Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Engineering

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Engineering

As part of your college application, extracurricular activities—including those over the summer— help demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and commitment to an area of study (typically, the one you might pursue in college).

But “programs” are not the only way to explore academic interests. You can join clubs at your school or locally, take free online classes via edX and Coursera, shadow, or intern (aka volunteer for most students)—there are tons of options ranging from super formal (and pricey) to those as simple as reading in your free time.

The following programs 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. In this course, RACECAR (Rapid Autonomous Complex Environment Competing Ackermann steering), students programmed small robotic cars to autonomously navigate a racetrack. It is a 4-week residential program for rising high school seniors and the program is free.

Google Computer Science Institute 

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.

AI Scholars

A 10-day program that exposes students to fundamental AI concepts, and guides them to build a socially impactful AI project. The program runs as a 10-session (40 hour) project-based Bootcamp.

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.

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 designed for students who are excited about learning, have demonstrated their ability to excel at math and science in their high school classes, and who have no prior background (or very little) in engineering or computer science, with few opportunities to explore these fields.

WTP is a women-focused, collaborative community aimed at empowering students from groups historically underrepresented and underserved in engineering. We 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 towards 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.

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The Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Science

The Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Science

There are tons of interesting and fun summer programs out there! However, the ones we most often suggest are those that help you explore your academic interests. As part of your college application, they help demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and commitment to an area of study (typically, the one you might pursue in college).

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

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 course work 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.

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! (And why we refer to them as “participants,” not “students.”) SSP is research, not coursework. Participants collaborate in teams of three. Everyone learns from – and teaches – everyone else.

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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Learn to Code! Free and Low Cost Coding Resources

Learn to Code! Free and Low Cost Coding Resources

Learning to code is not only a must for aspiring computer science majors! It is also very helpful for pre-engineering majors and even business majors. Finally, it’s a very low to no cost extracurricular activity. Get started today with the resources below!

Codecademy

Take your pick of more than a dozen coding languages, including C++, Python, Ruby, SQL, Java, and beyond with the online offerings of Codecademy. Codecademy offers both paid and free courses, so you can customize your learning to meet your needs and your budget. The free membership option lets you access basic courses that feature interactive lessons and daily practice options. You’ll need to upgrade to the pro membership to get beyond the basics, however.

Hack Reactor

Hack Reactor’s online coding bootcamp is the best around, so it’s no surprise that the company’s software engineer free prep program is also incredibly effective for learning Javascript as a beginner. Hack Reactor offers a free, online, self-guided prep course that lets you study at your own pace and work on your own time.

Girls Who Code

2022 Summer Programs teach girls and non-binary students the computer science skills they need to make an impact in their community while preparing for a career in tech. Participants will get exposure to tech jobs, meet women in tech careers, and join a supportive sisterhood of girls in tech. The program is available as a 2-week intensive or as a 6-week self-paced program.

Kode with Klossy

Offers a few programs, including a free two-week summer program for young women and non-binary individuals ages 13 – 18 that will teach you to build real-life apps whether you’ve never written a line of code or you’re a full-fledged hacker.

Also check out:

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Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Computer Science

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Computer Science

As part of your college application, extracurricular activities—including those over the summer— help demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and commitment to an area of study (typically, the one you might pursue in college). The following programs and other enrichment opportunities are some of our favorites for students interested in computer science and technology.

Please keep in mind that “programs” are not the only way to explore academic interests. In fact, many colleges like to see students go beyond canned programming (ask us about this directly). You can join clubs at your school or locally, take free online classes via edX and Coursera, shadow, or intern (aka volunteer for most students)—there are tons of options ranging from super formal (and pricey) to those as simple as reading in your free time.

Google Code Jams/Competitions

Not a program, but very cool! Put your coding skills to the test as you work your way through multiple rounds of algorithmic coding puzzles for the title of Code Jam Champ.

