Summer Programs
Astronomy CampObservatory at night
July 20-24, 2014

Sorry, this program is full. We are no longer accepting applications for 2014. Please check back next year!

The Program
This co-ed, overnight summer camp is designed for students entering grades 10-12 who love astronomy and want to spend time learning more about this fascinating subject with other students who share their passion. Check out comments from some past campers.

When not in class, students enjoy planned activities on campus as well as free time for relaxation. Living, dining and learning together, students have ample opportunity to get to know each other well and develop lasting friendships. The emphasis is on having fun and enjoying our beautiful natural surroundings while learning!

With our dynamic, engaging, talented and caring faculty; terrific facilities; and lovely campus, the Alfred University Astronomy Camp could make this your best summer ever!

The Faculty
This popular program is directed and taught by the Alfred University Physics and Astronomy faculty, all recognized experts in their fields. Current research interests of the faculty include variable stars, asteroid measurements, the study of solar activity, computational physics and fluid dynamics.

Facilities
The program is conducted in the AU Science Center and at the Stull Observatory on the Alfred University Campus. This facility has been judged to be one of the best teaching observatories in the country, and is equipped with telescopes ranging from 8 to 32 inches in diameter as well as electronic detectors and support computers.

The number of campers is kept small to allow for individualized attention and optimal use of the observatory's telescopes and other equipment. Attendance ranges from 20-25 each year.

students inside the observatoryContent
Students enjoy a mix of night and daytime activities involving extensive use of the observatory's telescopes and electronics. Camp sessions will cover topics such as:

  • Astronomical Basics - Sky motions, telescope construction and use, electronic imaging
  • Variable Star Photometry - measurements of fluctuations in brightness of stars undergoing violent processes
  • Asteroid Astrometry and Photometry - Measurement of the positions and motions of asteroids, including those which pass close to the Earth
  • Astronomical Imaging of Nebulae, Clusters and Galaxies
  • Observation and Analysis of Solar Activity
  • Imaging and Lunar/Solar System Studies
  • Lunar and Planetary Science
  • Asteroids
  • Solar Flares
  • Stellar Evolution
  • CCD Imaging
  • Galactic Structure
  • Special Relativity
  • Black Holes
  • Cosmology
  • Spectroscopy

Schedule
Campers must arrive between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. on Sunday for registration and will leave after lunch on Thursday. During the week they will attend classes during the day and have lots of fun participating in planned recreational activities on and off campus each evening. View a sample weekly schedule.

Examples of Evening Activities:
  • Ice-breaker games on the first day to help everyone get acquainted
  • Movies in AU's Nevins Theater
  • Visits to a nearby lake for picnics and campfires
  • Outdoor games such as "Capture the Flag" and "Ultimate Frisbee"
  • Indoor games such as "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," ping pong, board games, basketball, etc.
  • Social gatherings with refreshments & music in the "Knight Club"
  • Relaxing and socializing at the Terra Cotta Coffee House
  • Farewell party on the last night

Further information, including a detailed program schedule and driving directions to campus, will be sent to all students upon acceptance. Note: While the weather in Alfred in July is usually very good, we cannot guarantee clear skies and there will be no refunds due to weather conditions.

Camp Director
Dr. David Toot, AU Professor of Physics and Astronomy, is the camp director. Questions about camp academic content may be directed to him at 607.871.2208 or via email.

Supervision
When students are not in class, they are supervised by our wonderful team of Resident Directors (RDs) and Resident Assistants (RAs), who are specially trained to serve as camp counselors, positive role models, mentors and friends. In order to ensure everyone has a safe, healthy and enjoyable time on campus, summer students are expected to abide by the University's summer programs rules and regulations.

Housing and Meals
Students stay in secure University residence halls dedicated to summer campers (2 per room) and must bring their own pillows, blankets and bed/bath linens for the week (bed linens must fit the extra-long twin residence hall beds). Males and females are housed in separate halls. Resident Directors and Resident Assistants will be on-site in the residence halls at all times. Laundry facilities are available in each hall at no charge.

Delicious, all-you-can-eat, cafeteria-style meals are served in the campus dining hall. Our Dining Services chefs do an excellent job in accommodating campers with food allergies and other special requirements.

Tuition, Room and Board
The program fee is $895 (includes a non-refundable $100 deposit). This covers tuition, supervision, program materials & equipment, recreational activities, room and board from dinner on the first day through lunch on the last day.

The $100 deposit must be submitted with the application. Full payment of the balance is due May 23, 2014.

Financial Aid
Sorry, there are no scholarships or other forms of financial aid available for students in any of our summer programs.

