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Naval Academy Summer Seminar: Beyond the Ordinary

Posted on: August 01, 2013 08:00 EDT by Lt. Teng K. Ooi and Capt. Linda J. Beltra

Each year in June, the U.S. Naval Academy invites a select group of young men and women from around the nation to attend the Naval Academy Summer Seminar.

This fast-paced, six-day leadership experience is designed to give rising high school seniors an opportunity to see what the Naval Academy has to offer.  

At the core of the NASS is the academic program – 90-minute workshops designed to promote problem solving using systems thinking, optimization, innovation, creativity, and team work. Students choose eight workshops from a wide range of subjects to include information technology, naval architecture, mechanical engineering, ocean engineering, aerospace flight testing, systems engineering, microcomputer design, ethics and character development, oceanography, mathematics, history, meteorology, literature, chemistry, political science, language studies, martial arts, and economics.

Students participate in project-based modules presenting a hands-on, real-world approach to solving design and analysis problems in the Naval Academy’s world-class laboratory facilities. These facilities provide a unique learning environment outside the traditional classroom. 

The academic staff is strongly committed to the project, with departments sponsoring several different workshops. The Mathematics Department, for example, held workshops on cryptography, Fibonacci sequence, rational and irrational numbers, targeting submarines using math and sound, and image compression using matrices.

“The young people get inspired when they understand the practical applications of math and science and see how analytical tools out there can solve complex problems. We are developing and building tomorrow’s Navy scientists and engineers at the Naval Academy today,” said Adjunct Professor Wayne Ehler, creator of the Mathematics Department workshop, “Equations of Lines in Multidimensional Space.”

This workshop introduced the use of vectors to derive equations of lines and planes in 3-dimensional space. These equations were then used to describe the paths and motion of objects such as an airplane moving in space.


To round out the experience, students live in the dormitory, eat in the dining hall and participate in academic and leadership workshops. They also participate in daily physical training including group runs and conditioning exercises. Seamanship and navigation classes culminate in a cruise aboard a Navy Yard Patrol Craft. The program helps educate, motivate and prepare selected students who are considering application for appointment to the Naval Academy.

For more information about the NASS program, please visit:

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