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10 Computer Science and Technology Programs for High School Students

January 31, 2024
By AdmissionSight
Knowledgeable Teacher Giving a Lecture About Software Engineering to a Group of Smart Diverse University Students.

10 Computer Science and Technology Programs for High School Students

Are you a high school student with a passion for computer science and technology? If you’re looking to get a head start on your college journey and stand out in your college applications, exploring specialized programs in these fields can be a game-changer. From coding boot camps to research internships, the opportunities are vast and varied. This blog will guide you through 10 outstanding computer science and technology programs that cater to high school students, helping you find the perfect fit to fuel your passion and bolster your college applications.

1. SLAI Computer Science Program at Carleton College

  • Location: Carleton College, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057, USA
  • Cost: $4,500
  • Program Date: July 6 to July 26, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 11, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students

The SLAI Computer Science Program at Carleton College is an exceptional opportunity for high school students interested in computer science and technology. This three-week summer program, scheduled for July 6th to July 26th, 2024, is designed to offer a deep and immersive experience in various areas of computer science.

During the program, you will have the opportunity to explore topics like Robotics, Computer Vision, Web Development, and Computer Organization through both theoretical classes and practical, hands-on labs. For instance, in the Robotics section, beginners can engage in “Creative Robot Programming,” using LEGO Spike Prime robots and learning programming with Scratch or Python.

Entrance sign and Skinner Memorial Chapel on the campus of Carleton College.

This experience culminates in team-based projects where students design and program robots to perform complex tasks. The Computer Vision course delves into image manipulation and advanced topics like deep learning for image classification and object detection, offering a collaborative project-based learning environment. Web Development focuses on creating data-driven sites and learning about front-end and back-end development, while the Computer Organization course takes you through the hardware level of computers, exploring how basic logical operations performed by transistors lead to complex functionalities.

2. National Computer Camps

  • Location: Fairfield University, Oglethorpe University, & Online
  • Cost: $400 – $2700
  • Program Date: June 16 to August 2, 2024
  • Application Deadline: May 28, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students aged 6 up to high school

National Computer Camps (NCC), established in 1977, stands out as America’s original computer camp, offering a diverse and dynamic experience in the field of computer technology. NCC’s philosophy centers on the critical role of computer technology in modern education, emphasizing the uniqueness of each camper with varied needs, learning styles, and backgrounds. This approach fosters a positive self-image essential for the development of young individuals.

At NCC, you’ll find a curriculum that’s continuously updated to incorporate new technologies, ensuring its relevance and engagement for campers. The program is not just about teaching technical skills; it’s about nurturing a lifelong interest and capability in computing. The focus areas include computer languages, game design, web design, and applications, taught through individualized and cooperative instruction. This allows you to progress at your own pace while still being part of a collaborative learning environment.

3. Upperline School Of Code

  • Location: 150 Broadway, New York, NY (online option also available)
  • Cost: $295 – $4,995
  • Program Date: Classes available all throughout 2024
  • Application Deadline: Rolling basis
  • Eligibility: High school students

Upperline School of Code is a dynamic educational platform focusing on empowering students through coding. One of the best computer science and technology programs for high school students, the program stands out for its commitment to transforming how students interact with technology, fostering a deep understanding and practical application of coding languages such as HTML, CSS, Ruby, JavaScript, and Swift.

The program’s structure is tailored to cater to individual needs and schedules, offering a range of flexible learning options including in-person classes, online classes, and a hybrid model. This flexibility ensures that, regardless of your personal circumstances or geographical location, you can access quality coding education. Upperline’s curriculum is project-based, where you work on real-world projects, giving you a tangible portfolio of work that is highly valued in the job market.

4. Emagination Computer Camps

  • Location: Fairfield University, North Central College, & Rosemont College
  • Cost: $1,885 – $3,415
  • Program Date: June 16 – August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: Students aged 8-17

Emagination STEM Camps offer a unique blend of technology learning and traditional camp activities, providing a rich experience for kids and teens aged 8-17. Established in 1982, Emagination has a long history of inspiring campers in a supportive and inclusive environment. Here, you have the freedom to tailor your summer experience by selecting four STEM courses from over 20 cutting-edge options. These courses cover a broad range of subjects, from coding and game design to robotics and digital arts. You’ll engage in both morning and afternoon classes, each lasting about three hours with a break in between.

A computer science student

Beyond the classroom, Emagination ensures a well-rounded experience with a variety of fun activities. Whether it’s playing outdoor games like ultimate frisbee, engaging in role-playing adventures, or participating in special events like character conventions and talent shows, the camp offers a balanced mix of learning and play.

5. Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Date: Rounds 1 to 3: June 14 – August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 22, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students who identify as girls or non-binary

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program offers a unique and empowering opportunity for high school students who identify as girls or non-binary. This program is designed to introduce you to the world of computer science and technology in a supportive, all-female environment.

In the two-week Summer Immersion Program, you’ll participate in live, virtual classes sponsored by leading companies. This immersive experience includes learning about game design, covering beginner to intermediate computer science (CS) concepts, the design process, and user experience (UX) design. It’s open to current 9th to 11th graders and even offers a $300 needs-based grant for eligible students in the United States. An emphasis on diversity and inclusion is central to Girls Who Code, focusing not only on gender diversity but also on empowering young women from historically underrepresented groups in computer science. This includes those from minority communities, economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and those with limited exposure to computer science education.