How to Apply - Sorry, this program is full. We are no longer accepting applications for 2014. Please check back next year!
The application deadline is April 15th. Students who wish to apply must submit:

  • A completed application form (The link to the application form will be activated again next year. This year's program is full.)
  • $100 deposit
  • Copy of an up-to-date transcript or most recent report card
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers (on official school stationery)
  • A one-page essay telling us why you would like to attend this program (in your own words, with your signature at the bottom)

Send to: Office of Summer Programs, Alfred University, Saxon Drive, Alfred, NY 14802, fax to 607.871.2045, or scan and send to us via email by April 15.

Acceptance
After the April 15 deadline, the Camp Admissions Committee will evaluate all applications and determine which students are accepted. Acceptance/non-acceptance notification will be provided by email and letter by the end of April. If you require an earlier decision, please indicate this by including a note with your application form. (Students who apply after the deadline will receive notification within one week after we receive their application materials.)

Accepted students will receive, along with the acceptance letter, additional materials including medical forms, liability releases, emergency notification forms, etc. These materials must be filled out as soon as possible and must be back in our hands by May 23. Updated immunization information (including dates) is also required at that time. (If you do not have updated immunization information on hand, you may want to acquire this from your physician now to avoid processing delays.)

Cancellation Policy
Refunds, less the $100 non-refundable deposit, will be made for cancellations received by June 6. 50% refunds will be made for cancellations received from June 7-20. We cannot make refunds to students who cancel after June 20 because we must hire staff, purchase materials, arrange for meals and confirm classroom and housing space long before the start of our summer programs. We base all of these arrangements on the number of students accepted into each camp or institute and cannot make changes after contracts are signed and commitments are made.

Questions?
For further general information contact the Office of Summer Programs at 607.871.2612. For specific information concerning class content contact Dr. David Toot, Program Director, at 607.871.2208 or via email.

Comments from Past Participants
"Four stars and two thumbs up! My experience at Alfred's summer program is one not soon to be forgotten. It was a chance to meet intelligent, beautiful kids my age from around the country and build great friendships with them. It was a chance to work with fun professors who, after a couple of days, you consider to be friends, too. It was excellent service, great staff and a lot to learn. I recommend it to all of you!" - Neyshmi M., Lancaster, PA

"It was a great experience attending the institute this summer. I had a chance to learn more about astronomy and to meet people that don't live in the City. I loved having the opportunity to use the observatory's telescopes." - Carmen E., New York, NY

"I had an awesome time! I never knew Astronomy could be so interesting. I made friends that I am still keeping in touch with. I will definitely come back to Astronomy camp next year!!" - James W., Alden, NY

"I enjoyed attending the program this summer. It was great to live on campus with a group of interesting people. I was amazed at how much I learned in the time I was there. I will definitely come back again when I can." - John N., Ellicottville, NY

"I thoroughly enjoyed the program, and it was definitely worth coming all the way from New Zealand to attend. I found the observatory facilities were excellent. This and the terrific staff and other students made the program memorable." - Ben A., Christchurch, New Zealand

"I had a great time. I didn't want to leave!" - Emily W., Rocky Hill, CT

"Stargazing at night was incredible!" - Michelle G., Cortlandt Manor, NY

"I liked the friendship and respect everyone had for everyone else." - Dave C., East Rochester, NY

"I loved the observatory. The institute was located in a very beautiful location. Did I mention I LOVED the observatory?!" - Sneha R., Forest Hills, NY

"I really enjoyed using the telescopes as well as the various classes and lectures. I felt everything was wonderfully informative and very interesting. Everything together made for a most pleasant experience." - Sophie G., Hinckley, OH

"I loved learning how to use an observatory as a professional astronomer would." - Jezra B., Manchester, NH

"The institute helped me understand mysterious components of the Universe in an enjoyable way." - Betsy N., East Aurora, NY

"The program made my love for astronomy grow beyond what I had expected." - Katherine D., Nashua, NH

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About Alfred
Alfred University is located in the peaceful village of Alfred in Western New York State, where summer days are warm and nights are cool and comfortable. Surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful meadows and valleys, Alfred University is the perfect place to spend an enjoyable week learning more about your favorite subject and meeting other students who share your passion for astronomy!

The campus, a 6-hour drive from New York City, 2 hours from Buffalo and 1 1/4 hours from Rochester, is easily accessible by car or bus from all directions and is located just five miles south of Interstate 86. The nearest major airport is the Rochester International Airport (about 65 miles north). Transportation to and from that airport can be provided for an additional charge if we receive your request by the date indicated in your acceptance notification. After that date students must make their own arrangements with an airport limo service.

To read or print documents you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded for free.

Program Cancellation: The University may cancel any course or activity at any time because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is canceled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees, but cannot be held responsible for other costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies.

AU Policy Against Discrimination: Whether considering candidates for admission or financial aid, applicants for employment or the management of its policies and school-administered programs, Alfred University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, or disability. Alfred University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.