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13 Programs for High School Students in Wisconsin

If you’re a high school student studying in Wisconsin, you should consider some of the many summer programs available that can help boost your profile! Summer programs are a great way to build on your skills, network with your peers, and work on exciting projects and assignments, all after your school year is over!


In this blog, we’ve covered 12 programs for high school students in Wisconsin.


Please keep in mind the following information is for 2023 and dates for the following years will likely happen around a similar time period.


Application deadline: March 13, 2023

Eligibility: Rising juniors and seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.0, who have completed at least a year of algebra, geometry, and chemistry

Program dates: July 15, 2023 – August 4, 2023

Location: University of Wisconsin, Madison

Fee: Free

The ESP aims to give high schoolers a taste of first-year engineering college. During the residential program, you will take courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics and engineering design (which will include hands-on work). Problem-solving skills are a central focus of the curriculum. Additionally, the program includes team-building activities, professional development workshops and site visits at companies like Alliant Energy and Rockwell Automation.


Application deadline: Students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and applications are still open at the time of writing

Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors

Program dates: July 9, 2023 – July 14, 2023

Location: Milwaukee School of Engineering

Fee: $950

Financial assistance: Scholarships are available

Women from high school get to spend a week exploring all the different engineering majors to aid them in picking a career path. You will get hands-on experience in all the various majors including architectural, biomedical, biomolecular, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical and software engineering. Apart from looking at two majors per day, you will also take industry tours and learn about women in the field of engineering.


Application deadline: Not specified

Eligibility: Students between the ages of 10 and 15

Program dates: June 26, 2023 – June 30, 2023

Location: Taliesin Hillside Drafting Studio, Spring Green, WI

Fee: $450

Financial assistance: Scholarships are available

Suitable for younger high school students, this architecture camp takes place at renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s estate. As a participant, you will not only learn about the architect and the basic principles of architecture but also design a space using a floor plan and a 3D model! While working at Taliesin, you will explore the space itself and learn from it for your project. This commuter program will end with a presentation of your work to your families.

This program is organized by the Taliesin Preservation, a non-profit, which also hosts other youth programs in design (using Minecraft) and creative writing.


Application deadline: March 1, 2023

Eligibility: Rising juniors and seniors who are at least 16 years of age, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and come from an underrepresented background

Program dates: June 26, 2023 – August 4, 2023

Location: Medical College of Wisconsin

Stipend: A stipend of an unspecified amount is paid at the end of the program

AIM is an ideal way for high schoolers interested in medicine to gain practical experience. The program includes a combination of lectures, research and hands-on work. You will participate in weekly clinical shadowing and get an introduction to suture clinics, heart dissections as well as medical simulations. By the end of the six weeks, you will develop an abstract and deliver an oral presentation. The program also offers a course certificate of completion!

A similar program centered on the biomedical sciences is the university’s ROADS program. Consider this program if you’re looking to work on a specific research project.


Location: Virtual

Cost

  • $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

  • $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

  • $4,700 for both

  • Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply here

Application deadline: On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates: Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest. 


Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship. These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 


The AI Fellowship program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects here


Location: Virtual 

Application Date: May 21, 2024 for the summer cohort, and September 25, 2024 for the fall cohort 

Program Dates: 

  • Summer seminar - June 24, 2024 - September 2, 2024

  • Fall seminar - October 23, 2024 - February 19, 2025

  • Lab dates are flexible, but you must apply 4 weeks in advance.

Eligibility: High school students with good academic standing (>3.67/4.0 GPA) can apply. Most accepted students are 10th/11th graders! Only a couple of tracks require formal prerequisites, more details of which can be found here.


Horizon offers trimester-long research programs for high school students across subject areas such as data science, machine learning, political theory, biology, chemistry, neuroscience, psychology, and more! It is one of the very few research programs for high school students that offers a choice between quantitative and qualitative research! 


Once you select a particular subject track and type of research you’ll be paired with a professor or Ph.D. scholar (from a top university) who will mentor you throughout your research journey. You’ll work to create a 20-page, university-level research paper that you can send to prestigious journals for publication as a high school student. 


This program is a solid opportunity for you to pursue a research program in highly specialized fields, under the guidance of a top scholar. The program also provides a letter of recommendation for each student, as well as detailed project feedback that you can use to work on future projects and on college applications. Apply here!


