Camp CAR


Thank you to everyone for a fabulous and fun Camp CAR 2023!
2024 Applications will open on February 1, 2024!

We welcomed 26 campers from 14 U.S. States and Trinidad & Tobago!
Please check back after January 1, 2024 where we will announce the chosen camp week for 2024. 

For questions or inquiries about Camp CAR 2024,
please send an email to CAR's Outreach and Engagement Specialist,
Jennifer Humphrey (she/her/Ms) at


Camp CAR is a free*, weeklong summer day camp for students who will have completed their first year of high school, ages 14-18/rising high school sophomore, junior or senior, rising college freshman/gap year.

Participants gain hands-on experience related to various aspects of automotive research, engineering and mobility including simulation, testing and manufacturing. Participants will also have the opportunity to (informally) tour The Ohio State University campus and visit local automotive research facilities.  

Note that Camp CAR focuses on engineering principles related to the automotive industry, such as autonomy, electrification, and engineering design and testing. It does not focus on automotive maintenance or driving skills.

General information on Camp CAR

  • All applications we receive are reviewed after the closing deadline (early April), by our 8-member Camp CAR Team (half of whom are current CAR graduate students). This means, all applications submitted between February 1 and March 15 are read & scored after April 1.
    • Note that Camp CAR focuses on engineering principles related to the automotive industry, such as autonomy, electrification, and engineering design and testing.
      • Our camp does not focus on automotive maintenance or driving skills.
    • The application is “easy”, with the most detailed ask being an at-least 200 word “essay” on why the student in interested in our camp.
      • We do humbly ask that the student complete the essay and yes, we can almost always tell when it’s the parents or guardians who have submitted the essay 😊
      • We do not ask for teacher recommendations or any external paperwork like class transcripts or anything like that.
      • The application will ask for an email/mobile for both the student and a parent/guardian, and each will be copied on the notification email.
        • NOTE: in 2023, we received approximately 115 applications for 24 spots. 
  • We endeavor to send out all notifications by the end of April and we do notify each applicant regardless of outcome.
  • The general hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each weekday, during the week of camp.
  • We accept a maximum of 24 students for our free*, week-long, in-person camp. The maximum is based on staffing requirements, as well as space limitations for our activities. 
    • If our only option is virtual programming, we will be able to accept up to 500 virtual campers. 
  • We accept students from anywhere but we are unable to provide housing or oversight for your camper outside of camp hours.
  • If your student is accepted, we provide housing suggestions as well as fun things to do in Columbus while you are with us. 
    • Fun fact: Columbus is within 500 miles of 50% of the US population and we have one of the best zoos in the world, featured on the Nat Geo Wild show, Secrets of the Zoo.
  • Our camp includes continental breakfast, lunch, all-day snacks and non-soda beverages each day, as well as transportation to/from our building to any field trips.
    • *We are able to make our camp free-of-charge through the generosity of donors, as well as program grant funds. 
    • Note that we are unable to provide housing (either on-campus or off-campus) for campers and families, and are unable to provide oversight of campers outside of the camp hours.
      • We are happy to recommend accommodations for out of town guests.
  • Our camp is fully compliant within the State of Ohio and The Ohio State University guidelines with regard to care, custody and concern of minors.
    • This includes each Camp Staffer being fingerprinted, background checked, and trained, prior to the start of camp. We take everyone's health and safety very seriously!

(Note: Our camp does not focus on automotive service or maintenance, but our friends at Columbus State Community College and Sinclair Community College both offer degrees in those areas.)

For more information or to be added to our Camp CAR mailing list, please contact CAR Outreach and Engagement Specialist, Jennifer Humphrey (she/her/Ms) at Thank you!

(Updated 08.07.2023)

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