GREEN BANK, WV (WVNS) – Green Bank Observatory’ is hosting’s PING 2023 STEM camp is open to application for 8th-grade students who are aspiring scientists, and space is limited.

The 2023 PING camp will be hosted at the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia from July 17, to July 29, 2023.

Group photo of 2022 PING campers rockin’ their tie-dye on a far too sunny day. Photo by Sophie Saint Georges.

PING (Physics Inspiring the Next Generation) is a STEM focused summer camp program that increases the diversity of the next generation of scientists, engineers, and technologists. The program 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. Both Green Bank Observatory and the National Science Foundation began the PING program as a way to introduce underrepresented minorities to science and engineering. Even with this background, PING’s goal is to be inclusive to all aspiring scientists.

Students will be immersed in the research activities of the Green Bank Observatory during their time. They 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. Whole group seminars will include games, hiking, making, dancing and potentially even more. 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.

Interested 8th grade students must submit an online application AND all required camp forms by Monday, May 23rd, 2023.

More general information about the program is as follows:

  • Approximately 25 current 8th graders (rising 9th-graders) will be selected to participate in the 12 day long 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.
  • Guardians who have questions about the PING Camp program, can contact Sophie Saint Georges, Camp Coordinator, at ude.oarn@tniaseds

The application form can be seen here: