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17 Summer Programs for High School Students in Oregon

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Oregon welcomes you sign after hard rain with puddle as seen from across

17 Summer Programs for High School Students in Oregon

This article aims to showcase 17 summer programs available to Oregon’s high school students, each offering opportunities in a unique way. From the sciences to the arts, technology to environmental studies, these programs provide valuable learning experiences outside the traditional classroom setting.

Engaging in summer programs for high school students in Oregon allows participants to delve into specific areas of interest, gain hands-on experience, and connect with professionals and peers who share their passions.

1. UO SAIL (Student Academy to Inspire Learning)

  • Field: Academic/Career Skill Development
  • Cost: Free
  • Eligibility: High school students in Oregon
  • Important Dates: Registration opens April 1, 2024.

Despite its geographical distance from the Pacific Northwest, the Student Media Summer Podcast and Radio Camp at George Mason University stands out as a unique educational opportunity among summer programs for high school students in Oregon and beyond.

Group of students taking an exam.

This innovative camp offers students an immersive experience in digital storytelling, podcasting, and radio broadcasting, leveraging the expansive facilities and expertise of George Mason University’s communications department.

From seasoned professionals and educators, participants get hands-on audio recording, editing, scriptwriting, and broadcasting training. The camp not only hones the technical skills required for media production but also encourages creative thinking, effective communication, and storytelling prowess.

This melding of creativity with technical skill development makes the camp a sought-after summer activity for students interested in media, journalism, or digital storytelling. It provides a platform for young creators to explore their interests, develop new skills, and produce their audio projects, all within the supportive and enriching environment of a university known for its commitment to student media.

2. OSU Stem Academy – Toxicology Camp

  • Field: Science/Toxicology
  • Cost: $120
  • Eligibility: Entering Grades 9-12
  • Important Dates: June 24-26.

The OSU Stem Academy – Toxicology Camp is an outstanding example of the diverse and engaging summer programs for high school students in Oregon, designed to introduce young minds to the fascinating world of toxicology.

Group of students taking an exam.

Held on the vibrant Oregon State University campus, this camp offers an unparalleled opportunity for students entering grades 9 through 12 to delve into the science behind how substances affect human health, the environment, and the delicate balance within ecosystems.

Participants engage in various activities, from conducting hands-on toxicology experiments to exploring real-world applications and challenges faced by professionals in the field. The camp’s curriculum is meticulously crafted to blend scientific rigor with engaging learning experiences, including field sampling and laboratory work using state-of-the-art equipment.

Through these activities, students comprehensively understand toxic substances, their impact, and the importance of safety and environmental protection. Moreover, the camp fosters a sense of curiosity and scientific inquiry, encouraging students to consider careers in STEM fields.

3. Color Innovation Workshop

  • Field: Design/Marketing
  • Cost: $60
  • Eligibility: Entering Grades 9-12
  • Important Dates: June 27.

The Color Innovation Workshop is a distinctive highlight among summer programs for high school students in Oregon, focusing on the creative and influential world of color in design and marketing.

woman holding color chart and discussing color theory

Hosted by Oregon State University, this workshop provides an intensive, hands-on learning experience where students explore the psychology of color, color trends, and the impact of color choices on consumer behavior and brand identity.

Participants have the unique opportunity to apply theories of color psychology and marketing strategies in real-time projects, such as developing mood boards and flat lays that emphasize color harmony, symbolism, and branding.

This program enriches students’ understanding of color’s critical role in our visual world and equips them with practical skills in design thinking and marketing concepts. The workshop’s approach to teaching color theory through interactive activities ensures that participants walk away with a robust portfolio piece and a deeper appreciation for the nuances of color in product development and branding.

4. Virtual “Processing” Camp

  • Field: Computer Programming/Visual Arts
  • Cost: $80
  • Eligibility: Entering Grades 9-12
  • Important Dates: July 10 & 11.

The Virtual “Processing” Camp represents an innovative and engaging addition to the array of summer programs for high school students in Oregon, catering specifically to those interested in computer science and digital arts.

A student looking for their university to apply for

This unique online camp introduces participants to Processing, a flexible software sketchbook and a language for learning how to code within the visual arts context. With a curriculum designed to demystify programming and make it accessible, students explore the fundamentals of coding by creating visual art, animations, and interactive projects.

The camp’s structure is built around a series of live sessions and tutorials that guide students through the basics of Processing, encouraging them to experiment with code to create digital artwork and animations.

This hands-on approach enhances technical skills and fosters creativity, problem-solving, and thinking computationally. By providing a platform where students can immediately see the results of their coding efforts in vibrant visual forms, the Virtual “Processing” Camp offers a compelling introduction to the world of programming and digital artistry.

