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15 Summer Programs for High School Students in Indiana

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Group of cheerful happy students holding world globe and looking at camera leaning on white wall at campus.

15 Summer Programs for High School Students in Indiana

Summer programs for high school students in Indiana offer many opportunities for academic enrichment, personal growth, and fun. These programs provide a platform for exploring specific academic interests and foster an environment where students can develop soft skills such as teamwork, leadership, and communication.

With various offerings across the state, from immersive residential programs to day camps focusing on specific subjects, there’s something for every student looking to make the most of their summer break.

Top 15 Summer Programs for High School Students in Indiana

Exploring summer programs can be a transformative experience for high school students, offering them opportunities to explore academic subjects, develop new skills, and get a taste of college life. With its diverse range of universities and colleges, Indiana hosts several summer programs designed to challenge and inspire young minds.

Here, we highlight some of the best summer opportunities available to high school students nationwide.

Group of students signing up for internship.

1. Summer Academies

  • Location: Hanover
  • Cost: $800
  • Program Dates: June 9-14, 2024
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students who will be in high school during the 2024-25 school year

Hanover College’s Summer Academy offers high school students a head start on their college journey. This program, aiming to cultivate curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving, is taught by Hanover’s esteemed professors and leverages collaborations with community members and educators. It provides a rich academic experience in a residential setting, allowing students to broaden their academic and personal horizons early.

Students in high school for the 2024-25 academic year are invited to apply by April 1, 2024, choosing from nine specialized institutes that cover topics from environmental science and engineering to health sciences and leadership. An additional benefit for those who later enroll at Hanover is the deduction of the program’s cost from their first-year tuition.

This immersive educational experience deepens students’ knowledge in various fields. It equips them with practical skills and insights into potential career paths, all while emphasizing hands-on learning through field trips, simulations, and project presentations.

2. Business is Global: Summer Language Program

  • Location: Indiana University Bloomington campus
  • Cost: $1,900
  • Program Dates: June 23—July 6
  • Application Deadline: April 14
  • Eligibility: Open to rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in learning more about less commonly taught languages, international business fundamentals, and the cultures of economies worldwide.

The “Business Is Global: Summer Language Program” at Indiana University is a two-week educational experience designed to broaden high school students’ understanding of global business, different cultures, and less commonly taught languages such as Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Russian, and Zulu. This program, crafted by the Indiana University Center for International Business Education and Research (IU CIBER), aims to prepare students for the global market by combining language study with insights into international business practices.

Participants will learn new languages and explore business fundamentals, experiencing personal and professional growth. The program also features cultural activities and access to the university’s resources, enhancing the learning experience. With the availability of need-based scholarships, the program ensures inclusivity, allowing students from various backgrounds to discover the vast opportunities in international business and higher education.

3. Jim Holland Summer Enrichment Program in Biology

  • Location: Indiana University at Bloomington
  • Cost: $75
  • Program Dates: July 14-19, 2024
  • Application Deadline: April 12, 2024
  • Eligibility: Underrepresented high school students in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades (entering 9th, 10th, and 11th grades in the fall) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (non-weighted) and taking/have taken science and math courses.

The Jim Holland Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) is designed to encourage underrepresented high school students to explore the field of biology. The program offers a chance to learn about various biological sciences, such as genetics, evolution, and molecular biology, through lectures, discussions, and hands-on lab experiences. It’s an opportunity to gain insights into scientific careers and what it takes to succeed in college.

Led by Indiana University faculty and experienced high school teachers, SEP helps students understand the breadth of biology and consider future careers in science. This program is a valuable experience for students looking to deepen their knowledge in biology and prepare for higher education, providing them with theoretical knowledge and practical experience in a supportive and enriching environment.

Teenage students caring out experiments in chemistry class

4. Luddy Pre-College Summer Program

  • Location: Indiana University
  • Cost: $750
  • Program Dates: July 21-27, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students entering grades 10-12, no experience is necessary

The Luddy Precollege Summer Program immerses high school students in the world of technology at Indiana University’s Luddy School. It’s designed for those eager to learn about and use the latest tech. The program covers a broad range of subjects, including how to program in Python and use it to control various systems. Participants will get a chance to meet and learn from experts, gaining insights into the practical and societal impacts of computing.

This hands-on experience spans topics like sound processing, gene sequencing, robotics, 3D modeling, and cybersecurity, among others. It’s an inclusive program, welcoming students with different skill levels and ensuring they receive the guidance needed to succeed. By participating, students will learn about the current technological landscape and the skills to navigate its future challenges and opportunities. This initiative reflects Indiana University’s commitment to educating the next generation of tech innovators.

5. Women’s Cybersecurity Immersion Camp

  • Location: Virtual
  • Cost: $300
  • Program Dates: June 24-28
  • Eligibility: Women interested in exploring the field of cybersecurity with little to no technical background

The Women’s Cybersecurity Immersion Camp 2024 is designed to introduce participants to the exciting world of cybersecurity through a practical, project-based approach. In this interactive program, students will work together on projects, gaining firsthand experience with key cybersecurity tools and focusing on the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments.

Aimed at encouraging beginners, the camp seeks to explain cybersecurity to those new to the field, providing a solid foundation and sparking interest in further exploration and potential careers in this increasingly important area.

6. Identity & Popular Culture Summer Scholars Session

  • Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Cost: $4,725
  • Program Dates: Session I: June 8 – June 22, 2024; Session II: June 29 – July 13, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 20, 2024
  • Eligibility: Eligible applicants include current high school sophomores and juniors who will be rising juniors and seniors, have strong academic standing with solid extracurricular activities, are self-motivated, self-disciplined, demonstrate a high level of maturity, express a sincere desire to be part of the Notre Dame community during the program, and are at least 16 years old by or on August 1, 2024.

In the Identity & Popular Culture Summer Scholars Session, we explore how popular culture and media influence our understanding of identity, including race, gender, and politics. It introduces students to critical race theory and intersectionality, helping them analyze the media’s role in shaping societal views and personal values.

Through discussions, media analysis, and creative projects, students will learn to critically engage with entertainment, understanding its impact on society and how it reflects and shapes cultural beliefs. The course encourages students to examine and critique their media consumption while appreciating the power of popular culture to influence personal and societal values. This program offers a collaborative space for sharing ideas and research, enhancing students’ ability to think critically about the media they consume and the entertainment they enjoy.

Students Using Laptops And Digital Tablets In Lecture

7. Public Speaking and Debate Summer Scholars Session I & II

  • Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Cost: $4,725
  • Program Dates: Session I: June 8 – June 22, 2024; Session II: June 29 – July 13, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 20, 2024
  • Eligibility: Eligible applicants are current sophomores and juniors (will be rising juniors and seniors) with strong academic standing and solid extracurricular activities. Applicants must be self-motivated and self-disciplined, demonstrate a high level of maturity, express a sincere desire to be part of the Notre Dame community during the program and be at least 16 years old by or on August 1, 2024.

The Public Speaking and Debate Summer Scholars program at Notre Dame focuses on improving students’ communication abilities, crucial for both their academic journey and personal development. Centered around policy debate, a central aspect of Notre Dame’s debate offerings, the program introduces students to the complexities of contemporary issues requiring meticulous research, critical thinking, and robust writing and speaking skills. These skills are not limited to the classroom but extend to various aspects of life, including college courses and everyday situations.

Initially, the program concentrates on public speaking, guiding students through informative and persuasive speech construction, supplemented by relevant film and television clips to underline the discussed principles. Participants get numerous chances to refine their public speaking through diverse class activities and presentations. The latter part of the session shifts focus to debate preparation, leveraging Notre Dame’s extensive library resources to build compelling arguments.

In a culminating exercise, students, grouped into teams, will engage in a debate on a resolution they’ve helped to develop, applying their newly acquired skills in a practical setting. The program is open to students at all experience levels, emphasizing the value of eagerness to grow as critical thinkers and proficient communicators. Scheduled for two sessions in the summer of 2024, it offers a comprehensive platform for students to advance their public speaking and debating capabilities on campus significantly.

8. Film Production Summer Scholars Session II

  • Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Cost: $4,725
  • Program Dates: Session I: June 8 – June 22, 2024; Session II: June 29 – July 13, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 20, 2024
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be current sophomores and juniors (will be rising juniors and seniors) with strong academic standing and solid extracurricular activities. They must be self-motivated and self-disciplined, demonstrate a high level of maturity, express a sincere desire to be part of the Notre Dame community, and be at least 16 years old by or on August 1, 2024.

The Film Production Summer Scholars Session II at Notre Dame offers an enriching experience in film and video production. This program goes beyond teaching the technical aspects; it encourages students to embrace creativity and personal expression, treating production as an art form. It prepares participants to enter the film industry with solid technical skills and a unique artistic vision.

The course stresses the importance of teamwork in filmmaking, with students working together on various projects. This helps them learn from each other and builds lasting friendships. The highlight of the program is the opportunity for students to produce and direct their own short films. These films are then showcased at a screening in the THX Browning Cinema, providing a platform for students to present their work. Through this program, students gain comprehensive knowledge of film history and filmmaking, setting a strong foundation for their future in the industry.

Unidentified person holding a film slate.

9. Gender and Culture in American Society Summer Scholars Session II

  • Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Cost: $4,725
  • Program Dates: Session I: June 8 – 22, 2024; Session II: June 29 – July 13, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 20, 2024
  • Eligibility: Current sophomores and juniors (will be rising juniors and seniors), strong academic standing with solid extracurricular activities, must be self-motivated, self-disciplined, and demonstrate a high level of maturity, must express a sincere desire to be part of the Notre Dame community, and must be at least 16 years old by or on August 1, 2024.

The Gender and Culture in American Society Summer Scholars Session II offers an exploration into understanding gender through the lens of American culture. This program challenges students to question the binary system of gender—male and female—and how it shapes societal norms and individual identities. It reveals that gender roles have not always been as they are today, highlighting historical and cultural variations, such as societies with multiple gender categories and instances where traditional gender roles were reversed.

The course argues that gender is not a biological fact but a social construct influenced by societal norms and expectations. Students will explore gender’s impact on various aspects of society, including personal identities, public spaces, and cultural institutions, through the interdisciplinary field of Gender Studies.

The curriculum covers seven themes, using examples from sociology, anthropology, literature, and the arts to illustrate gender’s role in shaping human experiences. Participants will engage in practical projects, like creating digital stories and mapping, and partake in cultural experiences, including a theatre visit in Chicago and an anthropological study of the program.

10. PREFACE

  • Location: Purdue University
  • Cost: Indiana Resident: $724.10; Domestic nonresident: $1324.55
  • Program Dates: June 23 – June 28
  • Application Deadline: April 22, 2024
  • Eligibility: PREFACE is for rising 10th and 11th grade students or students who have completed 9th and 10th grades.

The PREFACE program at Purdue University offers a week-long college preparatory workshop for high school sophomores and juniors interested in engineering. It provides one college credit and a chance to live on campus, aiming to introduce underrepresented groups such as African American, Native American, and Hispanic American students to engineering. Through practical engineering projects and academic enhancement, especially in math, PREFACE seeks to give participants a clear view of what engineers do and how they contribute to society.

Students engage in hands-on learning, interact with faculty, and explore 15 different engineering majors, helping them understand the college requirements and potential career paths in engineering. The program emphasizes collaboration and diversity, bringing together students from across the country to share experiences and learn. PREFACE allows students to work on real-world engineering challenges and helps improve their academic profiles.

Participants benefit from math assessments, access to online academic tools, and the development of presentation skills. Scholarships make this opportunity accessible to those who need financial assistance. PREFACE is designed to inspire students by showing them the possibilities within engineering while providing the tools and knowledge to pursue these opportunities effectively.

Students working on their robots.

11. Multiethnic Introduction to Engineering (MITE)

  • Location: Purdue University
  • Cost: Indiana Resident: $2,164.70; Domestic nonresident: $3,365.60
  • Program Dates: July 8 – August 2
  • Application Deadline: April 22, 2024
  • Eligibility: MITE is for rising seniors entering 12th grade for the academic year 2023-24, having completed the 11th grade by the summer of application. Individuals of all races, genders, and backgrounds are welcome.

The Multiethnic Introduction to Engineering (MITE) program at Purdue University, initiated in 1975, is a transformative four-week experience designed to make engineering accessible to underrepresented groups such as African American, Native American, and Hispanic-American students. This program emulates a college environment, emphasizing math and engineering to prepare participants for higher education.

