Male participant adjusts his LEGO Mindstorm robot


Program Dates: July 16 – 22, 2023


The application window for the 2023 program is now closed.


CATALYST Academy is a one-week residential program for rising high school juniors and seniors who desire to learn about engineering in the context of an authentic college experience.  CATALYST Academy is open to students of all gender identities.

CATALYST Scholars spend one week on the Cornell campus, living in dormitories, and networking with current Cornell Engineering students, faculty, and a diverse group of participants from across the country.  Participants attend daily classes in one area of study led by a Cornell Engineering faculty member, and work cooperatively under the supervision of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students to execute and present a research project.  Additionally, students participate in ten field sessions across our engineering majors, as well as one field session focused on the admissions process.  The Academy seeks primarily to develop literacy surrounding engineering as a major course of study in college, showcase career and graduate school pathways in engineering, and demystify the admissions process.

CATALYST Academy has a particular focus on bringing together a diverse group of young minds, including those from backgrounds historically excluded from and underrepresented in STEM fields.  Therefore, we strongly encourage students whose backgrounds and lived experiences are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields (individuals who identify as Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Indigenous, female, neurodivergent, and/or living with a disability), as well as those who may not have access to robust, STEM-related curricular resources, to apply for CATALYST.

Rising seniors (class of 2024) who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American/Alaska Native or Pacific Islander, and/or first-generation college students meeting the requirements below will automatically be considered for a tuition waiver for the 2023 CATALYST Academy.

Discover more about CATALYST Academy, and consider spending part of your summer with us!

COVID-19 Update

The 2023 program will be held in-person.

CATALYST Supporters

We thank the following Cornell Alumni donors for their generous support of the CATALYST Academy.

Han-Yang Lo ’98
Elaine Tam ’98
Harvey Willensky ’71 and Margie Willensky
Robert L. Ryan ’68