PING Summer Camp Experience

Physics Inspiring the Next Generation: Exploring the Cosmos!

PING Camp 2024: July 22nd – August 3rd

Group photo of 2023 PING campers front of the Jansky Lab.

PING is a STEMtastic summer camp program that actively seeks to increase the diversity of the next generation of scientists, engineers, and technologists.  We are seeking current 8th-graders (rising 9th-graders), who are interested in science, engineering, math, and a fun and challenging camp experience.  We are especially interested in recruiting youth from historically excluded and under-represented groups in STEM majors and careers.

Green Bank Observatory is home to the National Science Foundation’s world famous Green Bank Telescope. Students will be immersed in the research activities of this national research center. Students will work in small teams supported by an undergraduate student mentor and an Observatory staff scientist (astronomer, physicist, engineer, etc.) to conduct research by observing the universe with a 40-foot diameter radio telescope. Supplemental educational activities, including bench experiences building electronic circuits, and coding activities complement the primary research theme. In addition, there is plenty of non-science fun to be had! Whole group seminars can include games, hiking, making, dancing– who knows?! Teachers, Observatory staff, and STEM undergraduate mentors lead these talent-share seminars and teach students about new hobbies and influence an environment where hard work and fun are balanced.

Space is limited! Please submit all of your application materials by our deadline!

Interested 8th grade students must submit an online application AND all required camp forms by Monday, May 27th, 2024.

Application: Complete the application on Survey Monkey or use the QR code to complete it on the device of your choice.

Apply today!

Link to 2024 Application Form
Link to required camp forms (must accompany application)

General Program Information:

  • Approximately 25 current 8th graders (rising 9th-graders) will be selected to participate in this residential summer program.
  • Transportation will be provided from the Baltimore-D.C. Metro areas and Charlottesville, VA (a designated meeting location will be provided to accepted campers).
  • All project supplies are provided.
  • Except for transportation to/from home to pick-up locations in D.C. and Virginia or directly to Green Bank, the program is fully funded.
  • Students will be chaperoned by Observatory staff and undergraduate students selected for our summer research program and PING Camp. These students are majoring in Science/Engineering fields, have experience in working with youth, and who have passed a background check.
  • Students will work in teams to complete research projects using radio telescopes, mentored by education and scientific staff and undergraduate students completing their own research at GBO.

About GBO Facilities:

  • PING students will live in a bunkhouse on the safe and secure Green Bank Observatory Campus. Note that campers will not be charged the nightly fee.
  • Meals will be served in the adjacent Observatory cafeteria. Individual dietary needs can be met.
  • Should it be necessary, medical/dental facilities are located at the Deer Creek Clinic just across the street from the campus, and several of the GBO staff are licensed EMTs.