5. Virtual “Blender” Camp

  • Field: 3D Modeling and Animation
  • Cost: $170
  • Eligibility: Entering Grades 9-12
  • Important Dates: July 8-12.

The Virtual “Blender” Camp is a standout initiative among summer programs for high school students in Oregon, designed to immerse participants in 3D modeling and animation using Blender, a professional, open-source software program.

applying in schools

This online camp offers a deep dive into the foundational skills required for creating 3D art, from basic modeling techniques to advanced rendering and animation. Throughout the camp, students engage with a curriculum that balances technical instruction with creative exploration, allowing them to bring their imaginative concepts to life in three dimensions.

Instructors, who are digital arts and animation experts, guide participants through a series of projects designed to build a solid understanding of Blender’s interface and capabilities. Students learn to navigate the software’s complex features, including mesh modeling, texture mapping, lighting, and camera techniques, culminating in creating their 3D models and animations.

This program not only equips students with valuable skills that are highly sought after in game design, film, and visual effects but also empowers them to express their creativity in new and exciting ways.

6. Microbiology Camp

  • Field: Science/Microbiology
  • Cost: $300 (Lunch Provided)
  • Eligibility: Entering Grades 10-12
  • Important Dates: July 15-19.

The Microbiology Camp at Oregon State University stands as a pivotal learning experience within the landscape of summer programs for high school students in Oregon, offering an in-depth exploration of the microscopic world that impacts every aspect of our planet.

Multinational group of students in an auditorium

This immersive week-long camp caters to students interested in the biological sciences, particularly those fascinated by the unseen organisms that play crucial roles in health, the environment, and technology.

Participants are introduced to microbiology fundamentals through hands-on laboratory experiments, engaging lectures, and field trips, including a memorable visit to the Oregon coast for practical studies at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

The curriculum is thoughtfully designed to cover a broad spectrum of microbiological fields, such as food science, aquatic microbiology, and the microbiome’s influence on human health, providing students with a comprehensive overview of this diverse discipline.

7. OHSU Summer Internship Program

  • Field: Health Care/Disability
  • Cost: Interns receive a $1,800 stipend
  • Eligibility: Oregon high school or early college students, 16 years of age or older
  • Important Dates: Not specified for 2024.

The OHSU Summer Internship Program is a remarkable component of the summer programs for high school students in Oregon. It provides an invaluable opportunity for students to immerse themselves in health sciences at one of the state’s leading health and research institutions.

Students practicing dentistry on medical dummies in a teaching facility or university

Tailored for high school or early college students, this program aims to introduce participants to various career paths in healthcare, focusing on disability advocacy, research, and clinical care. During the internship, students are engaged in a structured program that includes hands-on project work at one of OHSU’s Institute on Development and Disability centers, professional development sessions, and tours of OHSU’s state-of-the-art labs and facilities.

The program is designed to be inclusive, encouraging applications from students traditionally underrepresented in the health sciences, including those with disabilities or from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

With a comprehensive approach that combines education, practical experience, and mentorship, the OHSU Summer Internship Program stands out for its commitment to fostering the next generation of healthcare professionals and researchers, making it an integral part of the summer landscape for high school students in Oregon looking to explore careers in health and science​.

8. Hatfield Marine Science Center Program

  • Field: Marine Science
  • Cost: Not specified
  • Eligibility: Not specified
  • Important Dates: Summer term.

The Hatfield Marine Science Center Program, nestled in Newport, Oregon, is a cornerstone among summer programs for high school students in Oregon, offering a unique blend of education, research, and hands-on experience in marine science.

Young marine biologist getting showing a specimen.

This program invites students to step into the shoes of marine biologists, environmental scientists, and oceanographers, exploring the rich biodiversity of the Pacific Northwest’s coastal and oceanic environments.

Through the program, participants engage in field studies, laboratory work, and interactive workshops designed to deepen their understanding of marine ecosystems, conservation strategies, and the impact of human activities on the ocean.

What sets the Hatfield Marine Science Center Program apart is its location at an active research facility, where students can observe and participate in real scientific projects alongside professionals in the field.

9. Precollege Programs

  • Field: Various/Academic
  • Cost: Varies
  • Eligibility: High school students
  • Important Dates: Varies.

Precollege Programs at Oregon State University (OSU) are a vital part of the landscape of summer programs for high school students in Oregon, offering a wide array of opportunities designed to introduce young learners to higher education’s academic and campus life.

Two young Asian girls students are consulting together

These programs span a variety of disciplines and interests, including science, engineering, arts, and humanities, providing students with the chance to explore new areas of study, delve into intensive research projects, or develop new skills and hobbies.

