National Summer Transportation Institute

2017 Camp Dates: July 17–28, 2017
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday
Application Deadline: April 17, 2017

About the Institute

Are you interested in learning about science, engineering, and transportation in an interactive, hands-on environment? Do you want to explore careers and education opportunities related to transportation? Then the National Summer Transportation Institute may be for you!

This free two-week summer day camp at the University of Minnesota will introduce you to the many aspects of the transportation field. You’ll go on field trips around the Twin Cities, participate in hands-on lab activities, and learn from experts about what it’s like to work in transportation.

At this camp, you will:

  • Learn how different parts of the transportation system work together to keep you (and the things you buy) moving in cars, trucks, planes, and boats in Minnesota and beyond
  • Take a spin in a driving simulator and learn how it’s used to make our roads safer
  • Design and build a model bridge
  • Go behind the scenes on exciting field trips around the Twin Cities to places like an airport, transit facility, and maintenance facility
  • Tour the University of Minnesota campus and get a feel for college life

Help us spread the word!

Download and share our summer camp flyer (PDF).


Location and Transportation

The camp will begin each day at the Center for Transportation Studies on the U of M's East Bank campus. Transportation to and from the camp is the responsibility of attendees' parents/guardians.

Applicant Requirements

The camp is open to students that meet the following criteria:

  • Are entering grades 7–9 (as of 2017-2018 school year)
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Have completed or be qualified to enroll in pre-algebra
  • Have an interest in engineering, science, transportation, or technology-related careers

How to Apply

Applications should include the following:

  • Completed National Summer Transportation Institute application form (PDF)
  • A one-page typed essay (single spaced) describing your career interests, interest in transportation, and how National Summer Transportation Institute can help you reach your goals
  • At least one letter of recommendation (from your math, technology, or science teachers and/or a guidance counselor)Your academic transcript or a recent report card
  • A list of your awards, achievements, and organizational memberships (optional) 

Please submit your completed application package by Monday, April 17, 2017, to National Summer Transportation Institute, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, 200 Transportation & Safety Building, 511 Washington Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (mail), (e-mail), or 612-625-6381 (fax).

Please note: Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Please send us your entire application, including all of the above materials, in one submission (by mail, e-mail, or fax). If you have trouble meeting any of these requirements, please contact or 612-626-1077.

Admission Decisions

Applicants will be informed of admission decisions by April 28, 2017. Information about our selection process is available on our admission decisions page.

Participant Testimonials

Video featuring 2015 camp participants


"I really enjoyed using the driving simulators [at the UPS Road Code facility]. It was a hands-on experience that truly taught me the dangers of texting while driving and how much harder it really is."

"My favorite part of the program were the field trips because they heped me learn facts/cool things in the transportation industry."

"I enjoyed touring the [U of M] campus and seeing what life is like for students on campus."

"Getting to see the control room where [Metro Transit] views the light-rail system was amazing to me." 

"I learned a lot and had lots of fun during the camp. It was like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."


"One of the best camps we have ever experienced! There was always a plan for college and this increased enthusiasm, preparedness, and maturity."

"[This program] has opened up my daughter's horizon for future career choices and major focus areas after high school."

"We absolutely loved having our son participate in this camp. It was very well organized, and we were impressed by how much he learned from visiting all of the transportation places."

“What a wonderful experience this camp was for my son. He was inspired...He learned about all kinds of traffic laws and data...and I now have a new back-seat driver.”