Youth Science Institute

UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) offers a 16-week afterschool program January through May. In the Youth Science Institute, high school students will work with scientists, conduct science experiments, take a ride on the UC Davis research vessel, experience our 3-D visualization lab, share science activities with other students and much more! Flyer available.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Complete application
  • Must be currently enrolled in grade 9, 10 or 11
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Must pass interview/screening process
  • Tuition of $300

Benefits include:

  • Learn new laboratory, leadership & job skills
  • Work with scientists, researchers and graduate students
  • Opportunity to become a paid intern
  • Receive scholarship assistance
  • Fulfill required community service hours
  • Receive certificate of completion & letter of recommendation

The graduates of the 2017 Youth Science Institute!

Past YSI Participant Testimonials:

  • "Thought it was a great opportunity. I learned a lot and met a lot of really interesting people."
  • "Thank you so much for the invite into it and the wonderful journey it turned out to be."
  • "I had a lot of fun in YSI, and I would definitely recommend it to others."
  • "11 out of 10! Would do it again."
  • "I loved it and had so much fun!"
  • "It was a great program, definitely got me thinking about some really interesting fields of science and the careers in those fields. Highly recommended."
  • "I really enjoyed this program. I thought it was really interesting to learn about the different types of sciences. The people who lectured on all of the topics were great."

One of the smellier labs involve fish dissection.

  • "It was an amazing experience! I enjoyed all the topics we explored. I learned there are a lot of science fields that are available, I would recommend this class to everyone that is interested in science, and to anyone that would like to find out more."
  • "This is a great opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. It is a fantastic way to get a foot hold in the scientific community, and if I do say so myself, it is pretty fun."
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this program, and greatly benefited from its services. I am currently a Residential Assistant at the University of Nevada, Reno, and I know that I would not be as driven by curiosity and self learning if I had not been a part of this organization. I greatly appreciate all the facilitators and presenters that gave their time to help influence me to follow my true passion."
  • "YSI was a great experience!! Should be advertised more to local students to apply to the program. I was lucky and heard of it by chance, a lot of qualified and interested students are missing out."
  • "I am currently applying to four year schools with the major marine biology. YSI definitely influenced my choice to major in this field. The program is very beneficial to people with a serious interest in science."
  • "YSI was a great program that allowed me to see many different aspects of science in the working world."
  • “I would definitely recommend this program to my peers and younger siblings.”
  • “Thank you so much for the opportunity. I have learned so much through the program that I would not have learned through school.”
  • “I loved that all of the activities were hands on and I was the one doing the activities.”
  • “My favorite part was meeting people my age who have the same interests I do.”
  • “I plan to attend a four year university and major in Mechanical Engineering. I loved that YSI was able to help me expand my scientific knowledge.”
  • “YSI was an amazing experience that really motivated me to excel in high school and in college. I love that each one of the participants were just as motivated as I was.”
  • “I really enjoyed that the presenters and everybody who was there each week was really energetic and knew a lot about the subjects.”
  • “I did not know that science could be this fun and entertaining!”
  • “I tell all of my friends at school about YSI and I really motivate them to do it as well!”
  • “YSI really benefited me in ways that a normal high school program would. I was able to see first-hand the benefits that a STEM career path would give me. I hope to someday be a professional in the Ecology field.”

Program Documents:

  • Youth Science Institute Applications (choose one format)
    • Youth Science Institute e-application (PDF Form to be submitted by email to Christine Limon ( - Please follow directions carefully to ensure that the form has been properly emailed to the appropriate person. You may want to print a copy for your records or as backup.)

For more information contact Heather Segale, (775) 881-7562 or email or Christine Limon, (775) 881-7560 ext. 7483 or email

Participants of the Youth Science Institute ride TERC's research vessel to gain hands-on experience for collected field data on the lake.