What makes these pre-college initiatives particularly impactful is their ability to bridge the gap between high school and college education, giving students a head start in understanding college-level coursework, the importance of research, and the value of interdisciplinary learning.

Participants benefit from interactions with university faculty, access to OSU’s extensive resources and facilities, and the opportunity to connect with peers with similar academic interests and aspirations. These programs enhance participants’ academic profiles and bolster their confidence in pursuing higher education.

10. SESEY (Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth)

  • Field: Science and Engineering
  • Cost: $200
  • Eligibility: High school girls and ethnic minorities who are underrepresented in science and engineering
  • Important Dates: Summer term.

SESEY (Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth) is an exceptional inclusion among summer programs for high school students in Oregon, specially designed to inspire and cultivate the next generation of scientists and engineers.

high school students inside a classroom

Hosted by Oregon State University, SESEY aims to provide high school girls and ethnic minorities, traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering, a platform to explore these disciplines in depth.

The program pairs participants with faculty mentors to work on mini-research projects, offering an authentic glimpse into the life of a scientist or engineer. This practical exposure is complemented by workshops, lectures, and laboratory sessions that cover various aspects of scientific inquiry and engineering design, from hypothesis testing to prototype development.

SESEY’s hands-on approach demystifies science and engineering for its participants and encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork—skills vital for success in any academic or professional career.

11. High School Journalism Institute

  • Field: Journalism
  • Cost: Not specified
  • Eligibility: High school students
  • Important Dates: Not specified.

The High School Journalism Institute is an exemplary program among summer programs for high school students in Oregon, designed to nurture the next generation of journalists, writers, and media professionals.

a large group of students taking an exam

This immersive experience offers students a unique opportunity to dive deep into the world of journalism, from investigative reporting to multimedia storytelling. Under the guidance of experienced journalists and educators, participants learn the ins and outs of news writing, ethical reporting, and digital media production.

The program emphasizes hands-on learning, encouraging students to conduct interviews, research stories, and work on publication deadlines, mirroring the fast-paced environment of a real newsroom. Beyond the practical skills gained, the institute fosters critical thinking, effective communication, and a deep understanding of the role of journalism in society.

For high school students in Oregon with a passion for writing and a curiosity about the world around them, this program offers an introduction to journalism and a platform for personal growth and self-expression, equipping them with the tools to tell compelling stories that inform, engage, and inspire.

12. KidSpirit Youth Programs

  • Field: Sports/Activities
  • Cost: Varies
  • Eligibility: High school students
  • Important Dates: Varies.

The KidSpirit Youth Programs at Oregon State University are a vibrant and enriching feature among summer programs for high school students in Oregon, offering various activities that span the spectrum from sports to arts and science to health.

a group private high school student looking happy while looking at the camera

This comprehensive suite of programs is designed to engage students in various experiential learning opportunities that enhance their physical well-being and foster creativity, teamwork, and personal growth.

KidSpirit’s unique approach combines educational content with fun, interactive experiences, ensuring that participants learn new skills and develop a deeper appreciation for the importance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Through workshops led by experienced instructors and interactions with peers from diverse backgrounds, students are encouraged to explore new interests, challenge themselves, and build confidence in their abilities.

13. OSU Chamber Music Workshop

  • Field: Music
  • Cost: Not specified
  • Eligibility: High school students
  • Important Dates: Not specified.

The OSU Chamber Music Workshop is a notable inclusion among summer programs for high school students in Oregon. It is specifically tailored for young musicians looking to deepen their understanding and performance of chamber music.

Piano and music sheet

Oregon State University, a hub for educational excellence and artistic growth, hosts this immersive program. It provides students with an unparalleled opportunity to refine their musical skills under the guidance of experienced instructors and professional musicians.

Participants are grouped into small ensembles, encouraging collaboration and a deeper musical connection among peers. This fosters an environment where students can explore the nuances of ensemble playing, interpretation, and communication through music.

The workshop includes intensive rehearsals, masterclasses, and performances, offering a comprehensive approach to chamber music education that is both challenging and rewarding. For aspiring musicians in Oregon, this workshop represents a unique chance to engage with classical music at a high level, enhancing their technique, musicality, and performance skills while building lasting friendships and connections within the musical community.

14. Oregon State Softball Camp

  • Field: Sports
  • Cost: Varies
  • Eligibility: High school students
  • Important Dates: Varies.

The Oregon State Softball Camp is a distinguished event among summer programs for high school students in Oregon, specifically designed for young athletes who wish to elevate their softball skills.

