Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Engineering

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Engineering

The following are some of our favorites for students interested in exploring engineering.

Lincoln Laboratory Radar Introduction for Student Engineers (LLRISE)

The LLRISE program is a two-week summer institute for rising seniors that teaches students how to build small radar systems. The project-based enrichment program challenges students to build a Doppler and range radar.

COSMOS UCSDUS IrvineUC Santa CruzUC Davis

The COSMOS program is a four-week residential program designed by the UC schools. Each campus focuses on different subject areas, all admitting their own “cluster” of students. The courses are taught by UC faculty and researchers. Students choose from nine different clusters, which include engineering design, biodiesel from renewable sources, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and more.

MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute

The MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI) is a rigorous, world-class STEM program for talented students who will be entering their senior year in high school. The four-week program teaches STEM skills through project-based, workshop-style courses. BWSI began in 2016 with a single course offered to 46 students, a mix of local daytime students and out-of-state residential students. It is typically a 4-week residential program for rising high school seniors and the program is free. They also offer online courses.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer High School Intern Program Research

NIST research is subdivided into six organizational NIST laboratories that conduct research in a wide variety of physical and engineering sciences. The labs respond to industry needs for measurement methods, tools, data, and technology. Six laboratories participate in the SHIP program.

Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of NIST’s research, students should look through the different websites above to discover a best-fit project area. The following information describes the types of research performed by each laboratory. See research projects done in previous years.

MIT Women’s Technology Program (WTP)

The MIT Women’s Technology Program (WTP) is a rigorous four-week summer academic experience to introduce high school students to engineering through hands-on classes, labs, and team-based projects in the summer after 11th grade. WTP is a women-focused, collaborative community aimed at empowering students from groups historically underrepresented and underserved in engineering. They especially encourage students to apply who will be the first family member to attend college, who come from high schools with limited access to STEM classes and activities, or who are African American, Hispanic, or Native American.

Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)

The MITES program is a six-week-long residential program geared toward rising seniors from underrepresented or underserved communities. The program aims to provide the skills and knowledge necessary for pursuing a career in the STEM fields. Students take one math course, one life sciences course, one physics course, one humanities course and an elective course. Placement is determined by diagnostic tests that are administered to all students during the orientation period of the program.

AI Scholars

AI Scholars Live Online is a 10 session (25-hour) artificial intelligence bootcamp that exposes high school students to fundamental AI concepts and guides them to build a socially impactful project. Taught by a team of graduate students from Stanford, MIT, and more, students receive a personalized learning experience in small groups with a student-teacher ratio of 5:1.

HK Maker Lab, Columbia

The Hk Maker Lab is a summer engineering design program at Columbia Engineering that places high school juniors and seniors in pre-college, project-based courses with Columbia University faculty. This program is designed for students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in STEM and who have financial needs.

CATALYST Academy

CATALYST Academy is a one-week residential program for rising high school juniors and seniors from underrepresented backgrounds who desire to learn about engineering and careers within an interactive milieu.

Cooper Union Summer STEM

Summer STEM is an opportunity to try engineering for the first time or to dive deeper into engineering teamwork. Each 3- or 6-week class covers college-level topics and activities completed by The Cooper Union undergraduates in their first or second year or explores student and faculty research projects. Current high school students in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 can apply.  This selective program encourages all curious, compassionate, and college-interested students to apply regardless of prior experience.

Manhattan College

The School of Engineering offers several programs throughout the year to introduce high school students to the field of engineering. Free or low cost.

Google Computer Science Institute (Summer Before COLLEGE!)

Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) is a three-week introduction to computer science (CS) for graduating high school seniors with a passion for technology — especially students from historically underrepresented groups in the field. CSSI is not your average summer camp. It’s an intensive, interactive, hands-on, and fun program that seeks to inspire the tech leaders and innovators of tomorrow by supporting the study of computer science, software engineering, and other closely related subjects. It is a 3-week program, and it is free.

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Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Science Research

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Science Research

The following programs are some of our favorites for students interested in science/science research.

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Scholars Program

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Scholars Program offers stipend-paid internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate-level university students pursuing STEM degrees, as well as upper-level high school students; select locations also offer internships to university students pursuing education-related degrees and K–12 professional educators. The selected interns gain valuable hands-on experiences working with full-time AFRL scientists and engineers on cutting-edge research and technology and are able to contribute to unique, research-based projects.

Anson L. Clark Scholars Program

Through this seven-week, intensive research program, 12 juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on research in a variety of areas at Texas Tech University with faculty. Scholars receive room and board, and at the successful completion of a project report, they will earn a $750 stipend. In addition to research, scholars will participate in activities, seminars, and field trips.

Garcia Program, Stony Brook University

This is an intensive seven-week program for gifted high school students which combines formal instruction with independent research and allows students to design original research projects with guidance from Garcia Center faculty, students, and staff. Students can continue during the academic year in the Mentor Program, which allows them to plan a research schedule with a faculty mentor throughout the year. Pre-arranged transportation and class schedules are coordinated with local school boards to enable students from a large geographical area to enroll in the program. Almost three hundred high school students have participated in this program since its inception.

Research Science Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Each summer, 80 of the world’s most accomplished high school students gather at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the Research Science Institute (RSI). RSI is the first cost-free to students, summer science & engineering program to combine on-campus coursework in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research. Participants experience the entire research cycle from start to finish. They read the most current literature in their field, draft and execute a detailed research plan, and deliver conference-style oral and written reports on their findings. RSI scholars first participate in a week of intensive STEM classes with accomplished professors. The heart of RSI is the five-week research internship where students conduct individual projects under the tutelage of mentors who are experienced scientists and researchers. During the final week of RSI, students prepare written and oral presentations on their research projects.

NASA & CalTech Jet Propulsion Lab

NASA Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM) paid internships allow high school and college-level students to contribute to agency projects under the guidance of a NASA mentor.

COSMOS, University of California (Multiple Campuses)

COSMOS is an intensive four-week summer residential program for students who have demonstrated an aptitude for academic and professional careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Talented and motivated students completing grades 8-12 have the opportunity to work with renowned faculty, researchers and scientists in state-of-the-art facilities while exploring advanced STEM topics far beyond the courses usually offered in California high schools. Through challenging curricula that are both hands-on and lab intensive, COSMOS fosters its students’ interests, skills, and awareness of educational and career options in STEM fields.

Simons Summer Research Program, Stony Brook University

Established in 1984 as an outreach program for local high school students, the Simons Summer Research program now attracts applicants from all across the country to the Stony Brook campus: Simons Fellows are matched with Stony Brook faculty mentors, join a research group or team, and assume responsibility for a project. The Simons Fellows conclude their apprenticeship by producing a written research abstract and a research poster. In addition to learning valuable techniques and experiencing life at a major research university, Simons Fellows attend weekly faculty research talks and participate in special workshops, tours and events. At the closing poster symposium, students are presented with a $1,000 stipend award. Learn more here.

The Summer Science Program

SSP is not a “camp.” It is a unique immersion experience with a strong culture that has evolved over more than half a century. It is talented young people discovering their limits, then overcoming them through collaboration. It is the shock of not being the smartest person in the room, followed by the joy of realizing that’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity. In high school, teenagers learn about science. At SSP, they do science. That’s different! SSP is research, not coursework. Participants collaborate in teams of three. Everyone learns from – and teaches – everyone else.

Stanford SIMR

SIMR is an 8-week summer internship program open to high school juniors and seniors. The program consists of hands-on research under the direct guidance of a one-on-one mentor at a top class lab within the Institutes of Medicine at Stanford University as well as select departments.  Students applying to the program can choose from our eight areas of research (institutes). After being accepted, they are then assigned to a specific institute based on their choices.

Non-“Program” Ideas We Love

Khan Academy Modules

Free Online Classes from Top Colleges & Universities

Lab Internship/Shadow

  • Cold email! Ask your HS science teachers to help you connect with college labs!

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The Most Common Graduation Advice Tends to Backfire

The Most Common Graduation Advice Tends to Backfire

Following your passions can be a bad idea. 

Sharing a great read as graduation month comes to a close and high school juniors and sophomores kick the college process into a higher gear.

Identifying potential passions means having the confidence to pursue what you truly enjoy or even what you think you might enjoy—sometimes, you have to just go with your gut! It also helps to explore interests in which you have some natural affinity but keep in mind that skills can be developed, it just takes time. Don’t pick an academic interest based on what you think society expects or, worse, what you think your parents want you to pursue. 

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Frist Center for Autism and Innovation at Vanderbilt – Free Virtual Python Bootcamp

Frist Center for Autism and Innovation at Vanderbilt – Free Virtual Python Bootcamp

The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation at Vanderbilt University is offering a free, 10-week virtual bootcamp in Python coding, starting in June. 

This online course was created by and for autistic and neurodivergent folks who want to learn the basics of coding in the programming language Python, with an emphasis on how autistic and neurodivergent learning differs from standard ways of instruction.

The bootcamp will begin the first week of June and run for 10 weeks. Classes will be online, led by an autistic instructor, typically with two one-hour sessions per week.

This resource is free to anyone who identifies as neurodivergent and is interested in learning the basics of Python. The only materials needed are a computer and an internet connection. You can view the application here

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Women In Science Virtual Speaker Series – Hudson River Estuary Program

Women In Science Virtual Speaker Series – Hudson River Estuary Program

Beginning January 19, 2023, join DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program for the Women in Science Virtual Speaker Series! Take part in four free webinars throughout January and February. Meet and learn from scientists, community leaders, and environmental educators who work at the intersection of research, education, and environmental and social justice. Engage in discussions about data literacy, sea-level rise and sediment accumulation, wetland restoration, oysters, and field-based research.

Click here to register!!!

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