Congressional App Challenge

The Congressional App Challenge is the most prestigious prize in student computer science. Participation in the challenge has grown exponentially and has reached underserved, diverse, and rural student populations. It is partnering with UpBrainery Technologies to provide 15 hours of free educational resources to students. Access to step by step instructions on how to successfully build your own web or mobile app.

Google Computer Science Institute
A 3-week intro to coding for high school seniors. The program aims to train emerging tech leaders and innovators, held in multiple states each summer, with an inside look into Google operations. Participation is free.

Stanford AI4ALL

Stanford AI4ALL aims to increase diversity in the field of Artificial Intelligence. During this three-week online program, students are immersed in AI through a combination of lectures, hands-on research projects, and mentoring activities. Participants engage with professionals in the field to learn about cutting-edge ideas, such as how AI can be applied in medicine, disaster response, and combatting poverty.

CMU Computer Science Scholars

Participants will attend lectures by Carnegie Mellon faculty with expertise in various aspects of computing. They will also attend two academic seminars focused on programming and higher level mathematics. Project based learning will supplement classroom experiences and offer students an opportunity to apply learned concepts to real world challenges. Outside of the academic experience students will engage virtually with industry leaders to learn about the vast opportunities in the field of computing. Students will have an opportunity to be mentored by industry leaders throughout the country. At the conclusion of the program students will receive a comprehensive evaluation which can be integrated into their academic portfolios for college admission purposes.

Women’s Technology Program – MIT

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 designed for students who are excited about learning, have demonstrated their ability to excel at math and science in their high school classes, and who have no prior background (or very little) in engineering or computer science, with few opportunities to explore these fields. WTP is a women-focused, collaborative community aimed at empowering students from groups historically underrepresented and underserved in engineering. We 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.

Girls Who Code

Events and programs vary year-to-year. Check site for more information.

Girls Teaching Girls to Code

Events and programs vary year-to-year. Check site for more information.

Others:

Illinois Tech

NJ GSET – GovSchool

Khan Academy – Computing Section

 

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Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Business

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Business

The best programs are the ones that help you explore your academic interests. As part of your college application, they help demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and commitment to an area of study (typically, the one you might pursue in college).

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

The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania hosts tons of paid programs (not here) but also lower cost and free options!

Wharton Global High School Investment Competition

Wharton Connect

Wharton Explore Business Mini-sites

Our Explore Business mini-sites are gateways to conversations, readings and activities that inspire high school students to think more deeply about issues affecting business and society. Dig into these Wharton-powered learning opportunities wherever and whenever you want to explore timely and compelling topics. Our mini-sites include:

Understanding Your Money is a self-paced online course for high school students. This course offers an introduction to fundamental economic concepts, investing, and basic money management to help you make smarter financial decisions. In addition to online video lessons delivered by Wharton faculty, the course includes links to related readings, activities and glossary terms, as well as quizzes to test students on what you have learned.

The McCombs Summer High School Programs 

Free, six-day experiences focused on business and leadership that offer rising junior and senior high school students the chance to learn and interact with McCombs students, faculty, and corporate representatives. Outstanding African-American, Latino and Native American students, first-generation students, and students who have overcome social or economic hardship are strongly encouraged to apply. However, all students are welcome to apply.

LEAD, Multiple College Campuses

The Summer Business Institute (SBI) program is LEAD’s longest running Summer Institute and is considered the “flagship” program. The SBI program exposes scholars to business principles and the skill sets needed for successful business careers. The program challenges them through applied learning experiences often facilitated by college professors, links scholars to corporate executives in business fields and peers with similar aspirations and abilities. During LEAD SBIs, scholars reside and attend classes on-campus at a select number of the nation’s top business schools for three or four weeks. SBIs provide diverse, high-achieving rising high school seniors the opportunity to explore finance, entrepreneurship, accounting and marketing, among other business sectors. Learn more here.

Fordham University, NYC Business Insider

It takes just one week—five days behind the scenes of Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and Silicon Alley—to show you what a career in business looks like. Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business invites high school juniors and seniors to experience New York City as the commercial capital of the world. Network with new friends, and maybe even with your future college professors. Visit the boardrooms, showrooms, and stadiums where business gets done in New York. Learn more here.

Young Women’s Business Institute (Kelley)

The Young Women’s Institute (free!) introduces young women to the college experience and business career opportunities. Students are selected from around the country to spend a week at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. While at IU, students:

  • Participate in workshops with top Kelley School of Business faculty
  • Interact with Kelley alumni and current students
  • Prepare a real-world business case project
  • Build leadership and communication skills
  • Connect with like-minded women interested in business

TCU Investor Challenge

Are you a high school student entering your senior year? Apply for the TCU High School Investor Challenge®. There are two High School Investor programs in 2022:  June 5 – June 10 and June 19 – June 24.  Completed applications and letter of recommendation must be received by April 6, 2022.

Non-“Program” Ideas We Love

Khan Academy Modules

Free Online Classes from Top Colleges & Universities

JUV Consulting

  • Gain experience with prototype testing and feedback, give your opinions and perspectives on trends, be a part of potential focus groups, contribute to school outreach programs, and participate in brand ambassadorship opportunities. Learn more here.

Learn Bloomberg and Financial Modeling via Excel

Internships and Shadows

  • Ask us about this one!

 

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Summer 2022 & Pre-College Programs

Summer 2022 & Pre-College Programs

Summer program apps are opening up for summer 2022! 

Did you know that Columbia’s largest high school program raked in $20 million during the pandemic? 

If you are targeting highly selective/highly rejective schools, we’ve noticed they’d rather see a rising senior undertake something a bit more self-directed. For underclassmen, sometimes paid programs are a good idea; it depends on the student and their goals. 

It can be hard to find summer programs, and CU’s programs—like Harvard, Georgetown, Penn, and Brown—always rank high in Google searches and have a vast array of curricular offerings, formats, and timelines. They simply just work for many families who can afford them because they are easy! But, easy is not always best…

Posting this article with the hope that folks will think beyond these programs, especially if they are rising seniors, or plan to target highly selective (top 30 or so) schools. There is more you can do, for less! 

But BMC, you’ve posted some of these programs in the past—what gives? Yes, we do post about paid summer programs but provide information on those that are free, low-cost, or those that offer substantial scholarships. For example (we will be updating these in the coming months, too!):

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Computer Science

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Leadership

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Sports/Sport Management

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Engineering

Best Summer Programs for High School Students: Business

Summer Programs for Female Identifying High School Students

Annual Camp Pride Summer Leadership Academy

Always an option, always free: Pursue a passion or purpose project. Create an independent study with your favorite teachers. Cold call/mail profs until you find your way into a lab. Max out edX and Coursera

There’s also no need to wait until summer to engage in and explore your interests. Start now!

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Bank of America Student Leaders – 2022

Bank of America Student Leaders – 2022

Summer program alert!

As a BOA Student Leader, you will participate in an eight-week paid internship at a local nonprofit organization where you will learn first-hand about the needs of your community and the critical role nonprofits play. In addition, you will learn valuable civic, social and business leadership skills. Each Student Leader will attend the Student Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C. where you will learn how government, business and the nonprofit sector work together to address critical community needs. Note: in-person events will be in line with local and national guidelines around gatherings and travel and may be subject to change.

To become a Student Leader, you must:

  • Currently be a junior or senior in high school
  • Live in one of the eligible markets listed
  • Be able to participate in an 8‐week paid internship at a local nonprofit/charitable organization and work 35 hours a week*
  • Be legally authorized to work in the US without sponsorship through the end of September 2022
  • Be able to participate in a week‐long Student Leadership Summit in Washington, DC (July 25-30, 2022) (All expenses paid as part of Student Leaders. This week will be part of your 8‐ week experience.) *
  • Be a student in good standing at your school
  • Please note: Bank of America employees or members of their immediate family (e.g., children, siblings, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.) are NOT eligible to apply.

