Confronting Climate Realities with Concrete Action
July 25–August 2, 2020
Tuition: $3,750 Location: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Join like-minded students, engaging educators, and inspiring mentors this summer for a climate change program at the Harvard School of Public Health. Choose an action focus and delve into climate issues related to your interests, strengths, and passions. Gain perspective from world leaders and politicians. Meet inspiring climate activists, scientists, renewable energy innovators, and entrepreneurs at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis. Engage with climate change themes such as health, energy, water, transportation, and agriculture, and, over the course of the program, develop a capstone project focused on transforming your ideas into action.
The majority of our Pre-College programs are postponed until next summer. Be the first to know when we announce 2021 dates and new programs: Sign up for our newsletter!
Looking for a program this summer? View our Pre-College Vermont program!
Learn from experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and other experts, including academics, policymakers, and scientists working in fields related to climate change. Participate in workshops, attend lectures, and take advantage of all Boston has to offer.learn more
Gain inspiration from the experiences and perspectives of political and industry leaders, including the former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the former governor of Vermont.learn more
Develop a capstone project based on your interests and round out the program with a presentation to your peers, sharing your vision for practical action to make change in your community.learn more
“I am excited to be a part of a program at Harvard that will help give students the tools to tackle both the biggest challenge and opportunity of any generation born to this earth so far.”
— Harvard Senior fellow Governor Peter Shumlin
The Harvard Youth Climate Summit brings together motivated and like-minded young people to learn from and be inspired by political leaders, climate activists, scientists, energy innovators, entrepreneurs, and each other.
Each student chooses an Action Focus based on their interests—Science & Technology, Industry, Policy & Security, Community, or Press & Media. This Action Focus acts as the lens through which students view the challenges of climate change. Each day, Action Focus groups and instructors meet to delve into the complex systems within their Focus, discuss and brainstorm how to address challenges, and prepare capstone projects.
Daily workshops, Action Focus meetings, and guest speaker events take place at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Offsite and field-based learning activities balance classroom and workshop time.
Residence & Accommodations
Students and residential instructors reside at Smith and Tree House Residence Halls at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, just a short walk away from the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. Rooms are doubles and assigned by age; genders are separated by floor; and staff reside on the same floors as students. Residence Halls have 24-hr front desk security, high-speed wifi, air conditioning, and on-site laundry facilities.
Activities & Excursions
In addition to thematic program activities, students have the opportunity to explore all the culture, history, and cuisine that Boston and Harvard have to offer, from the Boston Common and the North End to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and Harvard Yard. Stroll the streets of Harvard Square, kayak the Charles River, or play frisbee on the quad.
Become part of a community of high school students and instructors with diverse interests and a shared passion for addressing the climate crisis. Students hail from across the U.S. and around the world, creating a vibrant and dynamic community of motivated, driven individuals.
Guest lecturers and workshop leaders provide important context for our climate challenges, as well as inspiration for ways forward. In addition, residential program instructors lead smaller Action Focus teams in discussions, hands-on activities, and field trips, while serving as mentors and helping students shape their capstone project presentations.
Each day features a combination of Action Focus seminars, hands-on activities, excursions, and guest speaker events with the entire program body. After breakfast, depending on the day, Action Focus learning may start in classrooms and meetings spaces on campus, or the students and instructors may travel to a nearby site for field-based learning. After lunch, Action Focus seminars continue. Afternoons and evenings offer opportunities to explore the cultural side of Boston, participate in sporting activities, or work on independent projects. After dinner, students and instructors from all Action Focus groups convene for guest speaker events and evening activities. On the final two days of the program, students focus on their final projects, which they present on the final evening.
Guest lecturers bring to the program diverse backgrounds with high-level, real-world experiences and insights. Each speaker structures their lecture to relate to the five Action Focuses and their area of expertise. For example, an expert in oceanography might discuss how climate change is affecting the ocean and include the current technology used to mitigate the effects, the industries involved, the policies regulating (or not regulating) the problem, any community response or involvement, and the media’s role in disseminating information thus far.
13th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Professor of the Practice of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Chair, Board of Directors, Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (Harvard C-CHANGE)
Governor Peter Shumlin
PROGRAM DIRECTOR, GUEST LECTURER
81st Governor of Vermont; Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Co-Director, Putney Student Travel
Outcomes & Final Project
The Harvard Youth Climate Summit is designed to educate, empower, and prepare students to take leadership roles in addressing the climate crisis.
Students receive, upon presentation of their Community in Action Plans, a certificate of program completion, presented by former Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and endorsed by Gina McCarthy from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Putney Student Travel is offering a limited number of full scholarships* for the Harvard Youth Climate Summit to qualified applicants.
Scholarship eligibility is limited to students who are U.S. residents, whose parents’ combined annual income is no more than $50,000, and who have few assets. Scholarships are awarded annually. Many applications are received and allocation is competitive. Preference is often given to students who have not had similar educational or travel opportunities.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP
To be considered for a scholarship, your completed Harvard C-CHANGE Youth Climate Summit (HYCS) application and two completed teacher references must be received by mail at the address below no later than April 30, 2020. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
* Scholarships cover tuition in full and any domestic airfare (if necessary) to have the student meet the group. The scholarship does not cover spending money, required packing list items or baggage fees.