NFB Youth Slam

Student Information

What is the NFB Youth Slam?

The NFB Youth Slam is a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program to be held at Towson University, the second largest university in Maryland. The university is located eight miles north of Baltimore. While staying at the university, one hundred blind and low vision high school students from around the United States will engage in five days of STEM classes and recreational activities designed to build confidence and increase STEM literacy.

Who can apply?

Any blind or low vision student who is currently in grades 9-12, is encouraged to apply. Due to the academic nature of the academy, it is important that students are functioning within two grade levels of their current grade (e.g., a 10th grade student needs to be functioning at an 8th grade level or higher). Interest in science, technology, engineering, or math is not a requirement for acceptance.

How are students chosen? 

A committee will choose 100 students who are qualified to attend the academy from the pool of students who applied. Program facilitators believe that the more diverse the student body is, the greater the learning opportunity is for both students and staff. Therefore the committee will look for the most diverse group of 100 students in the pool of applicants.

How will the students get to Baltimore?

All transportation for students will be arranged by the National Federation of the Blind. Students will fly into Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. If they are traveling by train, they will travel to Baltimore-Penn Station located in downtown Baltimore and if they are traveling by Greyhound Bus, they will travel to Downtown Baltimore Greyhound Station. Students will be met at their gates and transported to Towson University. Individuals who live within forty miles of Towson University will be expected to arrange to be driven to the academy by a friend or family member. Students who live further than 40 miles from the academy, but wish to be driven to the academy by a friend or family member, may indicate their preference on the registration form.

Where will the students stay?

Students will be housed in Towson University dorms. Most of the dorm rooms house two individuals, so students will share a room with another participant of the same gender. Adult chaperones will room on the same floor. All linens will be provided. Students of different genders will not be housed on the same floor of the dorm; males will be on one floor and females will be on another floor.

What is the student-to-adult ratio?

The ratio of students to adults in this academy is approximately 1 adult for every 2-3 students.   

What types of activities will there be at the NFB Youth Slam?

During the NFB Youth Slam, there is sure to be something for everyone. When building their schedule, students will pick from courses in 15-20 different STEM disciplines and 10-12 recreational activities. During the day, students will attend the STEM courses of their choice and in the evening students will participate in various social and recreational activities.

Who will teach the classes?

Courses will be taught by STEM professionals, university professors, and science teachers.

What day do students travel to Baltimore?

Students will arrive on campus at Towson University (just outside of Baltimore) on Sunday, July 23, 2017. Some welcome activities will take place that evening.

What should students pack for the week?

Packing lists will be provided to participants prior to attending the NFB Youth Slam.

What is the dress code?

Casual summer attire is recommended. We encourage students to wear comfortable shoes, as they will be walking all over campus to get from class to class.

More questions?

If you have additional questions or require additional information, please contact the Education Team at (410) 659-9314, extension 2418, or at

Stay connected!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram!