Summer STEM Camps for High School Students: Central Atlantic States
Mix It Up This Summer With A Summer STEM Camp
STEM-tastic Summer Camps: Get A Jump Start On Your Career
If you're a high school student who lives in or around the Central Atlantic states, then count yourself lucky. That's because Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas are a wellspring of technical expertise. As a result, you have a wide range of options for summer STEM learning.
Why not dedicate part of your summer to your future? Sign up for a summer STEM camp and achieve the following benefits:
- explore exciting career options in science, technology, engineering and math
- gain new skills
- connect with STEM professionals and see how they discover solutions to real-world challenges and
- get a preview of life on a college campus—even while you're still in high school.
High School STEM Camps
Listed below are STEM camps for the Central Atlantic states of Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as for the Washington, D.C. area. For most of these camps, a teenager does not need to be a state resident to attend.
Pick the Summer STEM Camp That Spins Your Gears
Come On! Let's Do This!
Some summer STEM programs may simply require registration to attend, while other camps are keenly competitive and require an application, teacher recommendations, and an essay.
While tuition for the camps themselves ranges from FREE to thousands of dollars, many programs do offer financial aid to those who qualify. If in doubt, inquire with the camp's sponsor.
Summer's too exciting not to spend it doing something new and fun. This is science. It's adventure and an investment in YOU. Come on! Let's do this!
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.
1. Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation (DASEF) Space Camp at the University of Delaware
In this week-long residential camp for rising 8th, 9th, and 10th graders, students will:
- design a robotic vehicle and a rocket
- solve a critical life-support problem
- assemble a space station underwater and
- conduct in-flight experiments.
The cost is $650 (the "Mars" option), and financial aid is available. Rising 9th graders and above may participate. See the DASEF website for more information.
STEM Humor T-Shirt
If you know what this means, you're halfway there! For the rest of the population, it means "may be force be with you."
2. Engineering Innovation Summer Program at Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University offers motivated high school students a college-level, four-week residential summer program that allows for three units of college credit. Students complete lab activities in Computer Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Material Science, Civil Engineering, Robotics, and Mechanical Engineering.
Rather than requiring students to engage in the typical "plug and chug" method of problem solving, the program seeks to actively engage them by:
- introducing an engineering problem
- asking thought-provoking questions (e.g., "what?", "why?" and "why not?")
- giving examples and counter-examples and
- connecting the engineering problem to other fields of inquiry.
Tuition is $2,500, plus residential housing (estimated at $3,700). See the Johns Hopkins University website for further information.
Locations Of STEM Camps In Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.,
How To Select A Summer STEM Camp That's Right For You
14 Factors To Consider
Is the age and gender mix right for me?
Is the camp a residential or day camp?
Am I passionate enough about the topic to dedicate a week (or more) to it? Does it fit with my career interests?
Can attending a camp at this particular university or location help me in making my career decisions?
Is the challenge level appropriate for me -- neither excessively difficult nor easy?
How do campers spend their "down" time? (e.g., studying, planned activities)
Do I understand what I seek to gain from the camp? (e.g., college credit, letter of recommendation, broad exposure to a new topic, a "deep dive" into the technical field, etc.)
What is the cost of the camp? Is financial aid available?
Do the camp dates work with my summer schedule? (e.g., school calendar, vacation plans, work, other camps)
If I am not admitted to my first choice of camps, do I have alternates lined up?
How will I get to camp?
What is the application process? Have I allowed enough time to complete essays, request recommendations, etc.?
Are there policies that restrict personal technology use while at camp?
Am I appropriately communicating my goals to my parents and seeking their help throughout the process?
3. U.S. Naval Academy Summer STEM Program
Gain exposure to one of the top engineering programs in the country, including its world-class lab facilities and unique learning environment. The U.S. Naval Academy invites rising 9th, 10th, and 11th Graders (both male and female) to apply to this one-week residential program. Each grade is assigned its own session.
Cost to participate is $550. For further information, consult the U.S. Naval Academy's website.
