STEM summer programmes for high school students
Give your child an immersive experience at a STEM camp this summer. Source: Shutterstock

There’s been an increased focus on the importance of STEM-related careers lately, partly due to the growth of new technologies like robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, and the like.

These technologies will be integrated across all industries in the future, so the next generation must be adept at learning technology basics such as data analysis and coding.

There has also been much discussion about the need to encourage more girls and women to pursue careers in this field, as there is currently a large gender gap when it comes to STEM jobs like computer engineering and IT.

While there are many differing reasons why girls prefer not to study STEM, studies have found that they include reasons such as low self-confidence and fear of entering a field largely dominated by males.

By showing both girls and boys who are interested in technology that it’s a field for both genders, and that a STEM-related career can be rewarding and fulfilling – not to mention with great job prospects – hopefully, the next generation will be more motivated to learn more in this field.

Summer camps or programmes that are related to STEM can be a fun and engaging way to spur a high school student’s interest.

They also connect teenagers to other like-minded teens so they are in a supportive community without fear of getting bullied or made fun of for their interests.

Here are four STEM summer programmes in the US for high school students:

iD Coding and AI Academy

Open to ages 13-18, this summer programme runs for two weeks, offered at over fifteen prestigious US universities.

Students will discover AI and machine learning, cryptography, game programming with C++, robotics engineering, and more.

They will gain a specialised skill set that will look impressive on college applications and pave their way to an exciting career, as these are skills highly in demand by employers such as NASA, Google, Tesla, and Facebook.

Students here have the chance to enrol in an overnight programme with tuition, room and board provided, or they can sign up for optional weekend stays.

Besides mastering new tech skills, students spend two hours each day bonding with new friends and experiencing campus life or enjoying time outdoors.

In the evening, they also have plenty of time to relax, work on their projects, and even compete in video game tournaments.

iD Game Dev Academy

Is your child interested in video games and how they work? There are many opportunities today for game developers and programmers.

A summer programme can kickstart their dream career and help teenagers build the in-demand skills sought by video game studios like EA and Epic Games.

According to the website, “In this immersive game studio experience, you’ll take on the role of a 3D modeler, gameplay programmer, or level designer, learn the full cycle of game production, and discover how to turn your love of gaming into a lucrative career.”

It’s also open to those ages 13-18 for two weeks in the summer, offered at over 10 university campuses, and has both weekend stays or full overnight programmes.

Much like the above programme, there is plenty of time allocated for mingling with friends and spending time outdoors.

Summer Immersion Program

Offered by GirlsWhoCode in several locations in the US, this Summer Immersion Program is free for 10-11th grade girls who are going into their junior or senior year of high school.

A great initiative to encourage girls to pursue their interests in STEM, participants learn more about computer science, gain exposure to the different jobs in technology, and join a sisterhood of girls who are change-makers in the science world.

According to the website, “Each week of the program covers projects related to computer science, such as art, storytelling, robotics, video games, web sites, and apps.

“You’ll also hear from guest speakers, participate in workshops, connect with female engineers and entrepreneurs, and go on field trips. The program culminates in a final project where you build your own product and share it with your class.”

Space Camp

Is your child a budding astronaut or interested in space? This camp has been around since 1982 and is located in Huntsville, Alabama. It provides a unique hands-on STEM experience for kids, in which they learn by “training” as astronauts.

Located at the US Space and Rocket Center, the Official Visitor Center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, “trainees” of all ages learn space and flight history, work together as teams, experience simulators, complete simulated space missions, and learn what it really means to be an astronaut.

According to the website, “Space Camp has inspired and nurtured the dreams of trainees, leading many to pursue careers in STEM fields. 96% of Space Camp graduates say their Camp experience increased their interest in STEM topics, while 61% of graduates are currently in or studying careers in aerospace, defense, energy, education, biotech or technology. Ten of our Space Camp graduates have been selected as astronauts.”

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

What are the highest paying STEM jobs in the UK?