Exciting summer programs for High School students





By Rajkamal Rao  



Image Courtesy: Rao Advisors

There are outstanding summer programs to keep your teenager engaged and active, while giving them an opportunity to make friends, learn, and have fun. Summer programs are also about exploration, so it is fine to have your child enroll in a program that you may consider to be outside of her interests or career goals.

Academic programs fall into two basic buckets, STEM and Liberal Arts. Below are a few good ones. Applying early is key.

Non-academic programs range from providing service to a local nursing home to volunteering for an international organization such as the Red Cross. Work or internship options are also attractive ways to keep children engaged.

Liberal Arts: Political Science, Government, or International Relations

For high school students who are interested in pursuing a political science, government, or international relations career, there are numerous opportunities. Many start off in high school clubs that culminate in inter-school competitions at the regional, state, or even national level. Other opportunities are available through essay competitions or internships.

The best ones are those that are sponsored by the government, or by organizations representing the government. It is never a good idea to pay exorbitantly for such experiences, so be wary of internships or summer sessions at elite top schools such as Stanford, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, Columbia, and Brown.


STEM (and Liberal Arts)

There are numerous STEM programs that may interest your child. Many require students to have demonstrated STEM skills in school through coursework and club activities. Some are open to all students.

  1. High School Aerospace Scholars - NASA

  2. Summer Science Program

  3. Research Science Institute at MIT

  4. MITES program at MIT 

  5. US Naval Academy Summer programs

  6. USAF Summer Seminar

  7. Boston University RISE program

  8. Cisco STEM programs

  9. Boston Leadership Institute Biology Research

  10. High School Summer Science Research at Baylor

  11. Girls who code

  12. Open-source coding projects to help communities - Call for Code (IBM)

  13. Science Internship Program at UC Santa Cruz

  14. Bank of America Student Leaders

  15. Program in Math for Young Scientists - Boston University

  16. Ross Math Program at Ohio State

  17. Telluride Association Summer Program (TASP)

  18. National Space Club And Foundation Scholars Program - Greenbelt, Maryland

  19. High School Summer Program at MD Anderson

  20. Thomas Jefferson University Summer Science (for Health Science students)

  21. Fox Chase Cancer Center
     
  22. California State Summer School for Mathematics & Science (COSMOS)

  23. UCLA Nanoscience Lab Summer Institute

  24. The University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Center Academy

  25. The Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program - George Mason Univ

  26. Advanced Genetics lab at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst

  27. Research opportunities at Auburn University

  28. Research opportunities at Southern Methodist University

  29. Governor's School of Texas - Lamar University (Free, but must be nominated by counselor)


Volunteering and Community Service

  1. North Texas Food Bank

  2. American Red Cross

  3. Bone Marrow Registry

  4. In Dallas - volunteer at Computers for the Blind and learn hardware skills to build computers.

  5. SAT Tutoring at Schoolhouse.world (affiliate of the Khan Academy)

  6. Destination Imagination

  7. National Breast Cancer Foundation

  8. Hispanic organizations Unidosus or the AAMA (Issues: Rights & Criminal Justice, Education, Health, Immigration, Voting, Youth, and the Economy)

  9. Home Run Hitters International (Camp M.I. for disabled children)

  10. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

  11. Amedisys Hospice

  12. Houston area: iBug Today, technology assistance for the blind. 






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