Frequently Asked Questions

What are Tapia Camps?

Tapia Camps are 6-day/5-night residential camps at Rice University that cover topics in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) with an emphasis on communication and equity. Campers learn STEM ideas behind cool and surprising things in their lives while also exploring equity concerns in STEM. Campers interact with university students, Rice professors and industry leaders, experience life on a college campus and develop skills in teamwork. The camp is hosted by the Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity in Education. Current 7th-12th graders who are interested in STEM are encouraged to attend!


What makes Tapia Camps special?

At Tapia Camps, campers are not limited to just one interest; they are able to focus on multiple STEM subjects throughout the week. Not only are campers learning directly from Rice University students, but the course material was designed by research active faculty members. Campers get to enjoy the college experience while interacting with professors, STEM professionals, and Dr. Richard Tapia, recipient of the National Medal of Science.


 Are the camps in-person or virtual?

2022 Tapia Camps are in-person. The 6-day/5-night program requires students to live in Rice University dorms. Tapia Camps will be following all COVID-19 protocols as mandated by the university. We will be sending any updates about our specific camp policies as they come up. To learn more about Rice University's COVID-19 response, please visit


Is there a schedule for what the week will be like?

Download an example of our camp schedule! Projects are in a variety of STEM subjects, including math, physics, biology, computer science, etc.


Can a camper commute to Rice University instead of staying in the dorms?

Campers are required to live on campus for the duration of the program. Staying in the dorms with the rest of their groups helps to immerse campers in the college experience.


What is the living situation like?

Campers will stay in a dorm room and have a roommate (if Rice University COVID-19 rules allow for it). Roommates will be of a similar grade level. All campers will be in the same dorm building but will be in separate wings depending on their gender. Program staff members will be available at all hours in case of emergencies.


Who will be instructing/supervising campers?

All camp instructors will be university (undergraduate and graduate) students, and many will be from Rice. All program staff members (including instructors) are CPR/first aid trained and have completed background checks and have satisfied all requirements from the Office of Risk Management.


What is the balance between instructors and campers?

In the classrooms, we typically have 20 students per instructor. In the evenings we have 10-15 campers per 1 program staff member.


Are there different schedules/programs for different grade levels?

The structure of the program is the same for all campers. Campers will be in classrooms with others of similar grade levels. Campers will engage their STEM projects at a level appropriate for their grade and prior knowledge. Feedback from the instructors will be tailored to the ability level of each camper. Our projects are designed to be interesting and challenging for all students who are rising 8th graders or older.


Do campers need to bring their own computers?

No, bringing a computer is not necessary. If required for the project, we will provide campers access to computers.


Where do the camps take place?

Tapia Camps take place on the Rice University campus in Houston, TX. Campers live in the dormitories and spend their instruction time in the buildings on campus. Any field trips that the campers take will be to locations within Houston (e.g. Space Center Houston/NASA Johnson Space Center).


Do camps provide school credit?

No, Tapia Camps do not award any credit for middle school, high school, or college credit.


Are there any scholarships/financial aid available?

The Tapia Center works with various sponsors and organizations to provide the Tapia Camp experience to all students interested in STEM. Please check our website for updates about the scholarship process.


Can a camper participate in Tapia Camps multiple times?

Yes! Please let us know during registration what year the camper participated in and which projects they have completed. Repeat campers will complete projects in different subject areas.


Do you offer any discounts?

We offer discounts to families of Rice alumni or staff. If you have any questions, email us at