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PING Summer Camp Experience

Physics Inspiring the Next Generation: Exploring the Cosmos!

PING Camp 2021: June 25th – July 3rd

group photo of 2019 PING campers
Group photo of 2019 PING campers rockin’ their tie-dye. Photo by SA Heatherly.

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-and 9th-graders (rising 9th- and 10th-graders), who are interested in science, engineering and math, and a fun, and challenging experience on location at Green Bank Observatory.  While we are especially interested in recruiting youth from under-represented groups, all current 8th and 9th graders are encouraged to apply.

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. While in residence, 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 swimming, hiking, making and dancing– who knows? All activities take place on the Green Bank Observatory campus under the supervision of staff, who include outstanding teachers and STEM undergraduate students.

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

Application Information:

Interested Middle School students must submit an online application AND all required camp forms by Friday, April 30th, 2021. 22 spots available!
Link to 2021 Application Form
Link to required camp forms (must accompany application)

General Program Information:

  • Approximately 22 current 8th and 9th graders (rising 9th- and 10th-graders) will be selected to participate in the 9 day long summer program.
  • Transportation will be provided from the Baltimore-D.C. Metro area and Charlottesville, Virginia (a designated meeting location will be provided).
  • The program is fully funded, so there is no cost to students (except transportation to/from home to pick-up locations in D.C. and Virginia, or to travel directly to Green Bank if parents so choose).

About the Green Bank Facilities:

  • PING students will live in a modern bunkhouse on the safe and secure Green Bank Observatory Campus (https://greenbankobservatory.org/green-bank-bunkhouse/). Note that PING summer students will not be charged the nightly fee; housing is included in the program.
  • Students will be chaperoned by undergraduate students selected for the program who are majoring in Science/Engineering fields, have experience in working with youth, and who have passed a background check. Most 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 as well.
  • Parents and others who have questions about the PING Camp program, can contact Sophie Saint Georges, Camp Coordinator, at sdesaint@nrao.edu