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Young Nebraska Scientists Summer Camps for Middle School Students

Being a scientist, or at least thinking and acting like one, isn't rocket science. Well…sometimes it is rocket science, but that doesn't mean that you can't experience science in the way scientists do!

  • Are you a current 7th or 8th grade student as of spring 2014?
  • Are you interested in learning about the world around you, how and why things work, and how science impacts our lives?
  • Do you want to learn what it is like to actually do science, all while having fun with other students your age?

If you answered YES! to all then this camp is designed to benefit YOU!

  • You will be a part of creating a new community of students of science, learn what science is all about, and actually do science.
  • You will also interact with scientists, visit labs, take field-trips, and attend recreational activities.
  • Your week-long experience culminates in a team-oriented poster presentation allowing you to demonstrate what you have learned and accomplished to your peers, parents, and University faculty, staff, and students.
 
Algae Search Algae and Biofuels

When = June 15 - 21 (1 Week)
Where = Doane College, Crete, NE

The "Going Green! Algae for Biofuels" is a one-week camp that will introduce students to today's energy challenges and how algae biofuels could play an important role in developing sustainable energy resources. Participants will learn the basics of biofuels and algal biology. We will be making field collections of algae as well as extracting and burning methane produced in ponds. Students will set up growth experiments while they investigate the requirements for optimal growth. In addition, students will identify algae visually and through DNA analysis. Throughout the camp, students will be actively engaged in the learning process, using critical thinking skills to address and solve problems. This camp will be hosted by the lab of Dr. Brad Elder at Doane College, who has established a small algal biology research group at Doane that develops algal research experiences for middle and high school students and teachers. Doane is a nationally recognized college in Crete, Nebraska offering undergraduate and graduate programs. Students participating in this event will enjoy 300-acres of lush grounds, ponds, winding paths, historical buildings and new facilities. Admire the swans at Doane Lake (from a distance because they can be a little moody) and experience the beautiful campus and vibrancy of student life.

Nano Class Nano: The Science of Small

When = July 13 - 19 (1 Week)
Where = Creighton University, Omaha, NE

Nanomaterials, nanotechnology, nanohybrids - what's the big deal about nano? Get answers at the Young Nebraska Scientist Camp, Nano: The Science of Small. Research at a nano level is done in many areas including physics, chemistry, material sciences, engineering, biology, and medicine. Nanoscientists study and make new applications that improve computers, medical treatments, energy efficiency and more. You will participate in a variety of activities that will reveal the special and unexpected properties found at the nanoscale and the promise that nanoscience holds for transforming our daily lives.

LEARN... that size does matter! The importance of an object's size is most significantly depending on interaction of its surfaces with the surrounding environment. At the nanoscale, these interactions are very different.

EXPLORE... dimensions (or size of objects) that are very different from our ordinary experience, with examples in the range of 109 meters to 0.000000001 meters (or one nanometer)!

INVESTIGATE... how and why surface area to volume ratio (SA/V) changes dramatically in the nanometer scale. Construct objects of different sizes and shapes and apply your knowledge to design an "exploding" liquid geyser.

Camp Info & FAQs

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Eligibility = 7th & 8th graders (in Spring 2014) enrolled in a NE School!

Applicants must be enrolled as a current 7th or 8th grader as of spring 2013 in a Nebraska school. Interested students and parents should complete the on-line application form, including an essay, and request a science teacher recommendation to be completed by the deadline. Space is limited so applicants are encouraged to submit completed materials as early as possible. Complete applications will be reviewed and invitations extended via email and mail on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Instructions and the on-line application can be found on the FORMS page. Applications are available for 2014 and the deadline is Monday, April 28th.

What is the Cost?

Cost = $200 - $250

Camp Fee YNS summer camps are fee based programs primarily supported by Nebraska EPSCoR funds. The fee for a residential campers is $250. The fee for a commuter camper is $200. Fees go toward room and board, lab costs, activity fees, field trip transportation, and program materials. Students' personal spending money and transportation to and from the camp location are the responsibility of the students' families.