MITE students gain a realistic glimpse of college life and engineering studies by residing in Purdue’s residence halls and interacting with a diverse student body, faculty, and administrators. The curriculum focuses on academic improvement, notably in SAT math scores and practical engineering projects that teach problem-solving and presentation skills.

Through comprehensive coursework and hands-on projects, students develop robust skills that enhance their academic profiles. Furthermore, the program offers scholarships to ensure accessibility to all students, reflecting its commitment to diversity and inclusion in engineering.

12. Operation Catapult

  • Location: Rose-Hulman campus
  • Cost: $2,600.00
  • Program Dates: Session 1: June 4th to June 14th; Session 2: June 18th to June 28th; Session 3: July 9th to July 19th
  • Application Deadline: April 1st, 2024
  • Eligibility: Operation Catapult is open to students during the summers after their sophomore or junior year. Applicants need a year of chemistry or physics for admission. Admission is selective, aiming to admit students who are successful in high school and likely to succeed at Operation Catapult.

Operation Catapult enriches high school students’ education by blending academic learning with practical experience. It builds on students’ knowledge, focusing on scientific and engineering principles through hands-on projects. Participants get to live on the Rose-Hulman campus, experience college life, and meet peers from across the globe, which adds a unique dimension to their educational journey.

Completing the program grants students two hours of elective college credits at Rose-Hulman, giving them a head start in their higher education. The program is not just about earning credits; it’s an opportunity to dive deep into engineering and physical sciences. Students will work alongside dedicated professors, conduct advanced experiments, and apply their years of learning to real-world challenges.

Operation Catapult is designed to be informative and enjoyable, ensuring students have a rewarding experience while preparing for their future careers in STEM. With sessions in June and July and an application process aimed at inclusivity, the program sets the stage for academic and professional success, sparking a lifelong passion for discovery and innovation.

13. Indiana University’s MEET Kelley Program

  • Location: Bloomington
  • Cost: Free
  • Program Dates: June 16–21 (Men’s week), June 23–28 (Women’s week)
  • Application Deadline: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: MEET Kelley is for high school students from historically underrepresented groups, namely students who identify as African American, Latino/Hispanic, American Indian/Native American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or multiracial. To be considered, applicants must be high school students finishing their junior year and have a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.

The MEET Kelley program offers a unique opportunity for high-achieving high school juniors from underrepresented backgrounds to explore the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. This free summer program helps students understand the business world through classes, a case competition, and networking with business professionals and peers. It aims to prepare students for college and potential careers in business by providing insights into college life, admissions, and scholarships at IU’s Bloomington campus.

Participants learn valuable communication and presentation skills and teamwork and build relationships that can aid their academic and professional futures. To join, students must complete their junior year, identify with a historically underrepresented group, and have a 3.2 GPA. The program covers lodging, food, and activities, but students must manage their travel costs, with some scholarships available for travel expenses.

The application process includes filling out an online form and submitting a transcript. This initiative is not just about learning business concepts; it’s about forming a supportive community and gaining a clear vision for the future in a collegiate setting.

a group of student having a debate

14. Ross Mathematics Program

  • Location: Otterbein University in Columbus, OH, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Cost: $7,000
  • Program Dates: June 9 through July 19, 2024, at Otterbein University; June 16 through July 26, 2024, at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • Application Deadline: March 15
  • Eligibility: Successful applicants generally have a strong high school record and exhibit excellent work on the mathematical problems that form part of the application. Nearly all first-year students are 15 to 18 years old, with the average age usually 16 or 17. In rare cases, exceptionally mature 14-year-olds and students who have already graduated from high school are admitted.

The Ross Program is a specialized 6-week summer initiative designed to inspire and challenge pre-college students interested in mathematics. Set in two locations, Otterbein University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, it offers an immersive experience that goes beyond traditional classroom learning. The program encourages deep, logical thinking and fosters a genuine curiosity for mathematics.

By immersing students in complex mathematical concepts and providing a supportive environment, the Ross Program aims to equip them with the skills necessary for success in various fields, including research, science, and finance. Students participating in the Ross Program can explore intensive mathematical study while developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The program’s unique structure emphasizes in-depth exploration of a single subject area, distinguishing it from other summer math initiatives that might superficially cover a broader range of topics. Financial aid is available, ensuring that all accepted students have the opportunity to attend, regardless of their financial situation. The Ross Program seeks to attract a diverse group of talented students with a competitive selection process that ensures a rich learning environment.

15. Health Science Institute

  • Location: Hanover, IN
  • Cost: $750
  • Program Dates: June 4, 2023 – June 9, 2023
  • Eligibility: Rising freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school are invited to apply.

Hanover College’s Summer Academy is a special chance for high school students to sample college life and studies. Through this program, students learn from experienced professors in various subjects, helping them grow their interests and deepen their understanding. This experience is perfect for students who are eager to explore what college offers regarding academics and lifestyle, providing a sneak peek into future possibilities.

The academy boosts students’ academic skills and helps them navigate the transition to college more smoothly. It’s an investment in their educational journey, offering a taste of college life and a head start on their higher education path. Hanover College’s commitment to supporting students through this program highlights its focus on accessible, high-quality education.

Benefits of Attending Summer Programs

Summer programs for high school students in Indiana offer a wealth of opportunities that go far beyond the conventional classroom experience. These programs cater to various interests, ranging from the sciences and technology to the arts and humanities. With its rich educational landscape, Indiana provides an ideal backdrop for these immersive learning experiences, enabling students to dive deep into their chosen fields of interest.

high school students in a class

Skill Development

Attending summer programs allows students to develop a broad set of skills. Whether enhancing technical abilities through a robotics program or improving communication through a creative writing workshop, these programs challenge students in new ways. They promote critical thinking, teamwork, and effective communication, which are essential skills in both academic and real-world settings.

Academic Enrichment and College Readiness

These programs also serve as a platform for academic enrichment. Students can explore subjects in depth, often with access to university-level resources and mentorship from professionals and academics. This strengthens their knowledge base and gives them a taste of college life, helping them navigate the transition to higher education more confidently.

Career Exploration

Summer programs provide a unique opportunity for students to explore different career paths. Through direct interaction with professionals and hands-on activities, students can gain valuable insights into various fields, helping them make informed decisions about their future studies and careers.

Personal Growth

The experience of attending a summer program, particularly those that are residential, encourages personal growth. Students learn to be more independent, manage their time effectively, and make decisions independently. These are crucial life skills that will benefit them in college and beyond.

Networking and Friendship

Finally, these programs bring together students from diverse backgrounds, fostering an environment where they can form new friendships and expand their networks. The connections made here can provide support and collaboration opportunities in the future.

How to Choose the Right Summer Program

Selecting the right summer program is essential for high school students in Indiana looking to enrich their academic journey and personal growth during the summer break.

Here’s a streamlined guide to making an informed choice that aligns with your interests, goals, and practical considerations.

  • Identify Your Interests: Reflect on what you enjoy and hope to achieve with a summer program. Whether deepening your knowledge in a specific subject, exploring a potential college major, or pursuing a hobby, knowing what you want is the first step to finding a program that fits.
  • Link to Your Future Goals: Think about how a summer program can help you in your future academic or career path. Programs that provide college credit, hands-on experience, or special projects can boost your college applications and set you apart in the job market.
  • Consider Location and Cost: Look at programs close to home to save on travel and accommodation costs. However, don’t rule out programs further away; they offer valuable experiences like living on a college campus. Also, explore financial aid options, as many programs offer scholarships or reduced fees to make them more accessible.
  • Evaluate Program Structure: Decide what kind of learning environment you prefer—classroom-based, hands-on, or a mix of both. Also, consider the outcomes, such as certificates or portfolios, which can benefit your academic and professional profiles.
  • Seek Advice: Talk to people who have participated in summer programs for high school students in Indiana, such as teachers, mentors, or past attendees. They can provide insights and advice you might not find in official descriptions.
  • Align With Long-Term Aspirations: Choose a program that supports your long-term goals, whether getting ready for college or exploring a career path. Some programs focus on college prep, while others dive deep into specific career fields.

A young woman smiling at the camera while sitting on a classroom.

 

Focusing on these key areas allows you to choose a summer program that meets your immediate interests and needs and contributes to your long-term growth and success.

Conclusion

Indiana offers various summer programs for high school students, each designed to enrich the educational experience and prepare students for future success. Whether interested in science, engineering, the arts, or leadership, there’s a program to match every student’s interests and goals.

By participating in these programs, students can enjoy a productive summer that contributes significantly to their personal and academic development.

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