2023 NYSCamp Overview

The 2023 National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp) is scheduled to be held from June 19, 2023, to July 12, 2023, with a hybrid model. The first five days are virtual and the remaining days of the camp are in-person at Camp Pocahontas in West Virginia. Two delegates per state will be selected by representatives of their governor’s office to attend the camp. Housing, meals, transportation, and supplies are provided to participants at no cost. Selected delegates must commit to attending the full camp including both the virtual and in-person portions of camp.

The deadline to submit applications is 6:00 PM EST on February 28, 2023.

To apply to the National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp), please complete an application and direct any questions to your State Selection Coordinator. International applicants, please apply by contacting your State Department Contact.

Delegates will be expected to commit to attending camp and fill out delegate paperwork by April 10, 2023, or their spot may be given to an alternate from their state or another state.

Eligibility Requirements for U.S. Applicants

  • Graduates from high school between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2024.
  • Documented superior academic proficiency, including recognition in STEAM.
  • Recognition for notable achievements in STEAM program areas.
  • Skills and achievements outside of STEAM and academia.
  • Must demonstrate a curiosity and an eagerness to explore new topics.
  • Must intend to pursue higher education and a career in a STEAM-related field.
  • Must be willing and able to participate daily for the entire duration of the NYSCamp program.
  • Must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with at least one booster before attending the in person portion of camp. Official documentation of vaccination status will be required to be submitted if selected to attend the NYSCamp.

International applicants, please check your eligibility to apply and find application instructions for eligible countries by visiting our U.S. State Department Contact page.

Application Instructions for U.S. Applicants

Florida, Georgia, and Massachusetts select delegates through their state science fairs. If you are from one of these states, please contact your state’s selection coordinator for additional information. Delegates from the remaining 47 states and Washington D.C. please follow the instructions below to prepare and submit your application for the 2023 NYSCamp.

The NYSCamp application must be submitted all at once; please have the following information ready before you begin filling out the application:
1. Your name and contact information (address, email, phone number)
2. The name(s) and contact information (address, email, phone number) of your parent(s)/guardian(s).
3. The name, address, and phone number of your high school
4. A letter of application in pdf form which includes:

  • Why you want to attend the NYSCamp
  • What you believe qualifies you to represent your state at the NYSCamp
  • How you think attending the NYSCamp will benefit you
  • Your thoughts on the social impacts of science
  • Anything else you feel would benefit your application

5. A pdf copy of your most recent resume which includes:

  • Your work and volunteer experience
  • Your leadership experience
  • Your awards and honors
  • Your extracurricular activities

6. A pdf copy of your most recent high school transcript
7. Separately list the following:

  • Your current cumulative high school GPA (weighted and unweighted if applicable)
  • The STEM, Honors, and/or AP Classes you have taken or are enrolled in
  • Your ACT, SAT, and/or PSAT scores (if applicable) including your total score and individual section scores

8. The name and email address of someone you have already asked to write you a letter of recommendation

Please submit your application here when you have prepared all the necessary application materials.

Eligibility Requirements and Application Instructions for International Applicants

In recent years the Office of Cultural and Educational Affairs at the United States Department of State has sponsored delegates from select nations in the Americas. The State Department selects these nations, and the selection coordinators choose delegates at the U.S. Embassy in each nation. Thus, each country processes applications differently. Please visit the National Youth Science Camp Application (International Applicants) page to learn more information. Reach out to your State Department contact with any questions.

We have not yet received information about which countries will be able to select delegates for the 2023 National Youth Science Camp. But applicants must:

  • If you are a resident of one of the countries selected to send delegates (TBA), then you must be 16, 17 or 18 years of age on July 1, 2023, have strong skills in spoken English, and be eligible for a J-1 Visa to enter the United States. Do not apply for a J1 Visa at this time; if selected, the U.S. Embassy in your country will provide assistance.
  • You must have documented superior academic proficiency, including recognition in mathematics or the sciences.
  • You must have documented leadership abilities and social maturity through involvement in school or community activities.
  • You must have documented skills and achievements outside the realm of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and outside the realm of academia.
  • You must demonstrate a curiosity and an eagerness to explore many and varied topics.
  • You must intend to pursue higher education and a career in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics related field.
  • You must be willing and able to participate in the entire NYSCamp program.
  • Proficiency in English is necessary, as the program is conducted in English.
  • Must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with at least one booster before attending the in person portion of camp. Official documentation of vaccination status will be required to be submitted if selected to attend the NYSCamp.

