Group of students walking outdoors under New York City's Brooklyn Bridge

What is the science of sound, and how do scientists understand how sounds travel, echo, and amplify throughout a big city like New York?

The Sounds of New York City (SONYC) project at NYU is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research program focused on understanding and combating noise pollution in NYC. SONYC supports 20 scientists that study acoustics, machine learning, distributed networking, citizen science, data and visualization to help measure and report on loud sounds and develop recommendations to reduce harmful noise.

During the 2-week summer SONYC program, middle school students work directly with NYU researchers to explore the underlying science associated with sound. Students learn about smart cities technologies, sampling sounds, studying sound waves in an urban environment, and building devices that monitor and evaluate how loud sounds affect people’s health and wellbeing.

SONYC will take students on field trips around New York City to explore city sounds and learn how they are monitored by scientists. Students will experience cutting-edge research and be able to emulate and apply what they have learned through the use of sensors, microcontrollers, circuits, and other real-world tools of scientists and engineers.

SONYC is offered as a tuition-free program for New York City middle school students.

How to Apply

Eligible applicants will be students who live in New York City and are currently age 12 by the start of the program but not older than 14 on the day program begins. Students should have a strong academic record and demonstrated interest in science.

To apply, submit the online application which includes questions about your personal and academic history and two short essay responses.

The deadline to apply is May 11th.

Student Life

SONYC students attend classes and field trips led by NYU graduate student researchers. Programming takes place Monday-Friday, from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Classes are located at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Downtown Brooklyn.

Classes are highly-interactive and hands-on, offering students the experience to work with materials, tools, and software programs that develop their skills in engineering and design. Students work collaboratively and independently with the guidance of CrEST instructors to build their own devices.

To participate, students must be able to commit to the full one-week session and be able to get to and from campus each day (early drop off starts at 8:30 AM). Snacks and lunch are not provided, so students should bring their own food (or money to purchase food).

Program Dates for Summer 2023

July 10-28

Full Scholarship


Early Admission Deadline
March 10

Final Deadline
April 14