NATURE University Summer Camp

The goals of the University Summer Camp for tribal college and college-bound students include: introducing them to STEM disciplines and career opportunities, exposing them to city and campus life,and attracting them to four year STEM programs. This two-week camp is usually offered in the first two weeks of June each year and campus activities for the students include lab tours and educational lessons at both UND and NDSU and sometimes tours at area STEM related businesses. Students select a research topic from one of the university lab tours and spend their 2nd week of camp at the applicable university doing the research. The students involved in each topic selected work together to create a powerpoint slide of their research and camp experience and present it at the closing ceremony.

University Summer Camp 2021 Presentation - HPC Made Easy

University Summer Camp Goals


  • Introduce tribal college students to STEM disciplines and career opportunities
  • Provide opportunities to experience campus and city life
  • Encourage them to pursue four year STEM degree programs
  • Engage tribal high school teachers and college faculty in career improvement and lesson development.

This two-week camp is usually held during the first two weeks of June each year.

  • NATURE University Summer Camp: 2021 dates coming soon.

The University Summer Camp has both a student track, and a faculty/teacher track.


University Summer Camp - Student Track



  • To retain interest in STEM
  • To introduce students to university STEM programs and research activities
  • To familiarize students with campus and city life

In addition to lessons in mathematics and science, visits to STEM academic departments at NDSU
and at UND and to local industries are scheduled in the first week. University professors engage
the students in research and exploratory activities in the second week culminating in research
presentations by the students at the closing of the camp. Social and recreational activities are
   suitably interspersed throughout the camp.

NATURE+ Program

The student track was expanded Summer of 2015 into a two-tiered approach to give older students
and students who have previously participated in University Summer Camp a more research focused
experience with STEM research and more opportunity to consider enrolling at NDSU or UND in a STEM
related program. This second tier is part of the new ND EPSCoR NATURE+ program that aims to
improve enrollment and retention of Native Americans in North Dakota college and university STEM
related programs. The NATURE Sunday Academy program for 2015-2016 has also added NATURE+
content in the form of integrating lessons related to ND EPSCoR funded research.

More information on the Sunday Academy program can be found in that section of the website.
Information on the ND EPSCoR funded research can be found at the following websites for the research groups:

In 2015, NATURE+ university summer camp activities exposed North Dakota tribal college students to
various research career paths through hands-on activities, lab tours, and learning about research methods
with Indigenous perspectives on research. Students worked on their own research proposal on the topic
of their choice and a couple students were selected to present their proposal at the closing ceremony.
During the camp, students also gained studying strategies for educational success and the faculty they
met from NDSU and UND are potential mentors to those who go on to enroll at either of those campuses.
Opportunities for recreation and social interaction was provided for the students to experience campus
and city life at NDSU and UND added fun to the rigor of the camp.


Photographs, and possibly videos, may be taken at ND EPSCoR sponsored activities including University
Summer Camp.  Permissions are needed from students participating in ND EPSCoR sponsored activities
for ND EPSCoR to use their image (for example: on ND EPSCoR related websites or in advertising and
promotional materials). Students under age 18 also need parent/guardian permission.

Below is the photo release form being used.
The student participant completes and signs the Participation Consent section while the parent/guardian
of a student participant under age 18 completes and signs the Parent/Guardian Consent section.
  ND EPSCoR photo release form

University Summer Camp - Teacher Track


  • To provide a collaborative framework for developing lessons for high school summer camp
  • To provide opportunity for professional development
  • To provide opportunity for participating in seminars and discussions on topics of interest
  • To provide opportunity to interact with cultural leaders to develop cultural components of lesson topics

During the first week of the two-week University summer camp held in June, Tribal college faculty and
reservation high school teachers work with university faculty on developing lesson plans and hands-on
activities to use in their tribal college summer camps they hold for high school students at their colleges
following the two week University summer camp.

During the second week of the University Summer Camp, Tribal college faculty and reservation high school
teachers work with university faculty on developing lesson plans and hands-on activities to use in the Sunday
Academy program the following academic year.