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12 Robotics Programs for High School Students

With robots becoming more prominent in our society, the field of robotics will only continue to advance in the future. If you are interested in building and designing machines, then this career path may be for you.


Most of these summer programs will involve not only learning about the field of engineering as a whole but applying these concepts to make creations of your own.


Here are 12 robotics opportunities available to ambitious high school students.


Veritas AI has a range of AI programs for ambitious high school students, starting from close-group, collaborative learning to customized project pathways with 1:1 mentorship. The programs have been designed and run by Harvard graduate students & alumni.


In the AI Fellowship, students create a novel AI project independently with the support of a mentor over 12-15 weeks. Many students also combine AI with robotics. Examples of past projects can be found here.


Location: Virtual

Fee: $1,490 for the AI Scholars program (A 10-week bootcamp). $4,200 for the AI Fellowship (the 12-15 week 1-1 mentorship). $4,700 for both. Need-based financial aid is available.

Application deadline: Program runs in cohorts throughout the year - applications this year will happen on March 1, May 1, September 1, and December 1 (as of writing) .

Program dates: Applications for the summer are between February and May.

Program selectivity: Moderate (AI Fellowship)

Eligibility: Applicants must be ambitious, high school and can be anywhere in the world. For the AI Scholars program, no previous experience is required - applicants need to show a keen interest in AI. For the AI Fellowship program, applicants will either need to complete the AI Scholars program or have had past experience with AI concepts or Python.


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!


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.


If you are specifically interested in radar systems, then MIT’s LLRISE program will be suited for you. Throughout July, rising seniors will be taught how to build small radar systems, such as a Doppler and range radar. Highly talented scientists and engineers will be working alongside the attendees and assisting them. The workshop will be held at two locations: the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA and Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA.


Costs: None

Eligibility:

  • Be a U.S. citizen. Foreign citizens who are permanent residents are not eligible.

  • Be passionate about STEM.

  • Be a current junior.

  • Must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a religious or medical exemption.

Selectivity: Very High


This program has an emphasis on providing hands-on research experience for Massachusetts students who are rising seniors. Therefore, attendees can expect to work with experienced Northeastern faculty at the research laboratories within Northeastern University’s Colleges of Engineering, Science, and Health Sciences, which can range from bioengineering and artificial intelligence – although this year’s projects are not yet fully decided. The program also offers education and career counseling, a chance to explore college life, field trips, and career exploration seminar series on topics including engineering.


Costs: None

Eligibility:

  • Must be permanent Massachusetts residents.

  • Priority access is given to those students who have low access to similar programs and live within commuting distance of Northeastern University.

  • Students in Maine are eligible to participate in Young Scholars’ Program @ Roux Institute in Portland, Maine. More details found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2023-YSPR-APPLY.

  • Must be a current junior student.

  • Students from any school (public, private, homeschooled, etc) are eligible.

Selectivity: High


Lumiere has been founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Hundreds of ambitious high school students do politics research through the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs. Each student is paired with a top PhD and works with their mentor 1-on-1 to produce a university-level research paper.


The programs are fully virtual and vary in duration based on the student’s end goal with respect to how much of a deep dive they would prefer. The research opportunities range from pure political science to combining politics with other social sciences.

Past research projects include comparisons in sports training between humans and robots, exploring how robots increase the efficacy of monitoring disasters such as wildfires

Also, check out the Lumiere Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students.


Location: Virtual

Application deadline: There are four cohorts throughout the year. Applications are due in February, May, September, and December, respectively. Apply here!

Program dates: There are four cohorts throughout the year in spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Eligibility: All high school students may apply.


The Playto Labs Robotics Summer Camp for Kids offers an engaging and comprehensive

online program focused on robotics and STEM education. Students aged 8-16 will participate in live 1:1 classes over 7-8 months, receiving personalized instruction and mentorship. The program includes a robotics kit, enabling students to engage in hands-on projects that cover a wide range of topics, including robotics, coding, and electronics. Throughout the camp, students will build, program, and test their own robots, developing skills in robotics and coding while also enhancing critical thinking, analytical skills, and confidence in their ability to build things. If you are looking for a robotics summer camp, Playto Labs is a solid choice.


Cost: $800-$1000 for live 1:1 classes over 7-8 months, including a robotics kit

Eligibility: Students aged 8-16

Location: Virtual

Program Dates: Throughout the summer


For rising 9th and 10th graders, the Virtual Engineering Summer Program will be held over a course of a week. Not only are there workshops for students to learn about engineering majors at UW Madison, but also they will be mailed engineering kits and have hands-on experience in robotics design. On the other hand, for rising 11th and 12th graders, the residential Engineering Summer Program will be held over the course of three weeks. The program offers a curriculum in STEM, hands-on workshops, visits to industry sites, field trips, mentoring from faculty, and an opportunity to network with experts in the industry. Students will be expected to learn about design and work in teams.


