Wright STEPP

photo of students in the wright stepp programWright STEPP is Wright State University's Science, Technology, and Engineering Preparatory Program (STEPP). Its mission is to enhance the development and education of youth underrepresented in the fields of engineering, math, and science. The program targets Dayton Public School and Springfield City School students. The program's goal is to increase the number of students from the Dayton Public Schools and the Springfield City schools who graduate from high school with adequate academic preparation to earn their bachelors degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).


  • Identify, recruit, and select students who demonstrate potential in STEM.
  • Increase students' awareness of career options for STEM fields.
  • Increase the cognitive skills of students pursuing careers in STEM.
  • Provide students access to and interaction with successful role models for industry and education who serve the program in the capacity of speakers, instructors, tour guides, counselors, and mentors.
  • Demonstrate realities of the workplace through tours and other local industry experiences.
  • Provide laboratory experiences and academic instruction similar to what students will encounter in the first year of STEM study.
  • Provide educational enrichment opportunities that motivate students to pursue STEM disciplines.
  • Encourage completion of the college preparatory courses in the public school system.

The four-week program is conducted on the campus of Wright State University. Students are on campus six hours each day, Monday through Friday. The program starts in mid-June and ends in mid-July.


  • Hands-on STEM academic enrichment
  • Logic and applications to mathematics
  • Problem solving and study skills development
  • Role model speakers
  • Computer Science introduction
  • Communication skills
  • Mathematics
    • algebra
    • geometry
    • trigonometry
    • pre-calculus
  • Career opportunities awareness
  • Field trips/tours
  • STEM seminars

Funding and History

Building a Legacy: Clark Beck

In 1988 and 1989 total funding was provided by Wright State University. Since 1990, additional funding of in-kind service has been received for one or more years from Standard Register, General Motors, Department of Energy, Mead Data Central, Ohio Board of Regents, American Association of Blacks in Energy, Corning Glass, Armed Forces Communications-Electronics Association, the Springfield Foundation, the Llewellyn Foundation, the Della Selsor Trust, and the National Science Foundation.


In January, nominated students must attend a briefing session at Wright State University with a parent or guardian. Program applications will be provided at that time. By mid-February, completed applications are returned to the Wright STEPP Coordinator at the student's school. In March, applicants attend interviews at their schools. In late April and May, final selections are made by the Program Director and students are notified by mail.


Wright STEPP has an agreement with Dayton Public and Springfield City Schools to accept seventh through tenth grade students from the participating schools.

  • Interested students should contact the WRIGHT STEPP Coordinator at their school.
  • A maximum of 45 students per grade (grades 7-10) are enrolled each year.


The WRIGHT STEPP target group is seventh through tenth grade students in participating Dayton Public and Springfield City Schools. Participants must be nominated by their math and science teachers, attend a briefing with their parents, complete an application, write an essay, and complete an interview. Forty-five new students from the seventh grade are selected each year. A small number of students from grades 8-10 are selected to fill empty slots made available through attrition from the previous summer¹s students who do not return to the program.

Approximately 180 students attend the program each summer. Participants are eligible to receive full tuition (four year) scholarships to Wright State University if they successfully complete four summers of participation in the program, and meet specified academic criteria in high school.