Youth Science Institute

YSI Students in the TERC labs

Youth Science Institute (complete)

The Youth Science Institute (YSI) is a 16-week hands-on after school science exploration program open to local high school students in grades 9-11. The program runs from late January to May on Wednesday nights from 4 to 6 PM. Each week students engage in a self-guided, professionally supported investigation of a new topic in science through a 2-hour interactive lab or project.

In the Youth Science Institute, students work closely with researchers, professors, and guest presenters to dive deeper into various scientific disciplines. Students explore aerospace, aviation, chemistry, earth science, forensics, forest ecology, geoscience, lake science, medical science, physics, snow science, robotics, and more. Each YSI session aims to stimulate curiosity, nurture interest in further scientific study, promote continued engagement, and prepare students for lifelong learning. 

Program Enrollment Requirements:

  • Complete application
  • Complete personal interview
  • Enrolled in grade 9, 10 or 11
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Tuition of $300 (Scholarships available!)

Benefits include:

  • Learn new laboratory, leadership, and job skills
  • Work with scientists, researchers, and graduate students
  • Opportunity to become a paid intern
  • Acquire completed community service hours
  • Earn a certificate of completion
  • Receive a letter of recommendation

Program Documents:

For more information: 

Contact Heather Segale at (775) 881-7562,

Past YSI Participant Testimonials:

  • "It was an amazing experience! I enjoyed all the topics we explored. I learned there are a lot of science fields that are available, I would recommend this class to everyone that is interested in science, and to anyone that would like to find out more."
  • “I loved that all of the activities were hands on and I was the one doing the activities.”
  • “YSI was an amazing experience that really motivated me to excel in high school and in college.”
  • “I did not know that science could be this fun and entertaining!”
    Aeronautics challenge (l) and engineering challege (r)
    Design and testing is key to all aeronautics especially a wind propelled build challenge (left), build and program your own robot through engineering projects (right)
    Fish dissections and medical science practices
    Students dissect a sheep's eye to discover the purpose of the layers within (left), by practicing on oranges, students learn basic medical practices (right)
    On the TERC research vessel and out with Forest Ecologist Patricia Maloney
    Gain first-hand experience about collecting lake data aboard TERC's research vessel (left), discover current hazards facing trees from Forest Ecologist Patricia Maloney (right)