Millennium Youth CampMYC News - Oct 19, 2011

Apply for Millennium Youth Camp 2012

“What I liked the most about MY Camp, was that we were treated like real scientists, not like average teenagers with simple curiosity. This made me realise that we do have something to say and helped me become more confident in myself,” says 2011 MY Camper Radu Bors.

For the third time, Technology Academy Finland and National LUMA Centre are looking for 30 motivated and talented 16 to 19-year-old (born in 1993–1996) young people to participate in a week-long journey into science and technology. The first phase of the application process for Millennium Youth Camp 2012 opened today.

“It was the first time I’d applied for something like this, and I stressed over how I should answer each question. A friend advised me to just be myself and I think that is really the most important thing. The organizers want to know you for who you are rather than who you think the organizers want you to be,” advises 16-year-old Evelyn Qian from Auckland, New Zealand.

A year ago, she heard about MY Camp from her science teacher, applied, and got chosen.

Evelyn Qian examining the insides of a mobile phone at Nokia Headquartes. Photo: Janne Salo.

The application process for MY Camp 2012 has two phases. First, all applicants fill out information about themselves, their background, achievements, and motivation to attend the camp on an online form. Based on the applications, 100 applicants will be chosen for the second round of the application process that starts 1 February. These applicants have four weeks to prepare a project plan according to which the final decision on 30 2012 MY Campers will be made.

“There are two ways of doing this: the easy one and the hard one. The easy one is simple: you are already convinced that MY Camp is the best thing to do with your summer and you will apply. The hard one is not that simple but the outcome is the same. You have to read what other campers experienced, live their memories, feel their regret when the camp was over, and then you will apply,” says 18-year-old 2011 MY Camper Radu Bors from Romania.

Radu Bors at the University of Helsinki. Photo: Janne Salo.

MY Camp is all about bringing together youth interested in science, and giving them the opportunity to work together to try and solve global problems, to meet scientists, and visit Finnish companies and universities. As the prestigious Millennium Technology Prizes will be awarded in 2012, the campers will also have an unique chance to meet the Laureates.

“It was great for exploring science and the different areas of science people were interested in. It gave us all some real ideas of how science is like outside the classroom, which although interesting can get pretty dull,” Evelyn says.

Elza Shofia building a fuel-cell car at the University of Helsinki’s Deparment of Chemistry. Photo: Janne Salo.

Like during the previous years, the Campers will be divided into multinational groups according to MY Camp’s themes: Climate Change, Renewable Natural Resources and Energy, Water, ICT and Digitalisation, and Applied Mathematics.

Each group will work on an project before and during the Camp and present it to their peers and guests at MY Camp Gala.

“‘Smile! It’s all about you and your work,’ as the staff said to us. After one week of hard but interesting work many important people such as ambassadors or diplomats, gathered to listen to what we had to say. And every camper felt so proud when presenting their projects,” Radu, who also gave a speech with Essi Paunisaari at the Gala, thinks back.

Casey Crownhart at camp fire by Lake Sääksjärvi. Photo: Janne Salo.

“I learned so much during MY Camp 2011 – getting to go to the universities and companies and see some of the amazing new developments that are going on in the science world was amazing. The only thing that was better than learning more about the scientific community was meeting so many people, and forming great friendships,” says Casey Crownhart, 16-year-old 2011 MY Camper from Alabama, USA.

“I have so many friends from around the world! We are still in contact, sending postcards and parcels to each other, beside online communication!” says 16-year-old Elza Firdiani Shofia from Jakarta, Indonesia.

“In the end, I can say only one thing: once a MY Camper, always a MY Camper,” Radu adds.

MY Camp is completely free of charge for the participants (including travel expenses). To apply for MY Camp, you have to be born between 1993 and 1996.

The first phase of the application process (link to application form) started 19 October and will continue until 18 December. The names of the hundred applicants, who are chosen for the second round of the application process will be published 1 February, 2012, and the final decision on 2012 MY Campers will be announced 15 March, 2012. The week-long MY Camp will start 9 June 2012.

Read MY Camp News and Profiles to learn more about what MY Camp is all about!

Elisa Lautala works as web editor for University of Helsinki's Faculty of Science. Elisa likes all kinds of cultural events, good books, warm weather, and aqua-jogging.