A $50 non-refundable deposit will be due after receiving notification of acceptance. The remainder of the camp fee will be due prior to camp. More details will be provided in notification of acceptance.

Is there Financial Aid?

Financial Aid = Scholarship

Fees for a number of participants will be funded by Nebraska EPSCoR through scholarships. The purpose of these scholarships is to promote participation of students traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, especially those with financial need. We encourage you to complete the on-line camp application and scholarhip application as early as possible. You will be notified as soon as possible as to the outcome. Scholarship recipients will be required to submit a $25 non-refundable deposit prior to camp. Details will be provided upon notification of award of a scholarship.

The scholarship application can be found on the FORMS page.

Where will I stay?

Lodging = University Residence Halls

Nebraska college campuses host YNS Middle School Summer Camps on an rotating basis. Participants and residential staff live and dine in University Residence Halls on the host campus. Students invited to attend will be mailed more detailed information on what they will need to bring with them for their stay during the program.

Commuting = Eight spaces will be available in each camp for commuter participants. Commuter participants will be provided with a drop-off and pick-up schedule prior to camp.

Who will be Supervising?

Supervision = Experienced Staff

Students are well cared for during their YNS experience. The Nebraska EPSCoR Outreach Coordinator and a team of residential counselors, university faculty and graduate students, teachers, and diverse, community chaperones work together to provide an academically stimulating, enjoyable, and safe week for each student. Activities are led by teams of experienced science teachers, teachers in training, and University faculty and graduate students.

Young Nebraska Scientists Summer Camps for High School Students

Three camps offered for high school students will introduce participants to the world of field biologists at the Cedar Point Biological Station in Ogalla, engineers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and plant biologists at Doane College in Crete.

Being a scientist, or at least thinking and acting like one isn't rocket science. Well…sometimes it is rocket science, but that doesn't mean that you can't experience science in the way scientists do!

  • Are you a current 9th,10th,11th or 12th grade student as of spring 2014?
  • Are you interested in learning about the world around you, how and why things work, and how science impacts our lives?
  • Do you want to learn what it is like to actually do science, all while having fun with other students your age?

If you answered YES! to all then this camp is designed to benefit YOU!

  • You will be a part of creating a new community of students of science, learn what science is all about, actually do science, and see what exciting career options are available in the sciences.
  • You will also interact with scientists, visit labs, take field-trips, and attend recreational activities.
  • Your week-long or 3-day experience culminates in a team-oriented poster presentation allowing you to demonstrate what you have learned and accomplished to your peers, parents, and University faculty, staff, and students.
Biodiversity Biodiversity: Field Science at the Cedar Point Biological Station

When = June 8 -14 (1 week)
Where = Cedar Point Biological Station, Ogallala

Cedar Point Biological Station (CPBS) is the University of Nebraska teaching and research field facility in western Nebraska, 10 miles north of the town of Ogallala. It is located at the west end of Lake McConaughy, a 25 mile long man-made lake. The field station is in the heart of the western high plains near the juncture of tall grass and short grass prairie and on the southern edge of the Sandhills. There are a large variety of habitats close to the station that are home to a diverse assemblage of plant and animal species. CPBS has comfortable housing and dining facilities, an air conditioned library and two classrooms. More detailed information about CPBS can be obtained from the station's web site: cedarpoint.unl.edu.

The high school students attending the week-long Young Nebraska Scientist Program at CPBS will have the unique opportunity to work with some of the best instructors and researchers on the faculty of the UNL School of Biological Sciences. The students will explore the biodiversity of local habitats, both terrestrial and aquatic, and be exposed to a variety of research techniques used in field biology.

