February 2, 2017

By The Vault Prep Team

5 Summer Programs for STEM Students

See our previous article on business programs here.

This summer, take time to explore new interests and find ways to use your time to grow your resume. For students interested in science and math, here are our recommendations for 5 Summer STEM Programs: 


USC offers a series of summer programs for ages ranging from middle school to high school. High school students can choose to participate in a 4-week course or a 2-week seminar, while either living on campus or commuting from home. Middle school students have the option to participate in a 1-week course (commuter program only).

From the website:

Students are introduced to various engineering disciplines through a series of lectures, academic exercises, research assignments, guest lecturers, field trips and engineering projects. Through designing, building and testing projects, students will experience a wide range of engineering applications for a variety of engineering majors, such as: aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science.

For more information and application, visit: http://viterbi.usc.edu/students/undergrad/ced/stemprograms/summer-engine...


Students will have the opportunity to work under the direction of prominent UCLA faculty members as they conduct experiments within the areas of neuroscience. The course is approximately 5 days long and offered in two summer sessions. 

From the website: 

The CNSI Nanoscience Lab Summer Institute is an exclusive summer workshop for high school students interested in advanced science and technology. During this five day program, students have the unique opportunity to explore questions similar to those currently investigated by the scientific community. The program involves hands-on experiments that combine vigorous scientific methodologies and techniques with projects that are both fun and exciting. Moreover, these experiments, designed by UCLA researchers, teach students the key concepts of nanoscale phenomena that make nanoscience and nanotechnology one of the most exciting fields of research today.

To Apply: http://www.summer.ucla.edu/institutes/NanoScienceLab 


MIT Launch is a 4-week entrepreneurship program for high school students, teaching the entrepreneurial skills and mindset through starting real companies. Students go through rigorous coursework, collaborate with peers and mentors, and use the multitude of tools surrounding them at MIT to realize what it takes to be successful in the real world – resourcefulness, adaptability, and innovation. Many need-based scholarships are available.

From their website:

MIT Launch Summer brings together high school students from all over the US and world each summer to MIT campus to become entrepreneurs in a 4-week program. Students start a company in teams, using course materials that follow the rigor and standards of MIT. This is not a business plan contest. The aim is to create a real startup – to solve a real need in a differentiated way. 

To apply and learn more: https://mitlaunch.com/


 From the website:

Engineering Innovation is an exciting, college-level, summer program for motivated high school students with an aptitude in math and science and an interest in (or curiosity about) engineering. This program has been available to high school students since 2006. In the program, students learn to think and problem-solve like engineers and have the opportunity to earn Johns Hopkins University (JHU) credit.

By applying knowledge of math and science to labs and hands-on projects, the concepts learned in high school classrooms are linked to real-world practice.  Additionally students’ confidence grows as they attend college-level lectures, solve problems, test theories, and ultimately learn to think like engineers.

Over this four — or five—week (depending upon the site) program, students complete lab activities in computer engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering.  They also prepare a presentation in response to a Request for Proposal, learn about engineering economics, write a research paper, take weekly quizzes, and complete a comprehensive final exam.

More information: https://engineering.jhu.edu/ei/


The University of Maryland offers a variety of summer courses for high school students, as well as students of younger ages. Their program in engineering highlights opportunities for women with regard to science and mathematics. Students live on campus for a week and participate in a variety of experiments and hands on activities.  

From their site: 

The curriculum of the E2@UMD program focuses on introducing participants to the fundamental principles and concepts of engineering, as well as the influences of engineering on society. Students attend engineering lectures conducted by faculty and guest lecturers, conduct laboratory experiments, observe laboratory demonstrations, participate in tours of campus labs and facilities and meet with professional engineers. E2@UMD gives students hands-on and experiential learning opportunities in specific areas of engineering.

To Apply: http://www.wie.umd.edu/k12/e2atumd

Attending summer sessions on a college campus is an excellent way to develop academic interests and create a personal connection with a particular school, or even with a particular faculty member. Be sure to take advantage of all opportunities to learn as much as possible.