Looking for STEM high school summer programs to keep busy during the upcoming vacation? For those of you who have a passion for learning more about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, we have a lot of options. First, we’ll go over the basics of what makes a top summer program on our roundup list. Then, we will take a deeper dive into our recommendations for high school summer programs in STEM. Read on for tips on how to level up your entire summer!
So, what does “summer program” mean exactly? Doesn’t that include anything you do during the summer?
Yes and no. You don’t have to rush out and sign up for a hyper-competitive boot camp in order to make the most of your summer if that’s not your thing. However, having some form of credibilities like a transcript, certification, or award helps college admissions officers confirm what you have done. For this article, we’ll focus on structured programming.
Most summer programs for high school students are organized and hosted by universities. Programmatically, you can expect some classroom learning and coursework, and some project-based learning, too. Summer research programs provide opportunities for learning how to read peer-reviewed, published scientific research, and learning to collect and analyze data. Additionally, these programs will introduce how to use statistical or analytics software specific to the niche industry.
What makes a summer program great? Or, at least worthwhile?
Some programs guide you toward starting and finishing a tangible research product, or help you build those relationship foundations so that you can easily maintain your research work throughout the upcoming school year—and by all means, seize that opportunity. [For example, a business program like MIT’s LaunchX is all about coaching your entrepreneurial idea and helping you create an effective pitch, and practice its delivery.] Other programs might fold in field trips around the community and high profile guest lecturers like notable program alumni.
Ultimately, building on the project you started during your summer program, throughout your fall and winter semesters is an excellent way to evolve your project. To receive recognition for your effort, you should submit your findings to academic competitions, or academic conferences, or earn a mention as a contributor in the final published work.
Above all, look for opportunities to expand your knowledge and connect with academic mentors. These two keys will always serve you in the future. The Empowerly community understands the importance of these opportunities for young people. To support you and your students on this journey, consider a summer or fall program with us. Joining Empowerly means access to a research program, internship, and college coaching all in one. Don’t just take it from me; these opportunities are earning widespread appreciation as a meaningful way to spend your time and accelerate your college preparedness.
What if I’m not able to enroll in an official program?
Don’t sweat it. There are plenty of other ways to participate in a less structured summer activity. If you’re curious about that pathway, reach out to an academic advisor or college counselor to set you on the right path!
With the right guidance, self-initiated summer activities can be both fulfilling and impressive. Empowerly can help you map out a plan and give you the support needed to implement it. We offer free consultations for families of students, so if you’re lost for where to begin, we recommend booking your time slot to talk to an Empowerly team member.
How about those STEM high school summer program recommendations now?
We’ve listed out some of our recommended programs that have a positive track record of helping students thrive. Not only do STEM topics lend themselves well to the concentrated format of a summer intensive, but students can also find unique opportunities for hands-on experiences in a lab or research setting.
The following are presented in no particular order.
- Google’s Computer Science Institute (CSSI)
- Harvey Mudd’s Future Achievers in Science and Technology (FAST)
- Rensselaer’s PREFACE Summer Program (PREFACE)
- Smith College’s Summer Science and Engineering Program (SSEP)
- Boston University’s Program for Mathematics for Young Scientists (PROMYS)
- Caltech, Harvey Mudd, and MIT’s Summer Science Program (SSP)
- The National Conference of Governor’s Schools (NCoGS)
- Boston University’s Research in Science and Engineering Program (RISE)
- MIT’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)
- UC Santa Cruz’s Science Internship Program (SIP)
- Carnegie Mellon’s Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS)
- Hampshire College’s Summer Studies in Math (HCSSIM)
- Bryn Mawr College’s Math With Levity (MAthILy)
- Michigan State’s High School Honors Science, Math, Engineering Program (HSHSP)
- Texas Tech’s Anson L. Clark Scholars Program (CSP)
- Notre Dame’s Summer Scholars Program (SSP)
- Stonybrook University’s Simons Summer Research Program (SSRP)
Note: Summer program availability is subject to change due to public health concerns. These programs were last checked on 23 March 2022.
Now, are you ready to start submitting your applications?
Summer programs that require applications are an excellent opportunity to practice how you might present yourself on your college applications. Similarly, you’ll want to put thought into your writing sample(s), and which materials you submit alongside it. Proofread, of course, and consult a trusted source to review it as well.
Empowerly is great at summer program applications, and STEM! We are a resource here to help students, so don’t be afraid to reach out and learn more about how we can help your family.