Nano Light in the Nano World

When = June 15 - 18 (3 days)
Where = University of Nebraska Lincoln

Participants in this 3-day camp will learn how lasers and optics work and impact our lives. Participants will learn the basic operational principles of lasers, fundamental properties of light, and the important roles they play in our daily life from sunglasses, LCD monitors, 3-D movies, to internet data transmission. Through hands-on activities, we will explore the wave nature of light, including interference, polarization, transmission and reflection. The students will also set up an optical communication link to transmit music from their music players to a remote speaker using laser beams. Throughout the camp, students will be actively engaged in the learning process, using critical thinking skills to address and solve problems. This camp will be jointly hosted by Dr. Ming Han, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Natale Ianno, Milton E. Mohr Professor, both in the Department of Electrical Engineering at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). UNL, founded 144 years ago, is now a major educational institution known worldwide for quality of research and teaching. More than 20,000 undergraduates and more than 5,000 graduates study at UNL each year. The Lincoln campus includes both a City Campus and an East Campus; the camp will be held mainly in Walther Scott and Othmer Halls on the City Campus.

Biodiversity Going Green! Algae for Biofuels

When = June 22 - 25 (3 days)
Where = Doane College, Crete, NE

The "Going Green! Algae for Biofuels" is a 3-day camp that will introduce students to today's energy challenges and how algae biofuels could play an important role in developing sustainable energy resources. Participants will learn the basics of biofuels and algal biology. We will be making field collections of algae as well as extracting and burning methane produced in ponds. Students will set up growth experiments while they investigate the requirements for optimal growth. In addition, students will identify algae visually and through DNA analysis. Throughout the camp, students will be actively engaged in the learning process, using critical thinking skills to address and solve problems. This camp will be hosted by the lab of Dr. Brad Elder at Doane College, who has established a small algal biology research group at Doane that develops algal research experiences for middle and high school students and teachers. Doane is a nationally recognized college in Crete, Nebraska offering undergraduate and graduate programs. Students participating in this event will enjoy 300-acres of lush grounds, ponds, winding paths, historical buildings and new facilities. Admire the swans at Doane Lake (from a distance because they can be a little moody) and experience the beautiful campus and vibrancy of student life.

Camp Info & FAQs

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Eligibility = 10th and 11th graders.

Interested students and parents should complete the on-line application form, including an essay, and request a science teacher recommendation to be completed by the deadline. Space is limited so applicants are encouraged to submit completed materials as early as possible. Complete applications will be reviewed and invitations extended via email and mail on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Instructions and the on-line application can be found on the FORMS page. Applications are due Monday, April 28th.

What is the Cost?

Cost = 1-week camp has a $200 - $250 Camp Fee
          The 3-day camp has a $100 - $150 Camp Fee.

More details will be announced.

YNS summer camps are fee based programs primarily supported by Nebraska EPSCoR funds. We are setting aside 8 spots for commuter campers.

Fees go toward room and board, lab costs, activity fees, field trip transportation and program materials. Students' personal spending money and transportation to and from the camp location are the responsibility of the students' families.

A $50 non-refundable deposit will be due after receiving notification of acceptance. The remainder of the camp fee will be due prior to camp. More details will be provided in notification of acceptance.

Is there Financial Aid?

Financial Aid = Scholarship

Fees for a number of participants will be funded by Nebraska EPSCoR through scholarships. The purpose of these scholarships is to promote participation of students traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, especially those with financial need. We encourage you to complete the on-line camp application and scholarship application as early as possible. You will be notified as soon as possible as to the outcome. Scholarship recipients will be required to submit a $25 non-refundable deposit prior to camp. Details will be provided upon notification of award of a scholarship.

The financial aid application can be found on the FORMS page.

Where will I stay?

Lodging = University Residence Halls

Nebraska college campuses host YNS High School Level Summer Camps on an alternating basis. Participants and residential staff live and dine in University Residence Halls on the host campus. Students invited to attend will be mailed more detailed information on what they will need to bring with them for their stay during the program.

Communting = Eight spaces will be available in each camp for commuter participants. Commuter participants will be provided with a drop-off and pick-up schedule prior to camp.

Who will be Supervising?

Supervision = Experienced Staff

Students are well cared for during their YNS experience. The Nebraska EPSCoR Outreach Coordinator and a team of residential counselors (8:1 ratio maximum), university faculty and graduate students, teachers, and diverse, community chaperones work together to provide an academically stimulating, enjoyable, and safe week for each student. Activities are led by teams of experienced science teachers, teachers in training, and University faculty and graduate students.