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Summer Science Program

Rating: 4.97 stars   137 reviews 13,857


108 Whiteberry Dr Cary NC 27519 USA


SSP’s mission is to inspire exceptionally talented and motivated high school students to accelerate their intellectual and social development. Our college-level, residential program immerses students in a challenging science curriculum with team-based, hands-on research to solve a central scientific problem. Since 1959, we have created a cultural environment of excellence, collaboration, and creativity, and we push our students beyond anything they have previously experienced. We measure our performance by the number of alumni who look back at SSP as a formative experience and support the program for future generations.



Target demographics:

High school juniors, gifted & talented in math & science.

Direct beneficiaries per year:


Geographic areas served:



Two campuses: at Univ. of Colorado Boulder, and New Mexico Tech in Socorro

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Summer Science Program

Rating: 1 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

There are two aspects to this program that need to be addressed. First is the academic experience. With regard to all the educational experiences, from the lectures to the astronomical research, the teaching was superb. I learned so much from this program, and it was SSP that really made astronomy interesting to me.

However, I think in an academic setting, the faculty should be supportive of students and the community as a whole. As a student, I was the target of homophobia from faculty members on site. I really didn't expect it, and during my stay in the program, I never even suspected. I thought as professional adults, the site director and teaching assistants and the executive director would be more rational and politically correct, but it was only after I was dismissed for arbitrary reasons I found their true intentions. My friends from the camp later told me that the site director asked them whether I had made an homosexual advances on them, which I believe is quite inappropriate. I was dismissed from the program without proper due process, and was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior when nothing of the sort occurred. In an official letter of my dismissal, I was not informed of the specific violations of the rules, but rather told that I was dismissed for "finding loopholes." I understand that the rules have been revised for the coming year to make rules less ambiguous to nullify my case, but if this wasn't the epitome of unprofessional behavior on the part of the SSP Board of Trustees, I don't know what is.

Honestly, I made some of the best friends at this camp, learned so much both about life and astronomy, but this complete disregard for ethics really made SSP a rather traumatizing experience.

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(Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

Without going into details of this particular student's experience, the management of SSP disputes several specifics of the account here. We welcome students regardless of sexual orientation, and strive for high standards of ethics and professionalism. We are always reluctant to dismiss a student, but sometimes find it necessary to do so.

Rating: 5 stars  

A truly one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that would only be possible with generation financial support. I discovered the world of research, met some of my best friends, and became much more prepared for college and beyond.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

SSP is a focused, goal-driven oriented research program. It offers the experience to conduct research on the immediate knowledge from new lectures and concepts. It is by far the most meaningful and most intensive of all the summer programs my daughter has attended. I see the benefits from different dimensions in research, in learning, and in networking,
Many thanks to SSP, faculty, volunteers, and sponsors to make this wonderful program possible for our children.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter learned so much from her experience at SSP; this is a fantastic program! I think it has and will enrich her pursuit in academics, and overall a wonderful way to get more involved in science and mathematics.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My Daughter has attended many summer camps program since middle school, but she said SSP is the best summer camp she ever had. The program is rigorous and busy, but she enjoyed it so much and loved it.
She not only benefits from learning through the wonderful academic activities, she also benefits from other social activities, like hiking, exercising and making so many friends from all over the states and the world.
It is clear to me that SSP was very useful for my daughter, it is something she will remember forever. I would like to thank you for this very special and worthwhile program.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My daughter finished her SSP this summer. She said that she had the most fun in a very long time during the five and half weeks. She obviously learned a lot knowledge as well. By spending time with professors, TAs and her friends, she developed critical thinking, learned problem-solving skills etc. I highly recommended SSP to every smart young people out there.

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Rating: 5 stars  

SSP excels at fostering independence with community and a love for learning. In addition, participants make valuable college connections with admissions representatives. I commend and highly recommend this rigorous program of study.

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Role: Client Served
Rating: 5 stars  

SSP is amazing! After spending the summer charting near earth asteroids our son has recharted his life direction. Thank you from our family!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our son was lucky enough to get to go to SSP. He learned a lot about himself and science! It's an amazing program for students on the cusp of adulthood - it helps them discover their potential.

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Rating: 5 stars  

For those that wish to contribute to the wealth of human knowledge in their life, to work hard, to the best of their abilities, to see how demanding and worthwhile the world of science is, this program realizes that dream.

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