How Do Scientists Help With Crime Solving?
- Check the camp's website for additional details on the learning objectives, activities involved, and how to apply or register.
- Be especially mindful of all deadlines. Allow yourself enough time to fill out forms. Give teachers sufficient time to complete any required recommendation forms. (And don't forget to thank them for their help.)
- If you cannot afford the cost of a camp, inquire about whether financial aid is available. Some programs offer more than half of their attendees some amount of financial aid.
4. Forensic Science Institute at Georgetown University
So you've always been a big fan of CSI, huh? If you're interested in the following hot topics, then this camp is for you:
- Computer forensics
- Blood spatter analysis
- Geographic profiling
- Medical examinations
- Gang member investigations and
- Terrorism investigations.
You'll test your critical thinking skills with the collection and interpretation of evidence. You'll also learn how science, medicine and law enforcement must work together to solve crime. Located in the nation's capital, this camp at Georgetown University will provide you with unparalleled access to local, state, and national forensic science professionals. These include:
- special agents
- medico-legal death investigators
- crime scene technicians
- pathologists and
The residential camp targets rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders at a cost of $2,895 (includes tuition, housing, meals). For more information and to apply, visit the Georgetown University website.
Nerdy Girls Rock: Get the T-Shirt
Science and engineer girls don't hide their nerdiness. They proclaim it on a t-shirt. "NERDY" is spelled from Nitrogen (N), Erbium (Er), and Dysprosium (Dy) from the Periodical Table.
5. Medical Institute at Georgetown University
This 8-day program gives students a snapshot of the nationally-ranked Georgetown Medical School curriculum and the field of medicine.
The residential institute is designed for rising 10th, 11th, and 12th graders and costs $2,895 (includes tuition, housing, meals). Students have the opportunity to work in the Gross Anatomy Lab and with a patient simulator. Teens will focus on some of the most pressing medical issues facing society today (e.g., preventative medicine, heart disease and HIV).
6. Medical Immersion at Georgetown University
If the 8-day Medical Institute at Georgetown isn't enough for you and you want a snapshot experience of a first year medical school curriculum while still a high school student, then attend this 3-week immersion. It will cost you $6,199 (includes tuition, housing, meals). For additional information check out Georgetown University's website.
7. Basic Coding & Data Science Institute at Georgetown University
New to computer programming, coding, and digital design? This week-long experience is for you! In this week-long experience, students will investigate how the world is impacted by the innovation, disruption, and creation of new technologies across smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PCs.
Cost is $2,895 (includes tuition, housing, meals). See the Georgetown University website for additional information.
STEM Careers: Women Needed
8. Growing Roots in STEM at West Virginia University
This week-long STEM camp will have an engineering focus but will also demonstrate how a career in engineering can be tied to other fields, including forensics, pharmaceuticals, beauty product development, design and architecture, etc. The residential, female-only camp costs $700. Refer to the West Virginia University website for additional information.
There's Science and Engineering Behind Zip-Lining
9. Engineering in Action High School Camp at West Virginia University
Zip-lining, cycling, and weight lifting. Baton twirling and sports equipment design. Did you know there are key science and engineering concepts behind these endeavors? Now that's what I call a camp! Students will work in teams on projects such as making cardboard canoes. They will also tour athletic facilities with civil engineers.
This residential camp costs $700, plus a camp deposit. For more information or to apply, check out the West Virginia University website.
10. Engineering in Sustainability at West Virginia University
This one-week camp focuses on sustainable energy and sustainable design (i.e., energy problems and solutions). Registration for the co-ed camp opens in March. Learn more about this program on the West Virginia University website.
11. Engineering In Healthcare Camp at West Virginia University
How can engineers use their skills in applied settings to serve others, both in their communities and across the world? This week-long camp addresses the question and hones in on several big issues as examples. It costs $700. Apply by going to the West Virginia University website.
12. Camp STEM at West Virginia Tech
Rising 9th-12th graders will get hands-on experience solving problems in Civil Engineering, Robotics, Computer Science, and Forensics. They'll also be introduced to a variety of "hot" career options. The cost of the camp is $350. See the West Virginia Tech website for additional information.
Locations of STEM Camps In Virginia and North Carolina
What would you most like to learn about at a summer camp?
13. Virginia Space Flight Academy
Interested in robotics, rockets, assembly and launching, and weather?
Students in this one-week residential camp go behind the scenes at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility to get an up-close look at the United States rocketry program. The camp has partnerships with NASA, NOAA, MARS, and the US Navy. The cost of the camp is $925.
14. DIDIVA: Dream It. Do It. Virginia Manufacturing Technology Camp
This FREE, four-day camp introduces older youth to the manufacturing design process in a fun and interactive format. It provides an in-depth view of applied technologies in manufacturing and gives hands-on experience with manufacturing and engineering technologies.
Students acquire an understanding of what it takes to make a product and grow a business. They also get a glimpse of robotics and automation at work and learn from engineers and technical experts. Additionally, there is a friendly competition with other students in designing, building, and running a manufacturing system.
The Hopewell-Prince George Chamber of Commerce sponsors this day camp for high schoolers in the Chester, VA vicinity. Additionally, there are other camps like it elsewhere in Virginia (South Boston, South Hill, Keysville, Virginia Beach, Hampton).
For more information, see the website of Dream It. Do It. Virginia. Registration opens in June.
15. VASTS: Virginia Aerospace Science & Technology Scholars
VASTS involves on-line learning throughout the calendar year, followed by a FREE summer residential stay. It'll take planning on your part.
So okay, it technically isn't a camp but instead an interactive NASA-based STEM learning experience, culminating in a seven-day residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Still interested? Here's how to get involved.
To qualify, you need to be a current Virginia high school junior who is now taking or has already completed at least Algebra II or Trigonometry. An application to participate in the on-line learning experience is due in late October. You'll also have a final project due the following April. Decision notifications for the summer academy are made in May. See the VASTS website for a full description of the requirements.
Upon successful completion of the VASTS online course, students can receive two college credits in Intro to Aerospace Engineering Technology. Students who are selected for the Summer Academy and who successfully complete it will receive an additional two college credits.
16. VMASC: Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center Camps at Old Dominion University
Take a one-week day camp in 3-D Modeling and Printing, Game Development, Robotics, Advanced Robotics, or 3-D Sculpting at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, University. Courses target teens ages 12-16 and cost $350-650, depending on the course selected. The VMASC website has the details you need.
17. C-Tech2 - Computers and Technology at Virginia Tech
This two-week, female-only camp at Virginia Tech offers rising 11th and 12th graders the opportunity for structured, hands-on activities. These activities are designed to increase their interest in engineering and deepen their knowledge of how engineering applies to real world situations.
The two-week camp costs $1,500, and both full and partial need-based financial aid is available. For more information and to apply, check out the Check out the Computers and Technology website at Virginia Tech.
Not Everyone Can Be A People Pleaser: Get the T-Shirt
This fun, snarky shirt reads: "I can only please one person a day. Today isn't your day. Tomorrow doesn't look good either." Buy it for the non-people pleaser in your life.
18. BLAST: Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology at University of Virginia and Virginia Tech
BLAST brings STEM alive through innovative experiences led by faculty and staff at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. The FREE one-week camp targets rising 9th and 10th graders. It showcases out-of-the-ordinary science and engineering results with the goal of increasing student curiosity.
There are several sessions available, including those at Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia. Look at the course outlines to apply to the one that interests you most. See the camp website for a flyer and for additional information on this exciting program: BLAST camp. (Note: Some of the students at our Governor's Academy have attended this camp and have enjoyed it.)
19. Summer Bridge at Radford University
This is a FREE week-long residential camp for females only. The camp exposes young women to special topics in Math, Science, and Information Technology. Examples of past topics have included: Space Exploration, Geology, Forensic Science, Genes, Molecules & Medicine, and Environmental Science.