6. The Lincoln Laboratory Cipher Program at MIT

  • Location: 300 Technology Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Date: August 5 – August 9, 2024
  • Application Deadline: April 12, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students

The Lincoln Laboratory Cipher (LLCipher) program at MIT is an enriching and highly educational experience designed for high school students interested in mathematics and cybersecurity. This one-week summer workshop offers an introduction to theoretical cryptography, a field that combines mathematics and computer science. You’ll get to learn about fascinating topics like blockchains, public key encryption, and various crypto-schemes. The program also exposes you to examples of flawed cryptography to help you understand the ease with which it can be compromised. A key part of the LLCipher experience is hands-on learning, where you can apply theoretical concepts through engaging activities, including creating an online platform featuring challenges in different cryptosystems.

The program also offers a fantastic opportunity for you to build a professional network, connecting with like-minded peers, industry professionals, and academic leaders. These connections could be invaluable throughout your career, offering collaboration, mentorship, and advice. The program, by focusing on problem-solving and critical thinking, helps you develop into a versatile thinker, a skill that extends beyond cryptography.

7. iD Tech Camps

  • Location: In all participating schools
  • Cost: $729 – $1,129
  • Program Date: June, July, August 2024
  • Application Deadline: Rolling basis
  • Eligibility: Students from ages 7 to 19

iD Tech Camps offer an enriching experience for young tech enthusiasts, combining education and fun in a unique setting. These camps are designed for kids and teens aged 7 to 19, catering to a wide age range with varying levels of expertise in technology. The programs are held at over 75 prestigious locations across the United States, including top universities, ensuring an inspiring learning environment. With options for both weeklong and two-week programs, iD Tech Camps cover a broad spectrum of topics such as coding, game design, robotics, and more. The curriculum is tailored to be age-appropriate and is continually updated to stay current with technological advancements and feedback from students and parents.

Group of student working on their laptops.

The registration for the 2024 summer sessions is already live, and considering the popularity and limited spots, it’s advisable to apply early. The application process is straightforward, involving selecting a program, checking eligibility, and choosing convenient dates and locations. With the camps hosted at multiple prestigious universities and offering a range of dates, there is flexibility to find a program that fits your schedule and interests​​​​​​.

8. MIT Women’s Technology Program

  • Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Cost: $0–$6,000, depending on students’ family incomes
  • Program Date: June 29–July 26, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Junior high school students

The MIT Women’s Technology Program (WTP) offers a unique educational experience for high school students, particularly focusing on Mechanical Engineering for the summer of 2024. This four-week residential program at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering is designed to introduce high school students to fundamental concepts and principles of mechanical engineering during the summer following their 11th-grade year. The program is hands-on, with MIT graduate students leading classes in various subjects crucial to mechanical engineering. Participants engage in practical experimentation, analytical problem-solving, and the use of computer software for numerical modeling and computer-aided design.

WTP is especially focused on empowering young women and other students historically underrepresented and underserved in engineering. It’s an inclusive program encouraging applications from students who may be the first in their family to attend college, come from low socioeconomic backgrounds, or have been discouraged from pursuing STEM due to their background. The program is free to apply and attend for students with family incomes less than $120,000, with a sliding scale of fees based on family income for those above this threshold. For summer 2024, the program will only offer the Mechanical Engineering track, as the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science track is on hiatus.

9. MIT LLRise

  • Location: MIT campus in Cambridge, MA & at Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Date: July 14 – July 27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 7, 2024
  • Eligibility: Junior high school students

The MIT Lincoln Laboratory Radar Introduction for Student Engineers (LLRISE) program is a unique opportunity for high school students, especially those about to enter their senior year. This program offers an immersive two-week workshop where you will learn to build small radar systems. Scheduled for July 14 to July 27, 2024, LLRISE combines hands-on learning with theoretical instruction, allowing you to work alongside skilled scientists and engineers.

a unique looking building inside MIT

The focus is on building both a Doppler and a range radar, enhancing your problem-solving skills and providing a deep dive into the world of radar technology. LLRISE is held both on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA, and at the Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA. The program is free of charge, but you will need to cover your transportation to and from MIT. Accommodation is provided in MIT dormitories, creating an immersive campus experience.

10. Regeneron Science Talent Search

  • Location: Washington, D.C
  • Cost: Unspecified
  • Program Date: January 10–March 12, 2024
  • Application Deadline: November 8, 2023
  • Eligibility: Students over 13 years of age

The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS) is the United States’ oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. It has been recognizing and empowering promising young scientists since 1942. The competition is known for offering a national stage for high school seniors to present original research, and it places a strong emphasis on identifying and inspiring the most promising scientists among the nation’s high school seniors.

In the Regeneron STS, students from across the country submit their original research in various scientific fields. The competition is unique in its focus on high school students, providing them with an important forum for their research, which is recognized and reviewed by a national jury of professional scientists. Each year, the program recognizes 300 students as scholars and invites 40 student finalists to Washington, D.C., for final judging. These finalists display their work to the public and meet with notable scientists and government leaders. The competition awards over $3.1 million annually, with scholarships for the top 300 scholars and a minimum of $25,000 for each finalist. The top winner of the competition receives a grand prize of $250,000.

Final Thoughts

Your journey in computer science and technology doesn’t have to wait until college. By participating in these programs for high school students, you’re not just preparing for college; you’re shaping the future of technology. Whether you dream of developing revolutionary software, tackling cybersecurity challenges, or innovating in tech entrepreneurship, these programs provide the foundation. Remember, the path to your dream college and a successful career in tech begins with the steps you take today. Stay curious, stay motivated, and let your tech journey begin!

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