Be a Rocket Scientist this summer

The Rocket Science 2019 program brings together talented high school juniors and seniors for a unique science & engineering experience. You will work in teams to build and launch a high-power rocket equipped with a sensor and analyze the resulting data to make discoveries about the land around you. Math, physics and engineering for rocketry; geodesy, GIS and analytics for data. It all comes together in one comprehensive project. Our cross-disciplinary, hands-on approach sets us apart from other pre-college summer programs. We focus on learning by doing.

Applications are now open, and space is limited to 30 students.

Is it for me?

The Rocket Science 2019 program is a selective summer program for high school students who are interested in science or engineering, and want a challenging educational experience with lots of hands-on activity.

The program is mainly driven by the month-long project. Lectures and experiments and homework all give you the tools you need to complete the project, and along the way, give you valuable experience in how problems are solved in the real world. This is an opportunity to live and work in a totally immersive, academically rigorous, socially supportive community. It is like the collaborative environment you will find in science and engineering, whether in college or industry. If that sounds attractive to you, then we want to hear from you!

To be able to keep up with the program, you should be comfortable with high-school level algebra II and trigonometry. Physics is helpful but not required. You do not need prior experience with rocketry or GIS (Geographic Information Systems) or any specific computer programming skills.  You must be sixteen years old by by the program start date to participate.

What is high-power rocketry?  High-power rockets are rockets large enough to be subject to regulation, and require strict safety codes in their construction and use.  SEE follows the guidelines of the National Association of Rocketry, and all our rocketry activities are conducted by personnel with NAR High Power Rocketry Level 2 certification.

What is GIS?  Geographic Information Systems are software systems that work with geographic data of all kinds.  That includes maps and satellite data of course, but also temperature, LIDAR, or even census data.  Understanding data geographically is key to working on challenges like climate change and disease spread.

A Typical Day

Participants stay very busy during most waking hours.

After breakfast in the dining hall, class starts at 9 a.m. Classes are much more interactive than a typical high school class.  You could be analyzing a video of a rocket launch frame-by-frame or figuring out the optimal size and shape of a parachute.

After lunch, you’ll attend another class, where there might be a guest speaker, or you might be writing code for an electronic sensor.

After class, and after dinner, you’ll schedule your own time to do some homework, work with your team on the project rocket, or analyze data your sensors have collected. You’ll have to figure out how much you can hang out with your new friends then as well!

There is time set aside for excursions to enjoy Bend, Oregon and its magnificent natural surroundings.



July 15th–Aug 8th 2019


Oregon State University Campus, Bend, Oregon


Shared 2-person dorm rooms. The dormitory provides fitness equipment, kitchen, laundry, and wifi, all free of charge.


Paid cafeteria cards for all daily meals and snacks.


$4125, covering meals, accommodations and all materials and activities.


Transportation to/from the OSU campus in Bend is not included in the price.  The easiest option is to fly to the Bend/Redmond airport (RTM).

Application DatesApplications open Jan 7 and close Apr 15.

Application Process

You apply by completing our application form.  The form requests:
  • Your personal and contact information
  • Some information about your study background
  • A brief essay about why you want to come to the Rocket Science program
  • A recommendation from a teacher or mentor
  • Your most recent transcript
  • A non-refundable application fee of $80

We do not require test scores.

You have until April 15, 2019 to complete your application.  We do a rolling acceptance process, so you may be more likely to be accepted if you submit your application earlier.  Generally we will notify you within three weeks whether you have been accepted, not accepted, or waitlisted.
Additional questions?   Send us email at

See also our Terms and Conditions for further information about our policies.