Costs: None

Eligibility:

  • For VESP:

    • Have an interest in STEM

    • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

    • Be a current 8th grader or freshman in high school

  • For ESP:

    • Have a strong interest in STEM

    • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

    • Be a current sophomore or junior in high school

    • Have completed at least one year of algebra, geometry, and chemistry

    • Have a minimum unweighted grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Selectivity: High


This program emphasizes engineering, fabrication, robotics, and computation in the context of solving real world problems. Those selected for the program will be allowed to pursue their own engineering design projects through the state-of-the-art Nolop Makerspace at Tufts’s technology, which includes laser cutting, 3D printing, robotics, and computation. Guest speakers will talk about their work and the importance of engineering, which may serve as inspiration for the student’s projects of choice.


Costs: Commuter: $4,000, Residential: $5,500, Materials Fee: $200, limited scholarships available

Eligibility:

  • Currently in grades 10-12 or graduating from high school in spring 2022.

  • For residential students,they must be no younger than 15 at the start of the program and no older than 17 before the program end date.

  • Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply, but if English is not your primary language you will need to submit evidence of English Language proficiency.

Selectivity: High


For 6 weeks, high school students will spend seven hours per workday in classes or other activities, which can range from STEM and humanities courses, workshops, guest speakers, and tours. One of these classes will be an elective that will require the student to work on work on a project, and past elective subjects have included engineering design and machine learning. At the end of the program, there will be a final symposium for these projects to be presented to the broader MIT community.


Costs: None

Eligibility:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents

  • Be a current high school junior

Selectivity: Very High


As the name of the program implies, this Embry-Riddle summer program will focus on robotics & autonomous systems, which is a rapidly expanding field. With the Embry-Riddle faculty and undergraduate students in robotics competition teams, program attendees will create and test autonomous robots of their own. Throughout the week, students will be incorporating concepts from mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering, which will be useful in their future careers in engineering and robotics.


Costs: $975

Eligibility: Students aged 15-18

Selectivity: Moderate


During Saint Louis University's Robotics Summer Academy, attendees will establish teams and build their own robots using custom hardware. This project will involve mechanical, electrical and computer engineering concepts in order to design and fabricate robot parts. These robots will be put into friendly competitions with other students’ robots, and at the end of camp, students will have their own functioning robot to keep. Moreover, participants will meet with current SLU engineering students and faculty, visit their engineering labs and facilities, and explore campus.


This is a day camp only; overnight housing is not provided for the Robotics Summer Academy.

Costs: $650, scholarships available

Eligibility:

  • High school students entering grades 9 through 12.

  • Space is limited to 25 students.

Selectivity: Moderate


The UT Computer Science Summer Academies is offering high schoolers of all skill levels the opportunity to learn more about robotics on the University of Texas campus. The topics that will be covered include but are not limited to introductory programming, Arduino, sensors, and controlling a robot. As such, the hands-on experience will involve assembling and programming a robot, utilizing tools in robotics research, competing in a robot race, and more. Of course, you can expect to explore the UT campus and meet current students as well. Applications will open January 31st.


Costs: $2,100, limited scholarships available

Eligibility: Current 9th - 12th grade students

Selectivity: High


WPI’s residential program provides two weeks of STEM exploration in their course curriculum. Uniquely, while students will primarily focus on a STEM “major,” they also will pursue a humanities “minor,” which can range from psychology to painting to business. If you choose Robotics Engineering as your major, you will learn about robotics engineering, such as force, torque, and stress analysis, material properties, processing, and selection, power requirements, micro controllers, sensor operations, programming, pneumatics. With this knowledge you will create a machine to solve a challenging robotics problem and be tested in an end-of-session tournament.


Cost: $3,595, financial assistance available

Eligibility:

  • Be a rising 10, 11, and 12th grade

Selectivity: High


Ladder Internships is a selective program equipping students with virtual internship experiences at startups and nonprofits around the world! The startups range across a variety of industries, and each student can select which field they would most love to deep dive into. This is also a great opportunity for students to explore areas they think they might be interested in, and better understand professional career opportunities in those areas. The startups are based all across the world, with the majority being in the United States, Asia and then Europe and the UK. 


The fields include technology, machine learning and AI, finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, media and journalism and more. 


You can explore all the options here on their application form. As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project that is of genuine need to the startup they are working with, and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding you through the internship and helping you navigate the startup environment. 


Interns are offered one-on-one training in communication, time management and other such valuable skills and will also have the opportunity to attend group training sessions with other interns in their cohort. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.


Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location:  Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application deadline: April 16 and May 14

Program dates: 8 weeks, June to August

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students!


One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are passionate about research, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that was founded by 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.


Lydia is currently a sophomore at Harvard University, studying Molecular and Cellular Biology. During high school, she pursued engineering activities like attending the Governor's School of Engineering and Technology. In her spare time, she likes to create digital art while listening to music.



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