*In-person events will be in line with local and national guidelines around gatherings and travel and may be subject to change.

Click here for FAQs on our Student Leaders program.

Applications for the 2022 program will be accepted from Monday, November 1 through Friday, January 28. Apply Now for the 2022 Student Leaders program.

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Free Personal Finance Workshops for High School Girls

Free Personal Finance Workshops for High School Girls

Invest in Girls, a program of the Council for Economic Education, is offering a series of virtual workshops for high school girls to learn all about personal finance and get smart(er!) about money.
With IIG’s Summer Session, students can learn how to be the CFOs of their own lives.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Creating a budget
  • Using credit cards
  • Understanding interest rates
  • Paying income tax
  • Careers in finance
Daytime and evening groups for the summer session are being formed now and will be meeting 3x a week in July 2021.
  • Groups will meet online on: 7/13, 7/14, 7/15, 7/20, 7/21, and 7/22
  • Students can choose the 11:00 a.m. (EDT) or the 6:00 p.m. (EDT) group

We believe every girl should feel confident about money matters. At IIG’s Summer Session 2021, students will meet like-minded girls and get to hear from inspiring women working in finance so they can start building their own networks and invest in themselves.

Know a teen girl or two who you think would want to know about IIG‘s Summer Session?

Please share the link to our online interest form and tell them it’s because you believe in them—and want them to be confident and feel financially empowered.
Summer Programs for Female Identifying High School Students

Summer Programs for Female Identifying High School Students

The best summer programs are the ones that help you explore your academic interests. As part of your college application, they help demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and commitment to an area of study (typically, the one you might pursue in college).

Below are some great options for female-identifying students!

CMU Computer Science Scholars

Participants will attend lectures by Carnegie Mellon faculty with expertise in various aspects of computing. They will also attend two academic seminars focused on programming and higher level mathematics. Project-based learning will supplement classroom experiences and offer students an opportunity to apply learned concepts to real-world challenges. Outside of the academic experience students will engage virtually with industry leaders to learn about the vast opportunities in the field of computing. Students will have an opportunity to be mentored by industry leaders throughout the country. At the conclusion of the program students will receive a comprehensive evaluation which can be integrated into their academic portfolios for college admission purposes.

Women’s Technology Program – MIT

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 designed for students who are excited about learning, have demonstrated their ability to excel at math and science in their high school classes, and who have no prior background (or very little) in engineering or computer science, with few opportunities to explore these fields. WTP is a women-focused, collaborative community aimed at empowering students from groups historically underrepresented and underserved in engineering. We 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.

Barnard Pre-College

Experience Summer in New York City at Barnard. With distinct programs to choose from, ranging from entrepreneurship to STEM, you have the unique opportunity to explore an area of interest on a deeper level through both in-class discussions and city exploration. As part of the learning experience at Barnard, you will get a taste of both college life and the city that never sleeps!

Inspiring Girls Expeditions

Leadership adventure programming! Tuition-free multi-day expeditions for high school girls that interweave science, art, and backcountry travel. Expeditions are led by professional women scientists, artists, and wilderness guides. Throughout each expedition, the team engages in scientific and artistic inquiry about the environment around them. In small groups, participants design and conduct scientific projects, which they present to the public on the last full day of their expeditions.

Girls Who Code

Clubs, summer immersion programs, and college loops!

Girls Teaching Girls to Code

Events and programs vary from year to year. Check their site for more information.

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Free Online Courses for High School Students

Free Online Courses for High School Students

I have been suggesting free classes via edX and Coursera for a while now. They are the perfect way for students to build their academic narrative, which is a must when applying to selective colleges. If you did not jump on this suggestion already, this summer is a great time (if you don’t have a lighter EC load right now!

Below are some of my current favorites from both platforms. Click on the course title for a direct link.

Specializations (Multiple Courses)

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