National Summer Transportation Institute

About the Camp

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 (NSTI) 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
  • 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, construction site, or maintenance facility
  • Tour the University of Minnesota campus and get a feel for college life

Check out highlights and a photo slideshow from our 2023 camp.


Highlights from our campers' 2022 tour of the Third Avenue Bridge construction site in Minneapolis

Students in a hangar walking toward a Sun Country aircraft

Applicant Requirements

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

  • Are entering grades 7–9 (as of 2024–2025 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

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2024 camp. Information about the 2025 camp will be available in early 2025.

Admission Decisions

Information about our selection process is available on our admission decisions page.

Students get their hands on a freshly made sign at Hennepin County

Participant Testimonials


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

"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."


“[Our camper] came home with lots to share and was very happy and excited for the following day. He’s learned a lot! Thanks so much for a high-quality camp!”

"Thank you for an amazing camp experience! Our family is so grateful for this opportunity and the enthusiasm and skill of all adults involved. We could not ask for a more enriching or meaningful camp. It was a safe and challenging environment where my son explored his passions and learned."

“My child literally loved all parts of camp so it’s hard to pick just one [favorite activity]. She loved the field trips and experiences, learning from the experts and camp staff, and hanging out with kids from all over the metro and from different backgrounds.”