Hosted by Oregon State University, this camp offers participants a unique opportunity to train under the guidance of experienced coaches and players, including members of the OSU softball team. The camp focuses on all aspects of the game, from hitting and pitching to fielding and base running, ensuring a comprehensive training experience.

Participants benefit from individual instruction, team play, and competitive games, allowing them to apply new skills in real-game situations. This dynamic setting enhances athletic abilities and fosters teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship among attendees.

For high school students in Oregon with a passion for softball and aspirations of playing at the collegiate level, the Oregon State Softball Camp provides an invaluable platform for personal and athletic development, offering insights into the demands of collegiate athletics and the opportunity to connect with coaches and athletes who share their passion for the game.

15. Oregon State Rowing Camps

  • Field: Sports
  • Cost: Varies
  • Eligibility: High school students
  • Important Dates: Varies.

The Oregon State Rowing Camps emerge as a premier choice among summer programs for high school students in Oregon, especially those interested in pursuing rowing at a competitive level or seeking to experience the sport for the first time.

Rowing team at the start of a regatta

Situated in the scenic environment of Oregon State University, these camps are designed to cater to a wide range of skill levels, from beginners to advanced rowers. Under the tutelage of seasoned coaches and collegiate rowers, participants are introduced to the fundamentals of rowing techniques, boat handling, and the dynamics of team rowing.

The camps focus on enhancing physical fitness, improving stroke technique, and fostering a deep understanding of water safety and crew coordination, all within teamwork and sportsmanship. With access to top-notch facilities and equipment, students engage in rigorous training sessions on water and land, complemented by rowing strategy and nutrition workshops.

For high school students in Oregon with aspirations of rowing at the collegiate level or those simply looking to explore a new sport, the Oregon State Rowing Camps offer an immersive experience that combines physical conditioning, skill development, and the camaraderie of crew sports, setting a solid foundation for athletic and personal growth.

16. Migrant Student Leadership Institute at Oregon State University

  • Field: Leadership and College Preparation
  • Cost: Varies. It is advisable to contact the program for the most current cost information.
  • Eligibility: The program is designed for high school students in grades 10-12 who are part of the migrant community. It aims to build leadership skills, expose students to college life, and encourage them to pursue higher education.
  • Important Dates: Specific dates for the institute were not listed for the upcoming sessions. It’s recommended to check directly with the program for the most current session dates.

The Migrant Student Leadership Institute at Oregon State University is a pivotal program among summer programs for high school students in Oregon, specifically tailored to empower migrant youth through leadership development and academic enrichment.

a male and female college students standing at a doorway

This unique initiative builds on the student’s strengths, providing them with the tools and knowledge necessary to become community leaders and advocate for their education. Throughout the program, participants are immersed in a college campus environment, offering them a firsthand glimpse into higher education and inspiring them to envision themselves as future college students.

The comprehensive curriculum covers topics from effective communication and leadership strategies to college preparation and career exploration. Additionally, the institute strongly emphasizes cultural identity and community engagement, encouraging students to explore their heritage and use their experiences as a foundation for their leadership journey.

17. iINVENT Summer Camp at Oregon State University

  • Field: STEM, focusing on invention and innovation.
  • Cost: Typically varies, with potential scholarships or financial aid options.
  • Eligibility: Often targeted at high school students, with specific age or grade requirements for each camp.
  • Important Dates: Specific dates for summer programs are usually announced well before the summer term.

The iINVENT Summer Camp at Oregon State University is a standout offering among summer programs for high school students in Oregon, focusing on innovation, creativity, and the practical application of science and engineering principles.

Group of three students

In a program like this, students would typically engage in hands-on projects that challenge them to design, build, and test their inventions under the guidance of university faculty and industry professionals.

The camp would foster a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, encouraging students to think critically and creatively to solve real-world problems. Participants would likely be able to work in teams, mirroring the STEM fields’ collaborative nature and enhancing their communication, leadership, and project management skills.

For high school students in Oregon interested in engineering, science, technology, and entrepreneurship, the iINVENT Summer Camp would offer an invaluable experience to explore their interests in depth, gain practical skills, and connect with like-minded peers and mentors.

Conclusion

Summer programs for high school students in Oregon reflect the state’s commitment to fostering educational opportunities that cater to a wide range of interests and academic goals.

From the hands-on exploration of marine biology at the coast to the innovative challenges of STEM camps, students can immerse themselves in experiences that enhance their academic skills, broaden their horizons, and deepen their understanding of the world around them.

As we look back on the diverse opportunities presented in this listicle, it’s clear that summer programs in Oregon offer more than just a way to spend the vacation; they are stepping stones to future success, personal growth, and lifelong learning.

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