Photon Camp

Photon Camp is a free, one-week program where rising high school juniors and seniors can explore the growing field of optics and optical engineering. Students spend the week attending faculty lectures, touring the Laser Lab and Monroe Community College optics labs, and working on projects in the Institute of Optics laboratories. Students who have taken pre-calculus and/or physics will have preference but all students who have taken trigonometry and algebra are welcome to apply.

“Photon Camp was an excellent opportunity to gain firsthand college experience. There’s more to optics than most people realize!”
Danielle, Photon Camp alum

Note: Photon Camp is geared toward local area students. Housing is not provided.

Capstone Projects

The students will present capstone projects that were developed during Photon Camp. Parents, friends, teachers, etc., are invited and encouraged to attend this event. Past capstone projects have included:

  • Thermal Imaging
  • Optical Communication
  • Digital versus Analog Imaging
  • Solar Energy
  • Cell phone Camera versus Digital SLR
  • Illumination/Fluorescence

Past Lab Experiments and Demos

  • HeNe, CO2, and Nd:YAG Lasers
  • Fiber Splicing
  • Holography
  • Spectroscopy
  • Interferometry
  • Pinhole Camera
  • H-alpha Telescope

The Application Process

Space is limited to 26 slots.

  • Review How to attend Photon Camp (pdf)
  • Complete the downloadable application (pdf)
  • Complete the permissions/liability form (pdf)
  • Create a personal statement of approximately 300 words or less describing your interests and future ambitions
  • Ask a teacher for a letter of recommendation (math or science teacher preferred)
  • Order your transcript from your school
  • Submit the following documents to Dustin Newman:
    • Application
    • Permissions/liability form
    • Personal statement
    • Letter of recommendation
    • Transcript

Documents may be submitted electronically or by mail. Submit documents electronically to dustin.newman@rochester.edu or via U.S. mail to:

Dustin Newman
The Institute of Optics
University of Rochester
PO Box 270186
Rochester, NY 14627

Completed applications are due by 5 p.m. on May 15, 2023.