Hosted in Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia since 1963, the National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp) is a residential science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program designed to honor and challenge some of the nation’s rising leaders and provide them with opportunities to engage with STEM professionals and participate in exciting outdoor activities. Typically, two delegates are selected to attend camp from each state and the District of Columbia. In partnership with the U.S. State Department, we also host international delegates. Past countries represented include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago. Housing, meals, transportation, and supplies are provided to participants at no cost.

2021 NYSCamp Announcement:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 NYSCamp will be an entirely virtual experience which will include world-class lectures, directed studies, and seminars with prestigious and up and coming STEM professionals who are making a difference in their fields of study and changing the world for good. For more information about the 2021 Virtual NYSCamp click here

NYSCamp Programming

NYSCamp delegates are encouraged to live in the moment rather than constantly focusing on what comes next. This philosophy permits the staph* to plan numerous special events that surprise the participants and encourages the delegates to give undistracted attention to programming. The NYSCamp does not, therefore, publish detailed program calendars. We do, however, focus on six main program areas.

A centerpiece and highlight of camp is the lecture series. Each day delegates participate in two word-class lectures given by STEM experts on a wide range of innovative and relevant topics. Speakers are selected from among prestigious and up and coming STEM professionals who are making a difference in their fields of study and changing the world for good. 

Directed studies provide opportunities to delve deeper into a topic with an expert. They are designed as mini courses. One of the keystones of directed studies is small facilitator to delegate ratio, which allows for deeper learning, discussions, conversations, and mentorship. 

We also hire dedicated staph* for our STEM programming in physical, natural, and computer sciences.

For a bit more fun, seminars are are informal interactive experiences with someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about a topic. Past seminars have included juggling, cooking, practicing a language, and playing Ultimate Frisbee on the green.

The mountains of West Virginia are a perfect location for our outdoor adventure program. Guided by experienced outdoor staph*, delegates have ample opportunities to hike, backpack, rock climb, and go caving, kayaking or biking during camp. All delegates also participate in overnighters with various levels of physical challenge.

While NYSCamp provides many opportunities for delegates to engage with STEM topics, we also have a robust arts program. Staph* provide delegates many opportunities to learn techniques and create in multiple art mediums and join performing arts ensembles.

NYSCamp Goals

  • Inspire lifelong engagement and ethical leadership in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and related fields among delegates, who possess recognized high potential for follow-through and success.
  • Provide engaged learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and related professions that extend and enhance the traditional K-12 school curriculum.
  • Develop a robust network among delegates, members of the program staph*, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professionals reinforced through community and shared experiences.
  • Encourage participants to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and related professions through an increased awareness and understanding of current education, research, and career opportunities.
  • Create a safe environment for expanding delegates’ comfort zones with scientific and cultural aspects of the natural world through outdoor adventure activities.

NYSCamp Impact

  • More than 99% of NYSCamp alumni receive at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • More than 50% of NYSCamp alumni receive a doctorate.
  • More than 85% of NYSCamp alumni are working in a STEM field.
  • Nearly 60% of NYSCamp alumni report that the NYSCamp had an influence on their career choice.

Past NYSCamp Presenters

Throughout NYSCamp history many notable STEM professionals have presented at camp. These include TV personality and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Nobel Prize winner John Nash, subject of the film “A Beautiful Mind,” Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, General Chuck Yeager, the first man to go faster than the speed of sound, Marissa Mayer, former president and CEO of Yahoo!, Julie Robinson, former Chief Scientist of NASA’s ISS program, Dave Troy, TED Speaker and CEO of 410 Labs, and David Hackleman, inventor of the ink for HP’s inkjet printer. Learn more about our rich history at NYSCamp here.

General Yeager, 1965
Neil Armstrong, 1964

Prominent NYSCamp Alumni

Since 1963, the National Youth Science Camp has been held in West Virginia as a service to the nation. Over this half-century, five thousand ambitious, young, innovative students have spent their summer between high school and college in the mountains of West Virginia. Notable alumni, in current or previous positions, include:


Additional NYSCamp Information

For answers to frequently asked questions please see our NYSCamp FAQ.
Learn more about the 2021 Virtual NYSCamp here.
Learn more about NYSCamp history here.
Apply to attend NYSCamp at apply.nyscamp.org
Learn more about applying to be on staph* at staph.nyscamp.org
Learn more about applying to present at NYSCamp here.
Find updated contact information for our state and international selection coordinators here.

* Not misspelled; this is a traditional NYSCamp spelling to highlight their infectious enthusiasm