PING Summer Camp

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The PING: Investigating the Cosmos Summer Camp experience

Current 8th graders (rising 9th-graders) will be on location in Green Bank, WV, at NRAO'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 NRAO 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, fun whole group activities like swimming, hiking, and biking take place on the NRAO campus under the supervision of staff.

Application Deadline:

General Program Information:

  • Approximately 20 current 8th graders (rising 9th-graders) will be selected to participate in the two-week summer program
  • Transportation will be provided from the Baltimore-DC 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 from home to pick-up locations in DC and Virginia)


About the Green Bank Facilities:

  • PING students will live in a modern bunkhouse on the safe and secure Green Bank Observatory Campus ( 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 NRAO staff are licensed EMTs as well.
  • Parents and others who have questions about the PING Camp program, can contact Sue Ann Heatherly, Camp Director, at