Jefferson Lab Offers Free Science Camp for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Registration is now open for Jefferson Lab’s annual summer science camp for deaf and hard-of-hearing youth, siblings and children of a deaf adult.

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – The Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility is breaking down the science language barrier for deaf and hard-of-hearing students again this summer with the return of the Science Camp for Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Youth. Registration is now open for the camp, which will be held Aug. 12-16.

The camp is designed to meet the needs of rising fourth- through eighth-grade students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and it also welcomes siblings of deaf and hard-of-hearing youth and children of a deaf adult.

“We are especially proud to offer this opportunity for kids in Hampton Roads and beyond, because it allows us to ensure that STEM learning is an inclusive experience,” said Science Education Team Lead Lisa Surles-Law. “We get such a positive response from families whose children participate in this and the many other STEM learning opportunities that we offer, from hands-on science programs to demos to the Frostbite Theater videos on YouTube.”

The five-day camp is conducted primarily in American Sign Language, with three days conducted in ASL only, and two days featuring both ASL and voice. Students may register to attend as little as one or up to all five days of the camp.

“One big benefit for kids attending the camp is being able to do science and math in their first language, American Sign Language, without the need to wait for the information to be interpreted,” said Brita Hampton, camp coordinator.

Now in its sixth year, the camp offers hands-on science activities presented in a barrier-free environment for youth in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. A host of new activities are presented each year; a highlight for this summer will be an activity in which campers make their own chocolate bar. As with previous years, students will work as individuals, in pairs and in teams to complete hands-on activities that emphasize math and science concepts.

“We get campers from a fairly wide region, including Virginia and Maryland, so campers get to meet and socialize with other kids in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community,” Hampton said. “One of my favorite parts of Deaf Science Camp is that parents also meet each other and share their experiences and resources.”

The camp will be held at Jefferson Lab, located in Newport News, Va. Program activities are held daily through the week of Aug. 12, 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

American Sign Language (ASL) (no voice) will be used exclusively on Aug. 12, 13 and 14 (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). ASL interpreters will use voice and ASL for activities on Aug.15 and 16 (Thursday and Friday). Youth may attend the camp for as little as one day or for the entire week.

The program is free to participants; however, space is limited and advance registration is required. Registration is encouraged no later than Aug. 1 but may close early if available slots fill up. To register, visit the camp website for email instructions:

During the camp, participants may bring their lunch or buy lunch in the lab’s cafeteria. Lodging is available for purchase on campus for out-of-town families. More information is available on request by contacting Hampton via the camp website.

Contact: Kandice Carter, Jefferson Lab Communications Office, 757-269-7263,


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit