STEM Summer Programs for High School Students

Introductory Information about Summer STEM Programs


STEM summer programs for high school students with roboticsSTEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These fields tend to be growing with advances in the different areas and integration among different fields. There has been an increasing number of STEM-based summer programs that are available for high school students and teenagers. For example, the advances as well as the accessibility to robotics has provided students with unique opportunities to learn about this area during the summer. In general, STEM summer programs are designed to provide students with a chance to learn about one or more of the STEM areas.

STEM Areas and Summer Learning Opportunities

Lab for a STEM summer program for high school studentsSome STEM programs incorporate all of the different areas, while others place a particular focus on one or two of the areas. Many of the STEM summer programs emphasize hands-on activities, problem-based learning, research, collaboration, projects and lab work. During a summer STEM program, high school students may find themselves building a small robot, using materials to construct a bridge, designing an energy efficient vehicle, participating in research in a lab setting, solving complex math problems, engaging in computer coding, learning about the science behind crime scene investigation, investigating sources of energy, and more. In general, students learn about STEM related topics in their schools and STEM programs can extend this learning into the summer.

Pre-College STEM Summer Programs

STEM pre-college summer programA number of colleges and organizations sponsor STEM summer pre-college programs. As a part of the experience, high school students often have a chance to gain insight into majors and career options in the STEM fields. In pre-college programs, students may have the opportunity to learn from professors, current college students, and/or professionals working in the field. In addition, many colleges and organizations hold STEM programs on college campuses. This gives students the opportunity to have an experience being in a college setting and utilizing campus resources to enhance their knowledge of the STEM fields.

STEAM Summer Programs

Artwork within a STEM Summer Program for High School StudentsIn addition to STEM summer programs, there are also STEAM programs. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, are, and mathematics. These programs provide students with a chance to enhance their creativity through the integration of art into the STEM fields. STEAM programs often enable students to learn about the interconnections and interdisciplinary nature of the subject areas.

Researching STEM Summer Programs

Overall, stem summer programs very in nature because of all the different facets involved with science, technology, engineering, and math. As a result, it is important for high school students to learn about, research, and examine stem programs in order to find out If the opportunities provided align with their goals and interests. There are a variety of stem programs included in this summer programs directory and students can determine which programs are of interest for them. Students are also encouraged to contact a program representative directly to ask questions about the structure of the program as well as the activities That students can engage in during the program.


Featured STEM Summer Program

Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan offers summer STEM programs for high school students as well as those in younger grades. The programs are designed to enable students to explore and enhance their knowledge in areas such as engineering, technology, and robotics.

Michigan State University STEM summer programs for high school studentsOne of the programs offered at Michigan State is known as the High School Engineering Institute. This program is intended to help students gain insight into the field of engineering. In particular, it enables high school students to consider majors in engineering as well as potential career options. The program features experiential learning, collaborative work with peers, interactions with faculty members, and the opportunity to meet current students at the university who are studying engineering. This STEM summer program is also designed to be residential and to give students the opportunity to stay on a college campus. Participants are high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors that meet the eligibility requirements for the program. There are typically three sessions of the program that are run during the summer.

Michigan State's STEM summer programsAnother summer program for high school students that is offered by Michigan State focuses on technology and it is called Make a Game of It. In particular, this program has an emphasis on computer programming, video game design and computer software development. This summer camp experience is designed for students who are considering a major in the area of computer science. Participants engage in hands-on activities and have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in areas such as developing software. In addition, students have the opportunity to interact with a professor from the College of Computer Science and Engineering as well as current students in this area at the university. The program can be particularly useful for high school students who are interested in majoring in Computer Science or another STEM field. Participating students in this program can stay on the university’s campus to a get a preview of the college experience. This summer program is designed for high school juniors and seniors.

Michigan State also offers other STEM-based summer programs. The programs are offered for a variety of age groups and some of them are residential whereas others are designed for commuter students.


Examples of STEM summer programs include:

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