Women* in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program

What is WISE?

WISE is designed to be an experiential learning opportunity for students, regardless of gender identity, who are mentored by Johns Hopkins University (JHU) professors and graduate students. One of the primary objectives of WISE is to encourage high school women to pursue majors in science and engineering in college.

WISE students gain hands-on research experience in various labs throughout the JHU campus community.  The program typically spans one semester (1-5 Baltimore City students per semester) but is offered in fall, spring, and summer. The WISE students work on the JHU campus two afternoons each week during the school year or daily over the summer.

Students explore a variety of subjects in laboratory and field settings which could include nanotechnology, cognitive science, materials science and stem cell research.  At the close of each semester-long program, WISE students present their research and experiences to the other students and mentors. 

*Baltimore City high school students are eligible to apply regardless of gender identity


As you are aware, the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has called upon Johns Hopkins to take a series of unprecedented steps to safeguard our community, including suspending classes through the spring 2020 semester, and all in-person events until further notice.

Given the many uncertainties that we and our partner schools and organizations face right now, our search for additional summer and fall WISE 2020 participants has been suspended.

We appreciate your interest in our program, apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and hope you will consider applying for a future semester or summer.

Students, parents, and teachers may contact Ruby Holder with questions at STEMOutreach@jhu.edu.



    • Should have A’s and B’s in all math and science courses
    • Must be sophomore, junior, or senior high school student
      • Sophomore students must have completed 2 years of high school level math
      • Must be a Baltimore City public high school student or a Garrison Forest student
          • Interested Garrison Forest students should contact Andrea Perry
    • Must be eligible to work in the United States

    Students that meet the above requirements are eligible to apply regardless of gender identity

    • All components of application must be completed by submission deadline
      • Interest and eligibility form submitted
      • Teacher or guidance counselor recommendation
        • Preference given for recommendations from teachers in STEM fields
      • Transcript (latest report card or progress report requested for spring and summer programs) submitted by high school
      • Essay questions must meet minimum word count
    • WISE students will need access to a computer. If a student does not have one, a laptop can be loaned for use during their experience.
    • WISE students must be available 3 hours each day, two days a week (fall/spring program) for 15 weeks or 6 hours each weekday for approximately 4 weeks in the summer. An additional hour is required each week outside of laboratory to complete student journals.
    • If selected, WISE students must provide their own transportation to and from the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus (3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218). If you have questions about transportation options, contact Ruby Holder at STEMOutreach@jhu.edu for guidance.


Information for JHU Faculty and Potential Mentors

Faculty, researchers, and graduate students interested in mentoring for a semester should contact STEMOutreach@jhu.edu with the subject line: “Interest in WISE Mentoring.”

Faculty interested in writing WISE into their grant application’s broader impacts statement and budget should contact Alisha Sparks at Alisha.Sparks@jhu.edu.


Additional Information

The Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program started as a partnership between the Center for Educational Outreach (CEO) and the Garrison Forest School (GFS) an all-girl, day and boarding campus in Owings Mills, MD in 2005. In 2013, CEO expanded WISE to include Western High School, an all-girls public school in Baltimore City. In 2018, the program expanded to include students attending any Baltimore City Public School.

More information on the WISE program at GFS, can be found at https://www.gfs.org/signature-programs/the-wise-program.

2017 article published in the JHU HUB.


“[WISE] taught me that I can actually understand higher level science.” WISE Fall 2019 student, Baltimore City College

“I liked making liposomes. It was fun. I felt like a real scientist.” WISE Summer 2019 student, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women

“[My mentor and I] developed a great relationship, and she guided [me] through all my challenges over the weeks.” Fall 2018 student, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

“My mentor was patient and answered all of my questions.  I wish I could have spent more time in the lab.  I learned that I really like doing research – I didn’t expect that.  And I found out that I’m a quick learner.” WISE Fall 2013 student, Western High School

WISE Spring 2016 Presentation Photos



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