Academic summer camps offer high school students interested in science the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their chosen fields. Such programs do boost students’ resumes, but they mostly allow high school students to experience a rigorous and explorative science program before entering college or university.
High school students who can experience a summer science program also have the chance to meet other students with similar interests and make connections that could last a lifetime. In many cases, students also meet and work with top university and college professors and researchers.
Here are ten prestigious, highly rated options out of the many academic summer camps for high school students interested in science:
1. Stem Immersion: Boston
During this five-day summer tour, students gain hands-on experience in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research centers, refine their robotic skills at FIRST Robotics, and practice sound engineering in a music production workshop. Students also witness firsthand how Boston’s universities and tech-startups have led the city to become a leader in the science and technology industries. Learn more.
2. Carnegie Mellon University - Summer Academy for Math & Science (SAMS)
This six-week residential summer program provides an opportunity specifically for historically underrepresented minority groups interested in pursuing STEM-related undergraduate majors. Selected rising seniors and a smaller group of rising juniors can choose between two academic tracks, Science and Engineering, or Computer Science, and will explore their chosen track through both traditional classroom instruction and hands-on projects. Learn more.
3. University of Michigan - Michigan Math and Science Scholars (MMSS)
During this two-week summer program, high school students have the opportunity to engage in hands-on research projects in subjects including biology, astronomy, chemistry, computer science, physics, environmental studies, and statistics. Learn more.
4. UCLA - Applications of Nanoscience Summer Institute
This two-week summer program allows student participants to learn the basics of pursuing a scientific research project through lectures, hands-on experiments, and teamwork on actual scientific research. Learn more.
5. Cornell University - Research Apprenticeship in Biological Sciences (RABS)
For six weeks, students explore different aspects of life as a doctor or researcher at Cornell. They take part in hands-on activities and learn from top professionals in the fields of health sciences and biology. Learn more.
6. Columbia University - Summer Immersion
During this three-week program, students can choose from a variety of subjects, including biology, health, physics, neuroscience, and more, while exploring New York City and participating in extracurricular activities. Students will also receive a statement of completion from Columbia at the end of the three weeks. Learn more.
7. Texas Tech University - Clark Scholars Program
For seven weeks, selected high school juniors and seniors receive a $750 tax-free stipend and room and board to take part in hands-on practical research with leading researchers and Texas Tech faculty members in fields of study, such as agricultural sciences, animal and food sciences, nutritional sciences, physics, and more. The program also includes weekly seminars and field trips. Learn more.
8. Emory University - Pre-College Program
For students looking to experience college before college, this program offers the choice of two, three, four, or six weeks at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Student not only have their choice of how long they attend, but also whether they would like credit or no credit, and which subjects they study (from biology and chemistry to forensics, medicine, or microbiology and more). Learn more.
9. Michigan State University - High School Honors Science, Math and Engineering Program (HSHSP)
For very ambitious science-minded high school students, this seven-week program offers the chance to tackle projects in areas like biochemistry, plant and soil sciences, genetics, physics, astronomy, and more, while being paired with a lab mentor at Michigan State. This particular program is the oldest continuously running program of its kind, beginning in 1958. Learn more.
10. Stanford University - High School Summer College
For eight weeks, high school students have the opportunity to choose from more than 140 courses during a summer quarter at Stanford to get a taste of college life at a top university, while taking courses alongside Stanford students from actual Stanford professors. Students interested in science can choose from subjects like biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, environmental studies, and more. Learn more.
These are just ten of the options available for high school students hoping to gain an academic science experience during the summer. However, before applying to any program, make sure you check out its credentials, cost, and details. You’ll want to find a program that’s right for you.