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Your Mission: Conquer the Red Planet

Future innovators, engineers, doctors, and investigators will start building their path to success and get real, hands-on STEM experience at NYLF Explore STEM. Over six impactful days* at one of our ten university program locations, students explore career opportunities, gain increased confidence and leadership skills, and Envision their future on a "Mission to Mars," all among like-minded and aspirational middle school students from around the country.

*Five days for commuters/day program attendees

About National Youth Leadership Forum: Explore STEM

Explore the Frontiers of Science and Technology with a Mission to Mars

NYLF Explore STEM is a unique learning experience for bright, forward-thinking middle school students who will evolve into our next generation of innovators, engineers, doctors, forensic scientists, mathematicians, and physicists.

During this six-day immersive experience, students learn by doing as they take part in hands-on simulations, workshops, and competitions, while making new friends and having unforgettable adventures as they plan for a "Mission to Mars."

Few fields are more important to the future of mankind than STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—and few show as much promise for future career opportunities. Virtually all career fields today require a solid foundation of STEM, and that’s precisely why these are the fastest growing areas of study—and the reason that STEM professionals are in the highest demand throughout the world.

NYLF Explore STEM is built on a multidisciplinary curriculum designed to help students find their passion through hands-on activities in forensics, robotic programming, medicine, and engineering design. The program provides an invaluable opportunity for curious and high-achieving students to explore the frontiers of 21st century science and technology.

Featured Curricular Component

When Care is Hours Away: A Simulation in Collaboration with Stanford Medicine

Created by wilderness medicine expert Dr. Paul Auerbach and simulation expert Dr. Rebecca Smith-Coggins, professors in the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine, this realistic simulation will allow you to learn and practice potentially life-saving medical techniques, including wound care, control of bleeding, and splinting. All of these skills will come into play as you plan your next hiking or camping expedition.

Watch a video of the Emergency Medicine Simulation

2018 Dates & Tuition

Atlanta, GA Emory University July 8-13 | July 15-20 | July 22-27 Res   $2,395
Day   $1,995*
Boston, MA Babson College June 24-29 | July 22-27 Res   $2,295
Day   $1,895*
Bowling Green, OH Bowling Green State University July 7-12 Res   $2,395
Day   $1,995*
Chicago, IL Loyola University July 15-20 | July 22-27 Res   $2,395
Day   $1,995*
Dallas, TX University of Texas at Dallas July 15-20 | July 22-27 Res   $2,395
Day   $1,995*
Los Angeles, CA Occidental College July 7-12 | July 14-19 Res   $2,495
Day   $2,095*
New York, NY St. John's University July 7-12 | July 15-20 Res   $2,495
Day   $2,095*
Philadelphia, PA Villanova University June 24-29 | July 8-13 | July 15-20 Res   $2,395
Day   $1,995*
San Francisco, CA San Jose State University July 22-27 Res   $2,495
Day   $2,095*
Winston-Salem, NC Wake Forest University June 24-29 | July 7-12 Res   $2,395
Day   $1,995*
* Day programs are for students who live within daily commuting distance of the program location, and who do not wish to reside with other students during the program. The “Day” program also concludes one day prior to the dates listed.

Dates are reflective of the Residential program. Residential tuition includes room & board, site visits & transportation during program, lectures, simulations, curriculum & materials, and faculty & staff. Day tuition does not include room & board, and the program concludes one day prior to the Residential program.

Program Highlights VIEW MORE

Former NASA Astronauts
Keynote speakers will share their stories as well as the many fascinating experiences they have had overcoming the challenges of working in space.   LEARN MORE
Forensic Science Simulation
Process a staged crime scene; identify, collect, and examine finger prints, shoe prints, and tire tracks; and perform blood stain pattern analysis. LEARN MORE
Explore STEM Simulations
Engineering Simulations
Apply what you learn about engineering and robotics skills to design, build, and program a Mars rover using VEX IQ robotics. You will also test your engineering design skills while creating a floorplan using CAD software. LEARN MORE
Explore STEM medical simulation
Medical Simulation
Diagnose and provide critical care, including conducting a physical exam, administering splints and slings, and controlling external hemorrhaging, in this high-stakes simulation. LEARN MORE
Explore STEM Galaxy Labs
Galaxy Labs
Dive deeply into forensic science, medicine, robotics programming, or civil engineering while working collaboratively with other students to complete specialized projects in your STEM strand of choice. LEARN MORE
ACT Tessera Assessment
Use this unique assessment to create a personalized success plan that will enable you to prepare for success in high school, college, and beyond. LEARN MORE


Tuition Tuition for NYLF Explore STEM covers most of the expenses incurred during the Forum. Tuition DOES NOT cover transportation to and from the program. LEARN MORE


Scholarships Envision offers a limited number of scholarships to qualified students each year based upon financial need, scholastic leadership, achievements, and other factors. LEARN MORE



Let us show you how other students use fundraising to cover some or all of their tuition costs. Make fundraising part of your personal success story. LEARN MORE

Payment Plan

Payment Plan

You may pay in full today or choose to use one of our payment options.

