Summer Science Program

Rating: 4.97 stars   137 reviews

Address:

Cary NC 27519 USA

Mission:

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.

Results:

Life-changing!

Target demographics:

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

Direct beneficiaries per year:

72

Geographic areas served:

worldwide

Programs:

Two campuses: at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, and New Mexico Tech in Socorro

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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http://www.summerscience.org/

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Reviews for Summer Science Program

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Summer Science Program, Socorro, NM 2010. I determined the orbit of an asteroid and spent my nights programming using vPython. Wait, it gets worse. Damn place was full of baby rattlesnakes and spiders, freak weather, terrible food... and spherical trigonometry. And I hung out with the most mature, creative, and smart high schoolers I'd ever seen. It wasn't really about the math or the science. It was about knowing that you could do something crazy like determine the orbit of an asteroid without even knowing calculus by dint of sheer hard work and ingenuity, and know that you had a crew of 35+ other people in the same boat, helping you every step of the way. I've never bonded with a group of people like that - first time in my life I felt a sense of community. If I could go back in time and do it again, I would hit the repeat button, creating an infinite loop.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

SSP is the best summer of my life thus far; it really was a pivotal point in my life. In the summer of 2011, after my junior year of high school, my passion for physics/astronomy and a google search brought me to the Summer Science Program in Socorro NM for five weeks of astronomy, physics, and computer programing with thirty-five fellow nerds from around the world, culminating in a final project (tracking and calculating the orbit of a near-earth asteroid and submitting the data to JPL) and lifelong friendships. I have raved about this experience in college essays, research applications, and letters to friends because SSP furthered my understanding and love of physics and helped me decide that the area i want to pursue in my studies is theoretical astrophysics. It also provided a curriculum that challenged me to reach my full potential with intellectual room to stretch my wings and no longer bump my head against the ceiling; in fact; under the stars there is no ceiling in sight. As wonderful and enriching as the academic experience is, our studies are really more of an excuse to gather a diverse group of intelligent, passionate, and fascinating individuals who each bring so much to the collective experience, sharing knowledge, skills, philosophies, and peanut M&M's. SSP provided the community I had been searching for my whole life; a peer group who shared my passion for scientific exploration, where I was not the only person to exclaim, "Math is BEAUTIFUL!" and quantum tunneling can become an inside joke! We sang, danced, played ninja, napped, stargazed, taught, learned, and laughed....The energy, collaboration, and bonding are without compare. I lived an entire life in those five weeks, learning so much, and sharing so many experiences; I will always cherish these memories and encourage others to participate.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

When I was a junior in high school I was selected to spend the summer at the summer science program in Socorro, New Mexico. I come from a fairly poor family and had never attended a summer program before (in fact, I had had to decline another prestigious summer program because of costs-- they gave me a half scholarship but that was not nearly enough). SSP gave me a scholarship that made it possible for me to attend-- I only had to pay my airfare.

The experience changed my life. I credit it with getting me into MIT, and more importantly with preparing me to learn at MIT. It also gave me a lot of good, brilliant friends around the world. Through alumni connections SSP also continues to give me opportunities for internships and scholarships and other enrichments.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I attended SSP in the late 2000s, and to this day it remains on of the most positive and formative experiences in my life. I am constantly running into other SSPers -- even those from other classes! I can confidently say that SSP changed the trajectory of my studies (and perhaps life?).

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

SSP is an incredible summer program that offers high school students the opportunity to see what the modern fields of astronomy, physics, and technology are all about. It offers a hands-on learning experience combined with access to some of the greatest minds in the world. For me personally, I have met amazing friends in the program and have gotten the chance to see the world through a new pair of lenses (both figuratively and realistically speaking). To put into perspective what this program means to me, SSP is a program that I will always take the time to give back to.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I attended SSP in the late 1990's and it was the best summer I spent in high school. There's definitely something to be said about spending a summer with academically like-minded students from all over the world - it's both confidence-inspiring and humbling at the same time. The curriculum is challenging, and like college each student comes in with a mixed background. I had experience with calculus, physics, and computer science but no knowledge in astronomy, and the fellow students and TA's helped to fill the gaps I didn't pick up in lecture. The curriculum also has a goal - to apply what we learn to an actual project - tracking an asteroid! Day to day student life is well-balanced between lectures and guest speakers while still giving students plenty of autonomy. The field trips are meaningful - One of ours was going to Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and looking through the bay door window at the Deep Space One spacecraft mere months before it was launched into space. I truly feel my experience at SSP gave me the confidence to get into and be successful at MIT. SSP has a large community of supportive alumni; I don't think I could have attended without SSP's need-based financial aid - so thank you SSP and SSP alumni.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

SSP is a program with history, known to inspire and enlighten. The students here are so brilliant and diverse. My participation in this program helped me decide my future. And here I am now--but of all the things I have done with my life, SSP will always be #1.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This program utterly changed my life, such that I can no longer recognize the person I was before it. 5.5 weeks in the atmosphere SSP creates helped me to realize my career goals, see just how far I could push myself, and gave me the social experience of a lifetime. Having never interacted with people just as passionate as I am, it was truly a breath of fresh air, and something I've been trying desperately to emulate since the program. It was truly monumental.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I'm still amazed by how many doors SSP opened for me in terms of my personal and academic goals. I met my best friend at SSP. I fell in love with science, discovery, and meaning at SSP. It was the summer of a lifetime, and I can't imagine where I would be without the experience.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Role: Client Served
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Without a doubt, The Summer Science Program changed the trajectory of my life and career -- on multiple occasions.
As a student, I found the program enlightening and eye-opening. Not only did I learn an incredible amount about astronomy, math, and physics, but I found a group of peers who viewed and engaged in the process of learning in ways similar to myself. The academics of the program are vital to its appeal, but, as any attendee will attest, it is the camaraderie and friendships forged over the course of the program that truly change people's lives.
I returned to SSP as a teaching assistant on multiple occasions. Older and wiser, I didn't expect the program to be life-changing again -- but I was wrong. There is something about this program that irreversibly touches everyone it reaches. It is something that cannot be duplicated or imitated. It is a transformative experience for those lucky enough to be involved.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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