Summer programs can potentially be extremely valuable resources for middle and high school students, as they can allow you to access information and teachings from outside your local sphere. However, with such a variety of programs available, it is sometimes difficult to find educational and affordable summer camps to apply to. Here are a few summer programs – including many local options – that we recommend taking a close look at in case you or your child are interested.
AI4ALL aims to bring diversity into artificial intelligence by offering programs for high school students from groups that are historically excluded from AI, including underrepresented minority, transgender and non-binary, female, and non-heterosexual groups – in addition to future first-generation students with demonstrated financial need. However, even if you do not fall into one of these groups, consider applying! The application system is holistic and AI4ALL offers many different camps and programs at 16 distinguished schools in computer science. Although deadlines vary by school, most are in mid-March, so don’t delay!
SAMS, or the Summer Academy for Math and Science, is a prestigious summer program that does what it says on the tin: educate in math and science. It is a 6 week program that gives you a college credit, although the program continues past this, allowing attendees to interact with CMU staff for support and information. SAMS is open to current juniors and sophomores, and is an entirely free program. This program is just one of CMU’s many incredible programs, so make sure to check those out as well.
The Clark Scholars program at our local Texas Tech University is a summer research program available to 17-year old students graduating from high school in 2022 or 2023. Like other research programs, Clark Scholars allows students to gain practical, hands-on experience with research under experienced TTU faculty in any discipline from chemical engineering to English – while also leaving room for fun activities, weekly seminars and field trips. As one of the most competitive and prestigious summer research programs in the nation, the program annually admits a mere 12 highly-qualified students of an applicant pool of over 500. For students who are able to rise to the challenge and attend the program, it proves to be one of the most valuable opportunities offered locally.
The Texas Pre-Freshman Engineering Program, offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at our local Texas Tech University, is a seven-week academic enrichment program open to incoming middle and high school students for 2021 as an online program. The program focuses on science, math, and engineering, and has in the past hosted courses including astronomy, logic, physics, block coding, robotics, and math. Students can choose to participate in the program for one to four years in seven-week sessions, making TexPREP an excellent choice for incoming middle school students in particular. Applications open in January 2021, and Lubbock students should thoughtfully consider TexPREP as one potential summer program to participate in before graduation.
Annually, the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program offers the Research & Engineering Apprenticeship Program. Like Clark Scholars, this research program offers hands-on experience in research with qualified professors and has in the past been offered at Texas Tech University for free. The program serves high school students who are citizens or legal permanent residents and are typically underrepresented in STEM – including females, underrepresented minorities, first-generation college students, ESL students, and students who qualify for federal free or reduced lunch. Students in REAP are able to gain exposure to STEM careers and present to peers all in an environment far beyond the traditional high school classroom.
STEM is certainly an important subject, but there are also many other areas in which you can improve. One of these areas is leadership, an important facet for any job or position. This program supports the growth of leadership by providing a paid internship in which you work with many different community non-profits for 8 weeks, fostering your own responsibility and leadership skills as you go. This is a great opportunity for those looking to enter the business and management sphere, as well as those who aren’t, as it grows values important to any field. Applications close at the end of January, so make sure to check this program out quick.
SEP, otherwise known as the Summer Enrichment Program, is a summer program hosted at Texas Tech, focusing on building knowledge of medical practices, and hands-on experience with mock patients and situations. This program is ideal for any students looking to break out into the medical field, as it gives a stable groundwork for medicinal study, such as basic anatomy, biology, chemistry, and terminology.
The Financial Planning Academy is a week-long program focusing on building knowledge and skills relating to personal finance and presentation. It covers many different topics, from building an eye-catching advertisement, to creating an investment portfolio. This program is great for anyone in any field of study, teaching you the skills you need to know, with your week long stay culminating in a presentation to professional financial planners: with a cash prize for the winning group. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been cancelled for 2021, but prospective students should keep their eyes peeled for further updates.
Having researched and applied for some of these programs ourselves, we as Robin’s Nest tutors understand that the variety and sheer number of summer programs available to students of all ages may seem overwhelming at first. That being said, we hope that this article has helped you narrow down your options or at least learn about a few new valuable educational options that suit your or your children’s needs and interests. Regardless of whether your interests include STEM or humanities subjects, or another subject entirely, we are confident that at least one of the programs above will pique your interest.
Thanks for reading! This article was written and edited by Aetizaz Sameer and Derek Zhou.
Aetizaz is a senior at Lubbock high School. In addition to Robin’s Nest, he participates in UIL computer science and ready writing.
Derek is a junior at Lubbock High school. He enjoys participating in First Robotics, Science Bowl, and Cyberpatriot.