Discovery Education logo

To further enhance and expand the NYLF Explore STEM experience, Envision is proud to incorporate select high-quality content and curriculum from Discovery Education, our educational content partner, into our already immersive program experience.

Discovery Education shares Envision’s goal to excite, engage, and empower next generation technology leaders as they set out on their paths to become the engineers, health care professionals, scientists, and innovators of tomorrow.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications, the number one nonfiction media company in the world.


  • Is National Youth Leadership Forum: Explore STEM for me?

    This summer STEM exploration program is for you if you are a middle school student interested in building, tinkering, solving problems, and exploring a variety of career options available to you in science, engineering, medicine and technology. NYLF Explore STEM is your springboard to achieving tremendous success in high school, in college and in life.

    To attend NYLF Explore STEM, you must be in grades 6-8 during the 2017-2018 school year. Many of our students are nominated by educators, leaders from youth organizations and participating institutions, but open enrollments are welcome from qualified middle school students who want to make the most of this opportunity.

  • What is included in tuition?

    Your tuition for NYLF Explore STEM includes housing accommodations on a university, college or school campus (Residential students only), instruction, program activities and materials, a Certificate of Completion, supervision by professional faculty advisors, and private motor coach transportation to all locations during the program. Your meals and snacks during the program are also covered (excluding lunch on arrival and departure days for Residential students and breakfast on all days for Day students).

    Transportation to and from home and the program location is NOT included in tuition. While attending the program, you will only need money for lunch on arrival and departure days, as well as personal spending on items such as souvenirs, additional snacks and other incidentals.

  • Where will I stay?
    For the summer 2018 NYLF Explore STEM program, you will reside on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, GA; Babson College near Boston, GA; Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH; Loyola University in Chicago, IL; the University of Texas at Dallas in Dallas, TX; Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA; St. John's University in New York, NY; Villanova University near Philadelphia, PA; California State University Maritime Academy in San Francisco, CA; and Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.
  • How many students share a room?

    Each room will house two to three students. You will have your own bed.

  • How will I be supervised?

    Your safety and well-being during the program is our highest priority. The program is structured so that you will reside in a safe, controlled environment. You will be closely supervised by professionally trained staff, including faculty advisors who serve as educational facilitators and chaperones, security personnel, operations personnel and a program coordinator.

    For nearly 30 years, Envision has achieved a stellar record of safely and successfully enriching the lives of students, providing them with superb educational experiences and professional supervision. Other Envision safety measures include:

    • Greeting students at the designated airport upon their arrival and providing shuttle service directly to the program site, as well as providing shuttle service back to the airport on departure day*
    • Maintaining a classroom ratio of 20-to-1
    • Providing single-sex rooms and single-sex floors
    • Requiring all students to attend all activities
    • Checking rooms nightly and ensuring that students remain in their rooms
    • Having night monitors in place to support students who may become ill or who have an emergency during the night
    • Equipping all staff members with two-way communication devices

    *There is a $70 nonrefundable roundtrip fee for shuttle service or a $35 fee for one-way shuttle service.

  • Do I need to make my own flight arrangements?

    Yes. Your tuition does not include transportation to and from your home and the program location. We recommend that you make necessary flight arrangements only AFTER you receive confirmation that you are officially enrolled.

  • Can I attend if I am a student with special needs?

    Yes. If you are a student with special needs or with disabilities, we encourage you to enroll. We may be able to provide you with auxiliary aids and services to assist you. Please call our Office of Admissions for more information or to discuss your particular needs prior to enrolling in the program.

  • Can my parents attend the program?

    No. Your parents or guardians are not allowed to accompany you during the program. Gaining independence, including experiencing new things on your own, is an essential part of your growth during the program. However, it is perfectly fine for your family to travel with you to the program location and stay in the area while you are attending the program.

  • Can special dietary needs be met?

    Vegetarian options are always available. Kosher and Halal meals can be made available to you, provided the request is submitted prior to the start of the conference. When you complete the Student Information Form, you will have the opportunity to make special dietary requests.

  • What is the pre-conference assignment, FUEL?

    The first step of your leadership journey includes assessing your strengths and opportunities for growth. To aid in this assessment, you must complete a brief pre-program assignment entitled Feedback for Understanding Emerging Leaders (FUEL).

    The FUEL assignment will be available on your personal web page after you enroll. It simply requires that you choose five mentors – teachers, coaches, youth group leaders or other trusted adults – to complete a short survey about your leadership strengths. You also will complete a short self-assessment as part of the FUEL assignment

Have more questions? Check out the Envision FAQs.