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Poultry Science Summer Institute (PSSI)

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About virtual PSSI

The virtual Poultry Science Summer Institute will be June 20-24, 2021 and is sponsored by NC State University and North Carolina Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Program with the Prestage Department of Poultry Science.

Calling all high school students (rising sophomores, juniors and seniors)  who are passionate about science and poultry and are seeking a dynamic virtual summer experience. Please join our faculty from NC State’s Prestage Department of Poultry Science; these faculty members represent disciplines of science from embryology to immunology! You will be sent a learning kit complete with all materials to do a live hands-on activity with each faculty lead during a 2 hour morning and afternoon Zoom meeting. Come collaborate with your colleagues in Poultry Science! Registration is just $25. 

Youth will have synchronous learning opportunities with an expert in the various sciences such as bird anatomy, incubation and embryology, egg quality, turkey rearing and management, feed milling, poultry veterinary medicine, immunology, and processing and products. Students will be provided all materials to be able to conduct an at home learning activity live in conjunction with their faculty lead.

Students will be provided a camp T-shirt, swag, materials, and fun, poultry-themed snacks! A voucher to purchase materials like eggs for the synchronous activities will also be provided.

The cost of the institute is only $25 per student thanks to the generous subsidy by US Poultry & Egg. All workshop materials will be provided.

Applications are due by May 21,  2021. Notification of acceptance will be announced by May 28, 2021. Please contact Mary Fosnaught at or 919.271.8680 with any questions, comments, or for inquiry about scholarships for those with financial need. For more details, please visit


We continue to work with local and state health officials, as well as NC State and N.C. A&T State Universities, to monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To help prevent the spread of the virus, Poultry 4-H & Youth Extension is moving Poultry Science Science Institute (PSSI) scheduled for June 20-24, 2021 from an in-person to virtual event.
We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the evolving Covid-19 situation. Please know that these changes are intended to protect the health and safety of our community while striving to provide the resources and services you need. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and act consistent with local, state and national recommendations.
Additional resources can be found at the links below:

We thank you for your patience and understanding at this time, and we are committed to continue serving and growing our community. Together we will see it through, one day at a time.

What is the Poultry Science Summer Institute?

The Poultry Science Summer Institute (PSSI) is a four day immersion experience designed to broaden high school students’ understanding of educational disciplines, scholarship opportunities, careers and industries related to poultry science. Students will be introduced to the sciences behind poultry production ranging from embryology to immunology, feed milling to food safety, and beyond. Again this year, instead of the student coming to campus, campus will come to the student! A generous learning kit of activities, snacks, and swag will make learning fun and interactive as professors from various disciplines virtually ‘walk’ youth through hands-on poultry-based activities!

Why participate in vPSSI?

vPSSI participants experience the science behind poultry science while interacting with the faculty who make NC State’s Prestage Department of Poultry Science one of the premier Poultry Science Departments in the nation. Students will engage directly with faculty experts while completing a hands-on activity with them that reinforces the science being shared in that Zoom session.

vPSSI lets students “try us on for size.” Participants interact informally with NC State faculty, staff and poultry science students. Attendees learn about the diverse field of poultry science and get specific information about our poultry science degree program.

Information about a wide range of topics come up during PSSI, including

  • career fields and areas of opportunity,
  • scholarship requirements and availability,
  • internships while attending college,
  • employment connections when graduating,
  • how and when to apply to college and
  • anything else you’d like to know about poultry!

PSSI In-Person Activities

In a non Covid-19 year, PSSI would be offered in person. Below is some photos for that format offering.

Poultry Science Summer Institute

PSSI participants tour turkey farm

Poultry Science Summer Institute

PSSI students tour Butterball headquarters

Poultry Science Summer Institute

PSSI youth tour Reynolds Coliseum

Poultry Science Summer Institute

PSSI participants learn about egg quality

Poultry Science Summer Institute

PSSI poultry art in Expression Tunnel

Poultry Science Summer Institute

Campers unwind at SkyZone

Eligibility and Fee 


Any high school student with an interest in poultry science may apply to attend vPSSI. Students must list a high school science teacher, counselor, county extension agent, 4-H leader or vocational agriculture instructor as a reference. Students will write a brief personal statement describing why they would like to participate.

PSSI is a popular program. To ensure the best possible experience for all students, PSSI is limited to 20 participants.


Fee per (virtual) participant $25

The vPSSI fee is $25.00. The fee includes all mailed workshop materials, T-shirt, swag, poultry-themed snacks, and a voucher to purchase materials like eggs to be used during the workshop.

Applying to PSSI


Applying to PSSI requires two items. Applicants must submit

  1. the Poultry Science Summer Institute Application and
  2. a brief essay (400-600 words) indicating why they’re interested in the experience.


Applications for 2021 are open until May 21, 2021 and Announcement of 2021 candidates will be made by May 28, 2021.

Apply online button

We appreciate our sponsors and partners

Thank you to the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) for their generous support of PDPS recruitment efforts, including PSSI.

Thank you to NC State alumnus Josh Monahan for donating chips for the taste panel activity.

Thank you to the NC State Feed Mill Education Unit. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

For additional information contact

Dr. Mary Fosnaught
4-H & Youth Development Extension Associate
NC State Extension
Prestage Department of Poultry Science
Raleigh, NC 27695-7608

Phone: +1 919.515.5529