Delegate Selection

Delegates are selected by representatives appointed by the Governor of their state or by the U.S. Embassy in their nation. Most U.S. delegates will be notified of their selection by Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Selected delegates will be expected to commit to attending the full NYSCamp and fill out delegate paperwork by April 10, 2023, or their spot may be given to an alternate delegate. U.S. applicants please direct any questions about selection to your State Selection Coordinator.

If you are selected as a delegate from your state, you must confirm your attendance and fill out camp paperwork by April 1, 2023 to ensure that your spot is not given to an alternate.

Delegate Participation

Since selection to attend camp is a very competitive process with only two delegates guaranteed a spot from each state or nation, we expect NYSCamp delegates to fully participate in both the virtual and in-person portions of camp. For virtual camp days, we expect delegates to at least attend the nightly keynote lecture and evening cabin meeting activities.

We recognize that many delegates may have part time jobs and cannot easily take 3.5 weeks off for camp. The 5 days of virtual camp are designed so delegates can work, study, or take state tests during the day and still participate in evening camp activities. Within reason, the virtual portion of the NYSCamp experience is designed to allow delegates to work around these other commitments and still participate meaningfully at camp. We expect all delegates to be fully present 24/7 during the 2.5 weeks of in-person camp. The camp is located in the National Radio Quiet zone which means no there is no mobile phone service. High speed internet will be available during certain times at camp for delegates to contact home, complete college admission paperwork or register for classes, upload photos to the cloud, and complete camp feedback surveys.

Delegates will also have the opportunity, if they desire, to propose, plan, and present their own session during the final three days of camp.

Programming

A centerpiece and highlight of the NYSCamp is the keynote lecture series presented at 8PM EDT each weeknight during the virtual portion of camp and twice a day on most days of the in-person camp. These world-class lectures are presented by prestigious and up-and-coming STEM professionals who are making a difference in their fields of study and changing the world for good. Immediately after each lecture, delegates interested in learning more will have the opportunity to join the lecturer for a 30-minute interactive Q&A session.  Multiple informal evening hangouts will be offered at 9:30 PM EDT each weeknight during the virtual portion of the camp. These will be replaced by evening cabin meetings in your assigned cabins during the in-person portion of camp. Throughout the NYSCamp experience, delegates will have opportunities for delegates to engage in meaningful discussions and experiences with delegates, presenters, and staph (intentionally misspelled to connote their infectious enthusiasm).

Other programming at camp will allow delegates to delve deeper into STEM topics with experts and knowledgeable enthusiasts in multi-day mini-courses (directed studies) or interactive 60 minute seminars, take tours of facilities like the Green Bank Observatory and National Gallery of Art, learn new hobbies and skills, and engage with camp staph* in program areas that will range from practicing languages, yoga, or mindfulness, playing virtual games, discussing compelling topics, making art or music, or learning outdoor skills.

Delegates will also be able to participate in the NYSCamp outdoor program which includes camping, hiking, caving, and mountain biking.

Scheduling

To better accommodate delegates’ varied schedules and needs to work around employment, family responsibilities, and other commitments, delegates will be able to begin signing up for virtual programming (and some in-person programming) up to two weeks before camp begins. Most sessions will have no caps for enrollment, and delegates will be able to sign up for as many sessions throughout each day of camp as their personal schedules and interests will allow. Directed studies will initially have limited sign-ups to ensure that each delegate has an opportunity to participate in at least two directed studies. Lectures, cabin meetings, and other all-camp activities will automatically be added to all delegates’ daily schedules.

Technology Requirements

The camp schedule and signups will be facilitated through SCHED or a similar platform. Delegates will receive daily emails with their schedules and general camp announcements. Social interactions will be facilitated on a camp Discord server which delegates will be able to join up to two weeks prior to camp. All virtual sessions will be hosted on Zoom. Unlike many virtual conferences where the lectures and sessions are live-streamed without opportunities for participants to interact with the presenters, NYSCamp sessions will be interactive, allowing delegates to engage with speakers and presenters and ask questions.