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Your Mission: Conquer the Red Planet

Future innovators, engineers, doctors, and investigators begin building their path to success and get real, hands-on STEM experience at NYLF Explore STEM. Over six impactful days at one of our eleven 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.

Middle School Students explore a career in STEMAbout 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, robotics programming, medicine, and civil engineering. 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

Outdoor Medicine Simulation: When Care Is Hours Away 

Created by wilderness medicine expert Dr. Paul Auerbach and simulation expert Dr. Rebecca Smith-Coggins, professors in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University's School of Medicine, this realistic simulation allows students 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 they plan their next hiking or camping expedition.

2022 Dates & Tuition

Atlanta, GA Emory University – Vaccination Required by Venue July 9-14 | July 16-21 Res   $2,795
Day   $2,395*
Berkeley, CA University of California, Berkeley – Vaccination Required by Venue July 24-29 | July 31-August 5 Res   $2,795
Day   $2,395*
Boston, MA Babson College – Vaccination Required by Venue July 17-22 Res   $2,695
Day   $2,295*
Bowling Green, OH Bowling Green State University July 17-22 Res   $2,695
Day   $2,295*
Chicago, IL Loyola University July 9-14 Res   $2,795
Day   $2,395*
Dallas, TX University of Texas at Dallas June 19-24 | June 26-July 1 Res   $2,795
Day   $2,395*
Denver, CO University of Denver June 26-July 1 Res   $2,795
Day   $2,395*
Los Angeles, CA Occidental College – Vaccination Required by Venue July 9-14 | July 16-21 Res   $2,795
Day   $2,395*
New York, NY St. John's University June 26-July 1 | July 9-14 Res   $2,795
Day   $2,395*
Philadelphia, PA Villanova University June 26-July 1 | July 9-14 Res   $2,695
Day   $2,295*
Winston-Salem, NC VENUE AND CITY UPDATE: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC) June 19-24 Res   $2,695
Day   $2,295*
Winston-Salem, NC VENUE AND CITY UPDATE: Sheraton Greensboro (Greensboro, NC) June 26-July 1 Res   $2,695
Day   $2,295*

* 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.

Residential tuition includes room & board, lectures, simulations, curriculum & materials, and staff. Day tuition does not include room & board, but does include daily lunches.

Please note: Tuition will be increasing by $100 for all sessions and locations on February 1, 2022, as a result of increased program operation and other inflationary costs. Additionally, we are currently evaluating all aspects of NYLF Explore STEM and may make changes to the curriculum, site visits or program location to ensure the program meets the most up-to-date health and safety standards.

Program Highlights VIEW MORE

Former NASA astronaut who may speak at NYLF Explore STEM
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
Students process a staged crime scene at NYLF Explore STEM
Forensic Science Simulation
Process a staged crime scene; identify, collect, and examine finger and shoe prints; and perform blood stain pattern analysis. LEARN MORE
Students learn about engineering and robotics during a simulation at NYLF Explore STEM
Engineering Simulations
Apply what you learn about engineering and robotics to design and program a Mars rover. You will also test your engineering design skills while creating a floorplan using CAD software. LEARN MORE
Students look at x-ray images during an NYLF 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
Students work on specialized projects in their STEM strand of choice at NYLF Explore STEM
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
Student completing the ACT Tessera Assessment at NYLF Explore STEM
PAIRIN Strengths Assessment
Use this unique survey 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.

NYLF Explore STEM Family Program

Families interested in experiencing the history and culture of either Atlanta, San Francisco (Berkeley) or New York city, while their child is at NYLF Explore STEM have the opportunity to enroll in our Family Program. This program is only available for select sessions and allows attendees to meet and make friends with other families from across the country while discovering what Atlanta, San Francisco (Berkeley), or New York City has to offer. Attendees will be shown their respective city by a licensed tour guide and will visit the most popular and well-known attractions. They will also enjoy a presentation from Explore STEM’s Keynote speaker, a former NASA Astronaut.

The cost of the Family Program is $795 for each attendee and includes site visits and transportation during provided guided events, lunch and dinner on select days, lectures, curriculum and materials.Housing and transportation to and from the airport is not included.***

Space for the Family Program is limited and only available for the following dates:

Atlanta: July 16 - July 21, 2022

New York City: July 9 - July 14, 2022

San Francisco (Berkeley): July 24 - July 29, 2022


Please be aware that this program is separate from your child’s program and you will be spending time with other families of scholars and not the students themselves. 

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the 2021-2022 NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students.


  • 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 2021-2022 school year. Most of our students are either nominated by educators or selected through our academic partnerships; however, we do accept a limited number of students through our competitive application process. If you have not been nominated or selected but are interested in taking advantage of the life-changing opportunities that the program provides, we encourage you to submit an application today.

  • 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?

    Students who choose the Residential program option will reside along with Envision team members at safe and secure locations that include universities and conference centers.

  • 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 over 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. 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 $80 nonrefundable roundtrip fee for shuttle service or a $40 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.

  • I am a student requiring specific accommodations. Can I still attend?

    Yes, we encourage you to enroll. Envision by WorldStrides believes in working with families to accommodate student needs and encourages the participation of students who feel prepared to meet the academic, social, physical, and emotional demands of the program environment. We may be able to provide appropriate auxiliary staff and services to assist students as needed if notified in advance. We encourage families, guardians, legal representatives, or educators to contact the Office of Admissions for more information and to discuss particular accommodations before applying for enrollment 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. Vegan, kosher, and halal meals can be made available to you, provided your request is submitted prior to the start of the program. When you complete the Student Information Form, you will have the opportunity to make special dietary requests.

  • What are the pre-program assignments?

    The first step of your leadership journey includes assessing your strengths and opportunities for growth. To aid in this assessment, you must complete the PAIRIN scholar survey and the Feedback for Understanding Emerging Leaders (FUEL) assignment.

    Envision has partnered with PAIRIN to help students understand their strengths, develop soft skills, measure soft skill growth and explore different career paths. PAIRIN utilizes a simple process to create lasting impact: measure 102 soft skills through a survey, map the soft skills attributes to the relevant context (career readiness or a specific career path), and then develop soft skills through curriculum and coaching tips. Students should complete PAIRIN prior to arrival at the program and bring their Readiness Report with them.

    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.