Science in Everyday Life

July 21 - 26 &
August 4 - 9, 2024

Program dates

16,800 RMB
(Early Decision Price 15,800 RMB)


High School Students

Who can apply



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April Xu

Assistant for International Collaborations
Office of International Relations
T: (+86) 0512-3665-7149

Key Messages

  • Glimpse into an innovative Liberal Arts education at Duke Kunshan;
  • Enrich your curiosity, creativity, and great potentials with an intensive and exciting learning experience;
  • Challenge yourself in college-level academics at a world-class university.

The High School Summer Academy at Duke Kunshan every year will mainly focus on one aspect of the global challenges that requires students to work collaboratively to analysis the impacts and implications of the critical issue faced by humankind. The summer academy provides ambitious high school students a transformative glimpse into an innovative Liberal Arts education at Duke Kunshan that combines the university’s academic excellence and global mission with intensive and exciting courses and a wide range of extra-curricular programming.

The 2024 High School Summer Academy has been scheduled on July.21-26 and Aug.4-9, 2024, aiming to provide students with an intensive and exciting learning experience with emphasis on scientific issues. Students will be trained with interdisciplinary knowledge that will enrich students’ curiosity, creativity, and great potentials in recognizing and dealing with specific challenges in real world.


This program provides an opportunity for students to appreciate the intersection between disciplinary knowledge and daily life experience, including topics such as how do we hear and see, as well as how to extract DNA from your favorite fruit. By means of plenary lectures, small group discussions, hands-on labs as well as final presentations, prospective students will be exposed to liberal arts education at Duke Kunshan University and learn how to explore science in everyday life by themselves afterward.


In the plenary session, students will be equipped with disciplinary knowledge in physics, chemistry, and biology for the following small group discussions on specific scientific topics in everyday lives as well as Do-It-Yourself labs. Those activities will be accompanied by a guided tour to research labs and an interactive program offered by the Zu-Chong-Zhi Math Center at DKU. On the final day, we will conclude the session with group presentations and discussions.

learning Outcomes
  • Learn how to formulate scientific questions from everyday life experience.
  • Learn the basics of lab work, particularly how to work in teams to achieve a specific goal.
  • Learn how to analyze data and interpret results.
  • Learn how to prepare and deliver a professional presentation.

Application Requirements

– Current high school students (grades 10-12) with excellent overall qualities and good listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English.
– Open to all arts and science students and admission is based on merit according to batch.


  • Program fee: 16,800 RMB/person
  • 15,800RMB/person for early decisions (apply before March 31)

Faculty Resources

Dr. habil. Kai Huang

Associate Professor of Physics
Chair, Division of Natural and Applied Sciences of Undergraduate Program
Duke Kunshan University

Kai Huang, associate professor of physics and chair of the undergraduate program’s Division of Natural and Applied Sciences. He also co-affiliated at the University of Bayreuth in Germany as a PhD supervisor.

Dr. Huang’s research interest lies primarily in the understanding, predicting and eventually controlling the collective behavior of particulate materials through laboratory experiments and computer simulations, in order to shed light on widespread applications in space exploration, chemical and civil engineering, geo-technique, and other areas. He is also interested in the acoustical design of traditional European and Chinese opera theaters. Huang has a B.Sc. in electronic engineering and a Ph.D. in physical acoustics from Nanjing University. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-organization, before joining the University of Bayreuth as a group leader and lecturer for both undergraduate and graduate level courses. His research activity was funded by German Research Foundation, German Aerospace Center, and the State of Bavaria. In 2014, he obtained habilitation in physics, a scientific and pedagogic qualification for supervising PhD students independently in Germany. Before joining DKU, he worked as a privatdozent (senior lecturer) at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. During that period, he was actively engaged in the German Young Physicists’ Tournament and served as a juror for the competition.

Dr. Paul Stanley

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Senior Lecturer in Physics
Division of Natural and Applied Sciences
Duke Kushan University

Dr. Stanley’s professional work is in physics education, high school physics competitions, Asian musical instruments, and mathematical physics problems related to nonlinear systems. He has dabbled with fluid dynamics, chaotic systems, sand grain motion, tricks for extracting extra precision from measuring equipment, and rebuilding a 500 keV proton accelerator.  Current research goals at DKU include studying the material properties of silk strings on the guqin, and the behavior of the free reed found in the hulusi and sheng.  As part of his work with the International Physics Olympiad, he has trained students and teachers in advanced physics thinking in over a dozen countries scattered throughout Asia, Europe, and North America.

