In 2021, for only the second time in its 60-year history, the National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp), a leading international summer program for high-achieving STEM students, went completely virtual. The camp brings together students from around the world with lecturers and presenters from leading research universities and institutions.
The camp needed a robust solution to view and update dozens of unique, changing schedules for student delegates, lecturers, and camp staph (intentionally misspelled to denote staff’s infectious curiosity!). After researching and testing multiple platforms, the NYSCamp chose Sched’s event management software, which seamlessly replaced a calendar application, a scheduling, and reminder software tool, and a camp program webpage that had all been utilized to host the previous 2020 virtual NYSCamp. The upgrade to Schedsaved countless hours that had previously been spent monitoring and synching information in three separate applications and provided significantly more functionality and versatility than the previously utilized software tools combined.
During the camp, 130 delegates from 40 states and 12 countries came together to learn about STEM topics ranging from astronomy to electric vehicles to neuroscience. In 3.5 weeks the NYSCamp offered over 300 interactive sessions from over 100 lecturers and presenters.
Using Sched, the NYSCamp was able to:
- Create and maintain detailed profiles and schedules for delegates, staph, and presenters
- Provide an aesthetically pleasing display of featured lecturers and other presenters
- Create a functional event calendar that was embedded in the NYSCamp website and synched with each participant’s individual calendar applications
- Allow delegates to register for specific events and seminars directly from the Sched event calendar
- Limit registration for some events and maintain functional waitlists
- Manage multiple concurrent sessions of activities spread across 8 Zoom channels
- Schedule on-call time for staph
- Send automated, daily emails to all participants with their customized schedules
Through Sched, all delegates received a daily email with a custom message from the camp’s staph and their schedule for the day (complete with links to each session’s Zoom meeting). Although the camp sent separate emails to seminar presenters with an external email system, Sched made it easy to export presenters’ emails and schedules.
Throughout the day, delegates could use the Zoom links in their daily emails or on the Sched page to join their sessions. Sched also provided delegates an option to synchronize their camp schedule with their personal calendar system, which many found useful because it allowed them to see their schedule without going to an external site and join each meeting with one click.
In the evenings, delegates would meet for a lecture and then go to their “homeroom” cabins for engaging activities and opportunities to reflect. During this time, staph would occasionally make updates to the schedule, revealing surprise sessions or adding new session offerings. Sched made it easy to make these updates in a centralized way. Once they were made on the Sched backend, they were automatically reflected in daily emails and individual participants’ calendar applications, and on Scheds’s website.
Sched’s support center was thorough, and, when that wasn’t enough, their customer service was responsive and helpful. The NYSCamp wholeheartedly recommends Sched and invites readers to check out their Sched site at NYSCamp2021.sched.com.
This post is in partnership with Sched. Sched donated the use of their software for free for the duration of the National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp), part of this agreement included a statement on the usefulness of Sched at the 2021 NYSCamp.