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Great Summer Science Programs for High School Students

If You Love Science, These Summer Programs Are Worth a Look

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Summer is a great time to explore your scientific interests. A quality summer program can introduce you to potential college majors in the sciences, provide hands on experiences, and give you an impressive line on your activities resumé. Below are five excellent programs, and at the bottom of the page you'll find a link to an article where you can share information on other worthwhile programs.

Summer Science Program

Headquarter for the Very Large Array are on the New Mexico Tech campus
Hajor / Wikimedia Commons
The Summer Science Program (SSP) is a residential academic enrichment program for gifted rising high school seniors offered at both the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Sorocco, New Mexico and Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. The SSP curriculum is centered around a group research project to determine the orbit of an asteroid, and participants study college-level astronomy, physics, calculus and programming. Students also attend guest lectures and go on field trips. The program runs for approximately five weeks. Learn more.

Boston Leadership Institute: Biological Research

Bentley University Library
Fogster / Wikimedia Commons
The flagship program of the Boston Leadership Institute, this program is a three-week course in the field of biological research. Activities include hands-on laboratory work, private tours and fields trips to various sites around Boston, and in-depth research papers and presentations. The course is taught by Whitney Hagins, an award-winning biology teacher at one of the top public high schools in the country. Students can choose to commute or stay in one of the residence halls at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Learn more.

Research Science Institute

MIT Great Dome
Dan4th / Flickr
The Research Science Institute (RSI) is an intensive summer program for outstanding high school students offered by the Center for Excellence in Education and hosted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Participants have the opportunity to experience the entire research cycle through coursework in scientific theory and hands-on practice in science and technology research, culminating in oral and written research reports. The program includes one week of classes and a five-week research internship where students conduct their individual research project. RSI is cost-free to students. Learn more.

California NanoSystems Institute NanoScience Lab

UCLA Royce Hall
_gene_ / flickr
This program, offered by the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California Los Angeles, is a workshop for rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to explore advanced scientific methods and technology. Participants will complete hands-on nanoscience activities and experiments related to subjects including biotoxicity, photolithography, supercapacitators, solar cels and super hydrophobic surfaces. The workshop runs for five days and carries two quarter units of UCLA course credit. Learn more.

Research in the Biological Sciences

University of Chicago
puroticorico / Flickr
The University of Chicago’s Biological Sciences Collegiate Division offers this rigorous summer program in biological research techniques for rising high school juniors and seniors. Participants learn about molecular, microbiological and cell biological techniques being used in modern laboratories through a project-based curriculum, learning basic practical lab techniques and applying them to independent group projects that are presented at the end of the course. Several students each year are also invited back the following year to work with a University of Chicago research scientist. The program runs for four weeks, and students live in university housing. Learn more.
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