Prof. Weiwei Shi

Assistant Professor of Material Science
Division of Natural and Applied Sciences
Duke Kunshan University

Dr. Shi has a B.S. &M.Eng. from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Her research focus is the bio-inspired smart materials with advanced functions and high performance, especially in sustainable applications, i.e., water harvesting, synthetic trees, special wettability. The research projects were featured in CNN, Boston Globe, Washington Post, etc., or highlighted by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL), respectively. The invention got the finalist of “Collegiate Inventors Competition” at United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and presented at Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

She is also an experienced and dedicated instructor, adviser, and mentor. At Virginia Tech, she mentored the senior project of five undergraduates, which obtained the “Dan H. Pletta Award” and “Nanotech Entrepreneurship Award”. During the programs of the “Kids Tech University (KTU)” and “C-Tech^2”, she presented the lectures and hands-on experiments to kids and high school students, respectively, to promote their curiosity and in-depth learning, so that students can feel the charm of scientific research, experience the research process, and stimulate scientific interest. Currently, as an Assistant Professor at DKU, she advises undergraduates on their academic path, mentors seniors on their signature work and instructs them in courses, e.g., Bio-Inspired Smart Materials, Analytical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry.

Prof. Joohyun Lee

Associate Professor of Biology
Division of Natural and Applied Sciences
Duke Kunshan University

Prof Joohyun Lee, a molecular geneticist, earned his PhD in biology from Dartmouth College and was previously a faculty member at Amherst College. Currently, he is a faculty member at Duke Kunshan University.

Prof. Lee’s research primarily focuses on understanding how environmental cues can lead to epigenetic changes in chromatin switches. Epigenetic regulation involves altering gene expression without making changes to the DNA sequence. These changes can be inherited across cells and/or even generations. However, the study of epigenetic mutants in animal models has been limited due to their lethality. This has hindered the exploration of the mechanisms underlying the maintenance of epigenetic modifications in response to environmental signals. To address these questions, the Lee lab uses Arabidopsis as a model plant. Arabidopsis is known for its tolerance of epigenetic mutations. Prof. Lee employs a range of molecular and bioinformatic analyses, including large-scale transcriptome, small RNA seq, DNA methylome, and chromatin modification (ChIP seq) analysis. These techniques help to investigate the highly conserved mechanisms of epigenetic regulation in higher eukaryotes. Prof. Lee’s research has resulted in multiple publications in prestigious journals such as PNAS and Nature Communications.

Prof. Xiaoqian Xu

Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Division of Natural and Applied Sciences
Duke Kunshan University

Dr. Xu has a B.Sc. in mathematics (honors) from Zhejiang University and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. From 2016 to 2019, he held postdoctoral research positions at Carnegie Mellon University and the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics, Brown University.

Dr. Xu’s research interests are mathematical modeling of mixing in fluids, investigating the properties of solutions to some types of fluid mechanics equations and studying the time-fractional differential equations. He mainly teaches mathematical foundation courses and advanced courses in analysis at DKU.

Supporting Staff

Dr. Suhua Li    Biology lab manager

Min Su    Chemistry lab manager

Kai Wang    Physics lab technician

Qi (Jocky) Zhu    Senior coordinator

*Please note that the details of this high school summer camp program are subject to change, and we will keep you updated on any modifications.

Application Deadline

Application Materials

Applicants must complete the information requested within the link in its entirety which includes:

1. Recommendation Form (Required)
Please contact your high school to complete the Recommendation Form and affix the official seal. Application forms without official seal will not be accepted. You can find the recommendation form template by the below link:

2. High School Transcript (Required)
The high school transcript must affix an official seal or the academic affairs department seal. You are recommended to use the transcript template provided by the program team. Transcripts should include end-of-semester grades for each semester since high school (full marks for individual subjects must be indicated). Please also provide overall rankings or rankings by arts/science and indicate the total number of students If there is a grade ranking. You can also find the transcript template by the below link:

3. Self-introduction in English (Required)
Please introduce yourself in English with no more than 200 words (e.g. personal background, reasons for choosing the program, academic interests, leadership experience, extracurricular activities...).

4. Other supplementary Materials (Optional)
• Certificates of academic competitions, e.g., Five Subject Olympiads, national/provincial/municipal academic competitions, etc.
• Certificate of Language Proficiency (CLP), e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, etc.
• Proof of creative and innovative ability, e.g., National/provincial/municipal innovation competitions, invention patents, etc.
Notes: While these materials are not required, it is recommended that you merge them into a PDF file before uploading.

Are You Ready To Start?


April Xu

Assistant for International Collaborations
Office of International Relations
T: (+86) 0512-3665-7149