The Sundial Project

Sundial is a community of freshmen, upperclassmen, graduate students, and faculty at ASU. We are dedicated to building an inclusive and supportive community within the physical sciences at Arizona State University. 

Sundial is a part of the Access Network and provides students opportunities to participate in the national network as student leaders.

Available Programs

Summer Program (Early Start)

The Sundial Summer Program is a fun, hands-on, engaging opportunity for incoming physics and SESE students.  It is also the official start of Sundial’s academic year of services! The program is two weeks long and takes place just before the Fall semester starts and is offered at no cost to participants.

The transition to a big university can be overwhelming, but having friends even before their first semester starts can make the experience easier.  The summer program helps with just that: the main goal of the summer program is to build friendships and a sense of community for incoming ASU physics and SESE students.  Alongside building friendships, students experience the scientific mindset by exploring a science topic through experimental discovery.

There are many components of the summer program, including social activities, exploring science topics, math, and writing.  The goal of the science activities are to build understanding from the “ground up” — so the only prerequisite is curiosity.  The summer program is facilitated by current ASU faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, helping freshmen build a robust network. Unlike a traditional class, there are very few lectures, no grades, and no tests.  Instead, Sundial students get to experience doing science as scientists do — by looking at observations and discussing results.

In addition to studying a science topic, the summer program activities include lab tours, exposure to research at ASU, social events, and opportunities to get acquainted with the campus.  The program is limited to 30 students, so early applications are encouraged.

The Summer program is only the beginning of what Sundial has to offer. We also have year-long activities, including pairing you up with a mentor who can help you with your transition in the fall.  In the spring, we offer a course on how to prepare for research and professional success. Sundial is part of a national network of similar programs called the Access Network. As a Sundial student you may have the opportunity to attend the Access Network meeting with students from around the country!

If you want to know how students felt about their summer program experience check out the testimonials written by the attendees here or a news article about one of our students here

Activities begin at 9 a.m. and go through the evening.  Each day you will have a couple hours for a break and dinner. Evening activities focus on building friendships and getting to know the campus. All meals included. Participation is by invitation only. If you have received an invitation you can fill out this form to secure your spot: https://visit.asu.edu/earlystart?r=1

A typical day at the program may include: a morning learning about planets with hands-on exploration including close interaction with faculty and student mentors,  a break for lunch, an afternoon learning to translate math to coding simple computer program, a lab tour of a cutting-edge research facility, a break for dinner, and a game night.

Mentoring Program

The Mentoring Program is an effort to provide academic support, career guidance, and personal growth in a field that is often difficult to navigate. Beginning undergraduates are paired with upper-level undergrads and grad students, offering them a direct resource for perspective as they make their way through their physics or SESE program. Mentors and mentees meet regularly during the course of each semester in both formal and informal settings.

The fall program focuses on building community and being successful at ASU. The spring mentoring program focuses on research and career opportunities, and includes doing a mini science project and shadowing a current researcher.

No Jargon Conference

The No Jargon Science Conference, which the public is invited to attend, features ASU researchers, Sundial mentors and mentees explaining their science in everyday vocabulary.

Get Involved

Does Sundial sound exciting to you? Get involved! You can be added to our LISTSERV email list by contacting us here. Just ask to be added and we will happily do so! Through the LISTSERV, you will receive information regarding current events and Sundial body and committee meetings. You can also visit us at one of the Public Events listed on our Calender. All of our meetings and events are open to anyone who would like to be involved!

Sundial is centered around building a community within the Physics Department and the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. We welcome all who wish to help us create a friendly, relaxing, and helpful environment for our student body!

To get ideas about different ways of getting involved, click on some of the links below:

Incoming Freshmen

Why get involved?

Incoming freshmen can participate in the Early Start bridge program, which occurs before the fall semester starts.  This free, two-week program is designed to prepare you for a successful college experience. You’ll get to move to campus early, make new friends and earn three elective credits — at no cost to you. Students at all levels of academic preparation are welcome. Just bring your curiosity and an open mind.

Incoming Transfers

Transfer students are encouraged to participate as mentees in the Spring mentoring program, to build community and learn about opportunities at ASU. In addition, transfer students are welcome to serve as mentors.

Current Undergraduates

Want to get involved in Sundial? Current undergraduate students in Sundial can

  • Serve as a mentor to other students through the mentoring program or be a facilitator in the summer program
  • Help organize and attend social events
  • Be a leader for diversity and change!

Current Graduate Students

Why get involved?

Sundial is an organization that centers around building and maintaining a community in physics and SESE. This is just a very broad description of what we do and it encompasses many avenues of involvement! As a current grad student at ASU, you bring a very helpful perspective to those who are in the midst of their undergraduate education. You’ve already applied to grad schools, been accepted, and started doing research! You can provide those around you with a direction in their pursuits in studying the world around us by sharing your own experiences.

Current graduate students in Sundial can

  • Serve as a mentor to other students through the mentoring program
  • Take on a leadership role in the mentoring program
  • Have a student shadow you in research during the spring semester
  • Help organize and attend social events
  • Be a facilitator and leader in the summer program
  • Be a leader for diversity and change!

Sundial Interest Form

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