Summer STEM Camps for High School Students: Western States
STEM Careers Drive Innovation
Stop That Summer Brain Drain: Don't Let It Happen To You
Think of how hard you've worked all school year long. You've memorized, problem solved, struggled, buckled down, and overcome. You've experienced late nights studying and you've asked for extra help when necessary.
Now along comes summer. Enjoy your vacation but don't let your hard work this school year take a backslide. Most students experience skills setbacks with both reading and math during these months. (Ever hear of "use it or lose it?")
If you're interested in a STEM career, you can't afford to let that happen. Keep your skills sharp with a cutting-edge STEM camp in a field such as
- molecular biology
- health sciences
- ecological research and environmental sustainability or
Here are the some of the best high school summer STEM opportunities in the West!
Science and Engineering Need Innovative Thinkers Like You
1. Santa Clara University Summer Engineering Seminar
Not sure what engineering is all about? Here's your chance to explore it as a career option.
This one-week residential program provides rising juniors and seniors broad exposure to engineering (Bio, Civil, Computer Science, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering), as well as life on campus through special workshops and hands-on activities. Amazingly, it' FREE for those who are accepted. Several sessions are available, so check out Santa Clara University's website for additional information.
We'll Be Updating for Summer 2019!
If you missed camp deadlines for 2018, simply bookmark this page and check back for 2019 camp updates. Summer STEM camps typically begin announcing their upcoming summer schedule in December or January.
Locations Of Top STEM Camps In California, Hawaii, and Washington State
Investigate the Possibilities of A Career In Biomedical Research
2. Rosetta Institute of Biomedical Research at the University of California (Berkeley and San Diego)
The medical researchers of tomorrow—those who could find a cure for cancer or Alzheimer's— just might be in this class. Will you be among them?
High-achieving high school students have a unique opportunity to learn more about either Immunology, Neuroscience or Cancer in this advanced two-week session. (They are separate workshops.)
The institute targets teens ages 14-18 who are interested in medicine, pharmacy, nursing, biomedical research, drug development or related career fields. High school biology is a prerequisite.
For $3,280, plus a residential fee of $1,980 students live on campus at either the University of California - Berkeley or the University of California - San Diego. There, they are exposed to two weeks of engaging lectures and hands-on laboratory classes. Then, they learn how normal biological processes become pathological.
Students in the Neuroscience option focus on neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, depression and addiction. There are also Immunology and Cancer options.
Full and partial need-based scholarships are available. For more information and to apply, see the Rosetta Institute of Biomedical Research website.
Diseases By the Numbers
Estimated Number of Americans
ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
Jump Start Your Health Sciences Career With A Summer Camp
3. Stanford Medical School Summer Programs
Stanford Medical School offers a variety of exciting medical workshops and learning opportunities for motivated high school students, including:
- Cardiovascular Surgery Internship
- Anesthesia Summer Institute
- a four-week lecture series on key topics in medicine, and
- opportunities to pursue basic research with Stanford faculty.
Interested? The Standford University Discovering Medicine website should be your next stop for additional information.
This Summer, Let Yosemite Be Your ClassroomClick thumbnail to view full-size
Would you rather spend time ...
4. NatureBridge Yosemite Summer Field Research Course
Science meets hardy outdoor adventure at this camp. In it, you'll design then conduct your own ecological research project research during an extended backpacking adventure through California's Yosemite National Park. In this two-week camp, students learn how to:
- generate research hypotheses
- collect data in the field
- identify and interpret data patterns
- analyze and present data to other scientists.
As they collect field data, students also learn wilderness survival and backpacking skills. (Cool bonus, eh?) That's because nine days of the camp involves backpacking through Yosemite and collecting field data.
The camp costs $2,646 and targets rising 10, 11th, and 12th graders. NatureBridge offers a similar program in Olympic National Park in Port Angeles, Washington and other locations. See the NatureBridge website for further information.
Blending Science and the Arts with Innovation
5. UCLA Sci-Art NanoLab
You're one of those rare students who excel at both science and the arts. So when selecting careers, do you really need to make a choice? Can you instead innovat —borrow from one to improve on the the other in creative, mind-blowing ways? Yes!
The UCLA Sci-Art NanoLab brings together multiple disciplines to explore the possibilites for collaborations. This program is a highly competitive two-week residential camp that provides an opportunity for teens interested in both science and art to focus on both. What scientific and technological innovations can your creative mind conceive?
During two weeks on campus at UCLA, rising 11th and 12th graders will find themselves challenged to Imagine the Impossible. For $3,196 (includes housing, meals, tuition) campers will take a unique look at nanotechnology through the lens of both art and science.
- visit area research labs, galleries and museums
- participate in lectures, workshops, and a sci-fi film series
- blog about their experiences and
- create final presentations.
College credit is available. Applications are available in February. For more information, see the UCLA Aci-Art NanoLab website.
6. Global Environmental Leadership & Sustainability Program On The Island of Hawaii
Delve into environmental sustainability and climate change in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. This nine-day course is a collaborative program between the University of California at San Diego and University of Hawaii at Hilo. It engages students in hands-on research on topics studied by scientists at the Kohala Center, including water, energy, soils, volatile organic compounds, marine viruses, and urban heat island effect.
The residential course targets rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders with a cumulative GPA of 3.3. The cost is $3,100 (which includes room, meals, and field trips). For more detail and to apply, see the Global Environmental & Sustainability Leadership Program website.
Not Your Mama's Hawaii
7. COSMOS at University of California (multiple campuses)
COSMOS is a four-week residential summer experience that places motivated students with university researchers and faculty to explore STEM topics in hands-on and lab intensive learning. Past topics have included: Astronomy, Biodiesel, Mechanical Engineering, Computers, Computer Models of Sound, Electro-optics, Earthquake Engineering, Engineering, Environmental Toxicology, Game Design, Genetics & Biocontrol, Lasers, Nanochemistry, Tumor Biology, and more!
The program targets rising 9th graders to rising college freshmen and costs $3,600-$6,030 (depending on program and state residency). Financial aid is available. Camp locations include UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, and UC San Diego.
For additional information, refer to the refer to the COSMOS website.
Would You Like Pi With That?
7. Canada/USA Mathcamp
If you believe that math is freakin' beautiful, this is the camp as your name written all over it. To quote from the Mathcamp website, this camp is five glorious weeks of "fascinating, deep, difficult, fun, mysterious, abstract, interconnected (and sometimes useful) mathematics."
For $4,500, gifted math students ages 13-18 can live and breathe the beauty of math in preparation for a STEM career or simply because they love what numbers can do.
The camp is FREE for families with household incomes below $65,000. Additionally, both need-based travel grants and partial scholarships are available, so if you're math-gifted don't let the cost be a barrier.
Although calculus is not required, camp attendees need to be comfortable with high school algebra, geometry, trigonometry, exponents and logarithms, and pre-calculus is strongly recommended.
Which do you prefer?
© 2015 Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies