CINSAM (Northern Kentucky University’s Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics) together with three NKU Colleges are offering Summer Academies designed specifically for High-School students looking to deepen their content knowledge, prepare for future classes and bolster their resume in preparation for college applications.  Academies are a way to make like-minded friends and have fun while exploring concepts that are beyond the lessons taught in most high-school classrooms.

Whether working in the College of Informatics’ cutting edge Cyber-Security lab, operating sophisticated scientific equipment or isolating chemical compounds to solve forensic mysteries; these summer academies will expose you to high-level subjects and experiences. Our academies will challenge you to use critical thinking and teamwork, while having fun and exploring topics that you love!

Student Requirements

  • High school students ( rising 9th -12th graders) graduating between 2020 and 2023.
  • Students must have a passion and enthusiasm for STEM concepts.
  • Students are encouraged (but not required) to ask a teacher or mentor to submit a short letter of recommendation to cinsam@nku.edu 


For any questions regarding camp programming, contact CINSAM (cinsam@nku.edu)


Registration for 2019 Summer Academies will open in February of 2019.


Previous Summer Academy Descriptions


Engineering & Technology: Design and Build Academy

As a participant in the Engineering & Technology Academy, students will design and build using 3D printers, work with robots, and learn welding!  Students will also have the opportunity to learn from Engineers in the field through two fieldtrips.

Main Topics:

  • Microprocessors: How does a machine know what to do?
  • 3D Printing: How can I design and print a 3D part?
  • Bridge support: How do you design and test a bridge so it doesn’t collapse?
  • Careers: What types of careers are available for Engineers?


Chemistry Academy: Chemical Synthesis and Reactions in Pharmaceuticals

Learn how the many faces of chemistry (organic, analytical, materials, biochemistry) are involved in drug design and medicinal research. This camp will expose students to various synthetic, purification, and identification techniques that are routinely used in drug design. Students will carry out a variety of experiments and use cutting edge research instrumentation (Scanning Electron Microscope, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, GC/MS, IR-Spectrometer) to characterize and analyze molecules. In addition, current undergraduate students and NKU faculty will share their research endeavors as they relate to medicinal chemistry and drug design.


  • Drug Structure: How are drugs designed and developed for medicinal purposes?
  • Chemical Synthesis: How are drugs created and purified in a lab?
  • Instrumentation: What types of tests are done on drugs to make sure they are safe?
  • Research: How are students and faculty at NKU working to help develop new drugs?


Computer Science Academy: Cracking the Code 

Computer Science Academy will involve hands-on activities where you will learn about the field of computer science and its many applications.  Participants will work in our one of our state-of-the art labs and interact with different Computer Science faculty.


  • High tech facilities: Visit and work in the brand new Cyber-Security laboratory
  • Impress your friends: teach your friends about the newest tech: how does facial identification software (like snap-chats filters) work?
  • Protect the future: How are Computer Scientists protecting us from the continual threat of hackers?
  • How did we get here: Delve into the evolution of CS and the technological advancements that made it possible!
  • Learn from the experts: The school of Informatics faculty is highly qualified and comes to NKU from top universities and corporations from around the globe! 


Mathematics & Statistics Academy: Breaking Down the Numbers

This academy is designed for students who have a curiosity about mathematics and its applications! The topics explored with go beyond what you’ve experienced in a traditional class and will enter you into a distinctive community of young mathematicians.


  • Facial Recognition: How does my phone know it’s me and not my friend?
  • Cryptology: How can we create a secure code to share information?
  • Statistics in Sports: How are the statistics calculated for sports teams and players?
  • Alternative Geometries: When is the distance between two points not a line?


Extras of all CINSAM Academies:

  • Tour the NKU campus
  • Visit and explore NKU’s state of the art Campus Recreation Center
  • Eat at the NKU dining facilities (cost included in all Academies)
  • Meet current NKU students and learn about their research and interests in their field of study
  • Showcase your experience to your parents at the end of the week.


: CINSAM Summer Camp fees remain low due in large part to sponsorship from Ashland. Additionally, this sponsorship allows CINSAM to offer scholarships to low-income students who meet the requirements for the "Free & Reduced Meal" programs in KY, IN and OH. Parents have the option to apply for a scholarship on the registration form.


Additional Information & Questions

If you have having trouble with or need help with registration, please contact Community Connections at 859.572.5600 or connect@nku.edu.  If you have questions about the camps themselves, contact CINSAM at cinsam@nku.edu.