Application deadline: March 2, 2023

Eligibility: Rising seniors from underrepresented groups

Program dates: 6 weeks during the summer (specific dates not provided)

Location: University of Wisconsin, Madison

Fee: Free

The Department of Surgery offers this research internship for students who want to work on an independent project under the guidance of a professional surgeon. This is a commuter program and its aim is to introduce students to clinical research. You will work on projects based either on existing data or on new clinical trials. Additionally, the program also includes tours of research facilities, seminars, and the opportunity to shadow a surgeon and participate in surgical simulations.


Application deadline: February 12 (as of 2021)

Eligibility: Current juniors

Program dates: 9 weeks during the summer

Location: University of Wisconsin, Madison

Stipend: Unpaid

Organized by the MMSD, this program is a 9-week internship for students to engage in scientific research. As an intern, you will be paired with a researcher from the University of Wisconsin and expected to spend 20-25 hours per week engaged in lab work. Departments range from chemistry and biology to astrophysics and you can choose which area you’d like to work in. By the end of the program, you will design a scientific poster and present it at the concluding poster session. You will receive one college credit from UW-Madison, an MMSD academic credit and a program certificate!

If you’re looking for an internship in the health sciences, consider UW-Madison’s LEAP Forward Internship.


Application deadline: May 1, 2023

Eligibility: All high school students

Program dates: June 18, 2023 – June 30, 2023

Location: University of Wisconsin, Madison

Fee: $2,200 for commuters, $3,870 for residents, and $4,220 for international students (an early bird rate is available for those who pay before January 9)

Financial assistance: Limited financial aid is available in the form of need-based, partial scholarships

The Badger Summer Scholars Program is a standard pre-college program that offers a combination of preparatory activities for university life, college-level academic learning and social engagement with a diverse set of peers. While the course list doesn’t have a very wide variety of options, the available courses cover topics like politics, writing, philosophy, leadership, veterinary science and STEM. The program has residential and commuter options available!


Application deadline: June 3 (as of 2022)

Eligibility: All high school students

Program dates: 2 weeks in the month of June

Location: Marquette University

Fee: $500

Financial assistance: Students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals can apply for a scholarship

If you’re looking for a comprehensive introduction to journalism, this program is right for you. It is a two-week intensive program that covers the basics of multimedia news. Focusing on practical experiences, the course will have you working with digital equipment to develop and report stories in a variety of forms — photos, videos, podcasts and more. In the process, you will interview people and network with professionals from the industry. On completion of the program, you will even be eligible for a month-long internship at a news organization like the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel or the Milwaukee Courier!


Application deadline: Students are accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full and, as of June 19, applications are still open

Eligibility: All high school students

Program dates: July 14, 2023 – July 19, 2023

Location: Lawrence University

Fee: $1093

This camp is a residential program ideal for musicians looking to improve their skills with professional training. The instruments accepted include the piano, violin, viola and cello. As a participant, you will attend private lessons, group coaching, skill workshops and a performance opportunity. The application requires two performance videos and each cohort includes only 16 students, so it’s best to apply early for this one!

If you’re looking for more affordable summer programs instead, consider the university’s theater camp which is free of cost.


Application deadline: May 1, 2023

Eligibility: Rising juniors and seniors who are at least 16 years of age

Program dates: June 18, 2023 – July 1, 2023

Location: Beloit College

Fee: $2,000

Financial assistance: Limited need-based scholarships are available

Beloit College’s Summer Academy is a credit-bearing residential program that focuses on a single topic — ‘Keepin’ it Real: Fakes, Forgeries, Fantasies and the Quest for Authenticity’ for the 2023 track. The course is meant to teach you to differentiate between the real and the fake in various academic disciplines, in turn enhancing your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. In groups, you will work on a project that could take on a number of forms, from a poem or a poster presentation to a comedy routine. After the two weeks of the program, you will leave with one transferable college credit!

Here’s a bonus program in Wisconsin that you may want to consider applying for -


Application deadline: Not specified

Eligibility: Juniors and seniors

Program dates: June 13, 2023 – June 17, 2023

Location: University of Wisconsin, Parkside and University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

Fee: Free

A bit of an offbeat choice, this residential program brings together water adventures like swimming, canoeing, and hiking with a more academic exploration of freshwater ecosystems. You will engage in several hands-on activities like analyzing water chemistry, conducting toxicology tests, examining invertebrates under the microscope, electrofishing and more. Along with this, you will learn about the various career options in this field while also attending fun activities like movie nights.


One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are passionate about research and would like to do it from the comfort of your home, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


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