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NC State Extension

Horticultural Science Summer Institute

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youth showing off floral arrangements

Wild and crazy floral arranging with the Horticultural Science Summer Institute

Horticultural Science Summer Institute
July 9-14, 2023

Applications are open! Apply Now April 1st!

High school students are invited to spend a week at NC State University climbing trees, grafting tomatoes, snacking on raspberries, discovering new genes and so much more. The Horticultural Science Summer Institute is a residential, hands-on, pre-college program designed to engage youth into the many career opportunities within horticulture. Students will dig into workshops led by faculty, staff and students on topics ranging from breeding better vegetables, propagating ornamental shrubs, lengthening the life of cut flowers, learning sustainable production and design practices and delving into practical tools that enhance our understanding of plant processes.

Students will visit unique and innovative North Carolina farms, markets, greenhouses and gardens. Youth will also explore college-making decisions and leadership development, enjoy evening entertainment and team-building activities, live in a campus residence hall with campus dining. The camp provides a close-knit forum for high school students across the state (and country) to gather together and broaden their interest and knowledge about horticulture.

Any high school student with a career or hobby interest within the field of agriculture and horticulture are encouraged to apply to the summer institute. The cost for the week is $650 and includes on-campus lodging in the dorms, nearly all the meals, field trips, workshop materials, and entertainment. There may be some scholarships for underserved youth and participants with financial need, or payment plans can be arranged.

Applications are now open for this summer’s program, please complete an application here. Applications are due by April 1st and program acceptance will occur in mid-April. To apply, you will need to create a family account in our NC State program registration system called REPORTER. A user guide walks you through the process if needed. To preview the application questions, visit here.

Please contact Liz Driscoll, program coordinator at | cell: (919) 886-3424 | office (919) 513-7346 for more information.

Read all about the inaugural Horticultural Science Summer Institute!

youth on a tour of the JC Raulston Arboretum
Visiting JC Raulston Arboretum
youth in a greenhouse cross pollinating petunias
Students cross-pollinating petunias


NC State University, Raleigh, North Carolina

Program Files


two young men talking about plant breeding

Cross-pollinating petunias in the Fox Greenhouses

Youth on a farm looking at flowers

Youth visiting a local farm incubator and observing the cut flowers.

Youth climbing a tree at the JC Raulston Arboretum and thinking about canopy management.

Youth grafting heirloom tomato scions onto disease resistant rootstocks.

two young women smiling in the garden

HSSI brings together youth with a common interest in plants and new friends are found!