The camp is held at Radford University in Radford, Virginia. Consult the Radford University website for more information on this exciting opportunity.
20. Biosciences and Engineering Camp at Duke University
At a cost of $3,400, this residential program targets rising 9th, 10th, and 11th graders and provides two weeks of immersion in the chosen topic area. Options include:
- Astronomy, Physics & Astrobiology
- Clinical Psychology
- Mathematical Perspective to Social and Economic Problems
- Innovations in Medical Care and
Cryptology: Breaking the Code
21. North Carolina State University Engineering Workshops
Rising 11th and 12th graders can choose an engineering topic, and then take a one-week immersion workshop. Example topics include:
- Material Science & Engineering
- Aerospace Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Electrical & Computer Engineering; Computer Science
- Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
- Paper Science; Industrial Systems
- Biological and Agricultural Engineering and
- Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering.
Camps costs $875 each, and some financial aid is available. See NC State University's website for more information.
22. VetCAMP at North Carolina State University
This five-day summer camp offers high school students interested in the field of veterinary medicine an experience through presentations, demonstrations, laboratories, visits, and in-depth, hands-on activities. The $515 tuition includes meals, field trips, and giveaways.
23. Cracking the Code: High School Crypto-Camp at Duke University
What does it take to crack a code? Why and in what situations are codes used? What is cryptology (or cryptography)?
This residential program provides 12 days of an interdisciplinary approach to learning about cryptology. It includes learning an introduction to computer programming in Python, statistics topics, scavenger hunts on Duke University's campus, and applying theoretical math concepts to real-world challenges.
The camp targets rising 9th, 10th, and 11th graders and costs $3,000. More information can be found at Duke University Crypto-Camp.
24. SCIBLS: Summer College In Biotechnology and Life Sciences at NC State
Earn college credit during this one-month, residential learning experience that offers hands-on academic learning in biotechnology. Courses are available in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Microbial Biotechnology. Also included are tours of facilities at nearby Research Triangle Park.
The cost is $3,542 (including fees and housing for out-of-state residents). This opportunity is appropriate for rising 11th and 12th grade students with career interests in medicine, veterinary medicine, life sciences research, biotechnology, biopharmaceutical engineering, and related STEM fields. The SCIBLS website provides additional information.
25. Redesigning Our Future: National Environmental Summit for High School Students at Catawba College
Catawba College in Salisbury, NC is the site of this one-week residential leadership summit each July. Teens learn how they can use their passions to create a sustainable world. Participants from around the nation attend focus groups, are exposed to renowned speakers, and get hands-on environmental experience.
The summit is intended for high school students ages 14-17, and it costs $490. Financial aid may be available. Check out the Center for the Environment website for additional details.
Engineer Your Future!
26. Engineering and Construction Camp at Camp Lejeune
In collaboration with the U.S. Marine Corps, each year the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) sponsors an engineering and construction summer camp at Camp Lejeune. The camp targets high school students who excel in math and science and intend to pursue engineering in college.
Using a hands-on, learn-by-doing approach, students engage in design and build projects that teach not only engineering but also engineering principles. For example, campers have three hours to collaborate on building a 16-foot concrete beam. After testing and breaking the beams, a professional engineer then leads a debrief about why some designs worked better than others.
Campers must be 15 years old, a U.S. citizen, and have an expressed desire to pursue a degree in architecture, engineering or a related field. Health and other requirements are detailed on the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) website.
The total registration fee for the camp is $580, of which the student is responsible for only half. The SAME post that sponsors the student pays for the other half. Direct your application materials to your local SAME post.
Let the Ocean Be Your Classroom
27. Sea Turtle Camp at Topsail Island, NC
This summer camp will change your life. It's a hands-on, get your feet (or whole body) wet marine science camp experience where you'll develop a compassion and appreciation for coastal conservation by assisting sea turtles.
The residential program of six or 11 days includes options in marine biology, sea turtle and scuba.and is sponsored by the non-profit Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital Foundation. See the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Camp website for camp dates and more information.
© 2015 Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies