CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp: Frequently Asked Questions
- When is the next CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp?
- How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp?
- What will I learn at CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp?
- I want to be a doctor. Will I learn about medicine during the week?
- Who can apply?
- How do I apply?
- All application components must be mailed in. Why can’t I email them?
- I am not a US citizen. Can I apply?
- What happens after I apply?
- I think my teenager would really enjoy this camp. How can I sign them up?
- Can I reserve a spot until I mail in my application?
- How are participants selected?
- How much does it cost?
- Where is the CDC?
- I do not live in the Atlanta area. May I attend?
- What type of activities can I expect?
- I work in the evenings. May I leave early?
- My parents work at CDC. May I have lunch with them?
- Science is not my best subject. May I still apply?
- What will I need to bring with me?
In 2024, two identical sessions of the in-person camp are scheduled for June 24-28 and July 22-26. Each day’s sessions start at 8:45 and end at 4:00. Campers are not allowed to leave early, arrive late, or miss days.
CDC Museum staff prioritizes the health of its visitors and will enforce all CDC visitor requirements. Students who attend camp must
- show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or provide proof of exemption eligibility,
- wear a mask for the duration of each camp day,
- complete a daily symptom check screening before arriving to CDC’s campus, and
- agree to cooperate in contact tracing if exposed to a COVID-19 case.
The CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp teaches attendees the fundamentals of CDC’s work: the field of public health and the science of epidemiology. Public health is a vast field that covers many aspects of keeping populations of people healthy. It includes, but is not limited to, research, data collection, data analysis, and health education. Epidemiology, the systematic study of diseases in populations, is one of the sciences used at CDC to help improve the public’s health and is included in the week’s activities. Though students who are interested in becoming medical doctors will enjoy the camp, it does not have a medical treatment focus.
To make the camp an engaging and exciting experience, CDC staff members incorporate as many current newsworthy topics into the camp’s activities as possible. Due to the ever-changing curriculum and CDC facility availability, each camp’s activities may be different. Campers can expect a variety of experiences, including re-created outbreaks, mock press conferences, environmental and global health activities, a laboratory session, an introduction to chronic disease surveillance, public health law, and short lectures from world-renowned CDC scientists. Activities involve more than sitting in a classroom, so campers must be prepared to move around as needed.
No. The camp mirrors CDC’s work, and since CDC is not a clinical medical facility, the camp does not have a medical treatment focus. While we do briefly discuss the pathology of some diseases, most of the time is spent focused on the collection and analysis of data and the use of that data to improve people’s health. The camp also covers the many different career options available within public health, including medical doctors, so if you are interested in medicine, this camp could be a good learning opportunity for you.
The CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp is open to motivated students who will be high-school juniors or seniors during the 2024-2025 school year. In other words, the applicant must currently be a sophomore or junior. Applicants must be 16 years old by the first day of the camp to comply with CDC’s laboratory safety requirements. Absolutely no exceptions can be made to this rule.
Each week-long camp has twenty-seven slots available. The application for camp is competitive, with several hundred students applying to camp each year. In 2023, 748 students applied.
A government-issued picture ID is required to get through the security checkpoints at CDC. If you are selected as a camper, you will receive additional information on what you will need to bring with you.
To apply for the 2024 CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp, read all the FAQs, download and complete the application, and then mail your application and teacher recommendation together. Applications must be postmarked (mailed) by March 22, 2024. An “Application Status” email will be sent on May 3, 2024. This email will notify you if you have been offered a confirmed slot, a wait list slot, or if you were not offered a slot. Be sure to add email@example.com to your e-mail address book so that notifications do not go to your spam folder.
All components of your application, including your teacher recommendation form, must be physically mailed in together. Nothing can be emailed in because your application contains personal identifiable information (PII). You need to place pages in order with no staples, folds, or double-sided printing in a 9 x 12 (or similar size) envelope and address it to:
CDC Museum Public Health Academy
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Yes. Non-US citizens may apply to be considered for camp, but must be able to show documentation requested on the application and must bring original passport each day of camp. All documentation must be valid (not expired).
Any non-US citizen living abroad who travels into the U.S. for camp must obtain a B1 (business) visa at customs. Accepted campers arriving to CDC’s campus will not be able to enter with a B2 (tourist) visa. No exceptions can be made. If you are offered a slot in camp, you will receive additional information regarding security.
Once your application is received, you will receive two emails. The first, a notification email, will be within 48 hours of camp staff receiving your application and entering it into the evaluation process; this email is a confirmation that camp staff received your application. The second, a status of application email, will be sent to all applicants on May 3, 2024; this second email will notify you if you have been offered a confirmed slot, a wait list slot, or if you were not offered a slot for the 2024 camps. Be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your e-mail address book so that notifications do not go to your spam folder.
If for any reason you do not receive a response by the end of the day on May 3, 2024, contact the camp staff by email: email@example.com. Note that CDC Museum is not open on weekends, and the quickest way to get a response is by email.
Due to the popularity of this camp, we expect more interested students than we can accommodate. For this reason, we have an application process for interested students.
To ensure that the camp is an enjoyable experience for all participants, please discuss the camp with your teenager and refrain from applying on their behalf. We urge you and your teenager to read the information on this site and complete the application together.
Because this is a competitive process, we cannot reserve spaces. Once the application deadline is reached, each application will be reviewed.
Applicants are selected based on the Application Essay Questions submitted and the teacher/counselor recommendation form. A panel will read each application and use a rubric to score applications based on completion, proper grammar, well thought-out responses, and teacher recommendations. We are seeking a diverse and eager-to-learn group of campers!
There is no cost associated with attending the CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp, but campers must provide their own housing for the duration of the program as well as transportation to and from CDC’s campus in Atlanta, GA.
CDC’s main campus is located at 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30329. The CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp is organized and hosted by staff in the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, at CDC headquarters. Non-Atlanta residents may apply for the camp, but are responsible for providing their own accommodations and transportation. Campers in past years have stayed with family friends or relatives in Atlanta.
Yes! Non-Atlanta residents may apply for the camp, but are responsible for providing their own accommodations and transportation. Campers in past years have stayed with family friends or relatives in Atlanta.
To make the camp an engaging and exciting experience, CDC staff members incorporate as many current newsworthy topics into the camp’s activities as possible. Due to the ever-changing curriculum and CDC facility availability, each camp’s activities may be different. Campers can expect a variety of experiences including re-created outbreaks, mock press conferences, environmental and global health activities, a laboratory session, an introduction to chronic disease surveillance, public health law, and short lectures from world-renowned CDC scientists. Activities involve more than sitting in a classroom so campers must be prepared to move around as needed.
No. To be respectful to camp presenters, campers are not allowed to leave early or arrive late. Please make arrangements that allow you to attend the camp from 8:45 am to 4:00 pm ET each day.
No. While we understand that you may want to visit with your parents, your best chance of getting to know your fellow campers is by staying with the group — even during lunch.
Yes! The field of public health is full of professionals with a diverse range of expertise — and not all are scientists! You only need to be eager to learn to apply for a camp slot.
A government-issued picture ID is required to get through the security checkpoints. If you are selected as a camper, you will receive additional information on what you will need to bring with you.