The 5th Youth Science & Technology Leadership Camp

Los Angeles, December 13-18, 2020


The Youth Science and Technology Leadership Camp (YSTLC) was launched in 2016 to provide Korean-American high school students interested in STEM with an immersive experience at a deeper level.Previous

Organized by university professors from diverse disciplines, YSTLC takes a  multi-faceted approach for participants to further knowledge in science and technology, learn about various STEM majors and professions, and be inspired to pursue their dreams as future scientists and engineers. This is accomplished through university and government lab visits, participating in the US-Korea Conference (UKC) – the largest Korean STEM professional conference in the US, networking with renowned scientists, engaging in hands-on science team projects, and cultural excursions. Feedback from participants have been overwhelmingly positive. 


Su Min Yoon (YSTLC 2016 Participant)

First and foremost, I was able to learn about the various aspects of science. By attending different symposiums ranging from astrophysics to aerospace engineering, I was able to uncover the emphasis of each discipline and their field of focus. Even though each and every sector of science was intriguing, I discovered that I was particularly captivated towards the biomedical sciences. I would’ve never realized my interest in biomedicine if I didn’t attend the symposium because getting exposed to the research significantly helped me in determining and discovering my passion. It’s similar to picking an ice cream flavor. I tasted each and every flavor, and even though each flavor was unique, some were too bitter, but biomedicine was just right.

Not only I was able to learn about technical aspects of science, but I was also exposed to the reality of the scientific society, including the circulation of the job market and the importance of networking, and I believe this was the most important aspect of this program: the opportunity to connect with others, stepping out of your comfort zone, and ultimately developing social attributes that are necessary to succeed in society. The social feature of this camp was one of the characteristics that made this experience unique. The small number of participants allow students to develop deeper and more intimate relationship with another and made interaction with mentors more private. For me, the most memorable moment during the camp was our trip to the medical labs at UT Southwestern, because that was the moment when it really hit me that this is what I want to do, something that I was willing to live for. Ultimately, I believe that the YSTLC Program has impacted me in beneficial ways, for I was able to discover my zeal for biomedicine and was given the opportunity to interact with numerous prominent figures who were humble enough to share their knowledge and warmth. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience and I hope this program keeps on changing lives and igniting passion.

Seungyong Hong (YSTLC 2016 Participant)

Participating in the YSTLC (Youth Science Technology Leadership Camp) was a one of a kind experience. Not every day does one get to have lunch with a physicist who helped discover the Higgs Boson Particle, spend the afternoon touring a medical research facility, and have dinner with renowned professors. I participated in this camp for two things: the opportunity to meet and interact with senior scientists and the opportunity to meet other Korean Americans of my age who are also passionate about science. The camp provided me with these two things. I made friends with two Korean-Americans who I wouldn’t have meet if it wasn’t for this camp. I also got to know a handful of professors and researchers who have passionately advised us and showed their passion for STEM.

I also enjoyed attending the symposiums of the 2016 UKC. Although there was a lot of information I couldn’t understand, there were a lot of interesting presentations, such as developing microscopic robots that can travel through our blood vessels.

I am really glad that there is a program like the YSTLC to show young people what it means to be work in the STEM field. I personally already knew I wanted to become a physicist or an engineer but participating in this camp really solidified this interest and helped me see and experience what it means to work in those fields. YSTLC also provided me with great insight into the academic field and how high schoolers can start getting involved.

Yeeun Han (YSTLC 2016 Participants)

I didn’t expect a lot from this camp. I thought this camp would be same as other camps which would just tour the college and learning about science. But this camp was different. We toured the college and we went into the lab and saw what they were doing and we were able to see the things that not everyone is allowed to go in. That was possible because of this camp. Looking inside of the lab and seeing what they are doing made me have more passion in science and in research.

Before I came to this camp, I was thinking that science is not my thing even though I have good grades. But after this camp I was able to say “Science is my thing and I want to keep learning about science.” We had so much great time to meet a lot of professors. And from their lectures we were able to see their passion in science.

Everyone in this camp was so nice and they were like family to me. Everyone there wanted me to be successful and they were so supportive in every way. All the activities that we did in this camp were great. We were able to write down a script and do a musical in front of people and we made rockets and saw whose rocket can get higher. The first time my team’s rocket failed but we learned by our mistake and we fixed the things that we did wrong and we made it even better, and the second time it went high.

This was a really good experience in my life and I know I am going back next year.

Organizing Committee

President: Jun-Seok Oh

President Elect & UKC Chair: Soolyeon Cho

YSTLC Program Chair: Jiyoon Yoon

YSTLC Program Co-Chairs: Eun Jung Chae

YSTLC Program Co-Chairs: Eunjin Bahng (for YSTLC)

YSTLC Program Co-Chairs: Jin Gi Hong (for YAK)


*Schedule/plan will be posted later.