bethel's Summer Science Institute.


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    About Bethel

    As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.