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12 Summer Programs for High School Students in Arizona

Are you a high school student in Arizona looking to make the most of your summer break? Perfect, because Arizona offers a variety of engaging summer programs that will provide you with valuable learning experiences, and allow you to explore your future possibilities.


From STEM exploration to arts and leadership development, Arizona holds some exciting opportunities. Whether you aspire to conduct scientific research, unleash your creativity, or cultivate your leadership skills, there's a summer program in Arizona for you. In this article, we will explore a curated list of summer programs in Arizona catering to a range of subjects and interests.


Note: Please keep in mind the following information is for 2023, though dates tend to be similar from year to year.


Application deadline: January 17, 2023

Eligibility: Students must be 16 years of age or older by June 5, 2023; and be a US citizen or a legal resident with a minimum one-year Arizona residency, to be eligible to apply.

Program dates: June 5, 2023 - July 21, 2023

Location: BIO5 Institute, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Fee: Free.


The KEYS (Keep Engaging Youth in Science) internship is an opportunity for students interested in scientific research. This program will provide hands-on research experiences under the guidance of university mentors with workshops, seminars, and field trips. You will gain insight into the fields of bioscience, bioengineering, environmental health, data science, and biostatistics, as they work on research projects, experiments, and data analyses.


The University of Arizona offers a few more summer programs for students looking to pursue studies in other fields such as Algebra Academy and Summer Engineering Academy.


Application deadline: February 3, 2023

Eligibility: To apply, students must be at least 16 years of age by June 5, 2023; be eligible to work in the United States; be a graduate of an Arizona high school by June 5, 2023.

Program dates: June 5, 2023 - July 28, 2023

Location: Most scholars will work in TGen headquarters in Phoenix; some will intern at Translational Drug Development (TD2) on the Mayo Clinic campus in Scottsdale or in the Pathogen Genomics Division in Flagstaff. Stipend: High school students will be paid $13.85 per hour.


This program is a prestigious and immersive research internship opportunity for students interested in biomedical research, hosted by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in partnership with the Helios Education Foundation. TGen is a not-for-profit biomedical research institute based in Arizona. The program will provide hands-on laboratory experience and mentorship from leading scientists. You will work on research projects in areas such as genomics, cancer biology, neurogenomics, and infectious diseases. Through this program, you get a chance to enhance your inquiry, data analysis, and laboratory technique skills.


High school sophomores and juniors with similar interests can consider the Bioscience Leadership Academy at TGen.


Application deadline: April 14, 2023

Eligibility: Students entering grades 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th in Fall 2023 are eligible to apply. While there is no minimum GPA required for eligibility, students applying1 must demonstrate a GPA of 2.7 or higher.

Program dates: The week-long program will take place in June. Exact dates vary based on the grade you’re in.

Location: Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Fee: $1,000. This covers housing, dining, and program material.

Financial Assistance: Need-based scholarships are available.


This intellectually stimulating program will allow you to engage in college-level coursework, research, and interactive learning activities within a supportive community of scholars and faculty. You can choose from a wide range of subjects in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. This program will prepare you for the rigors of higher education while providing a glimpse into the vibrant academic environment at ASU.


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


Application deadline: April 1, 2023

Eligibility: Students entering 11th or 12th grade in Fall 2023 are eligible to apply.

Program dates: June 25, 2023 - June 30, 2023.

Location: Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Fee: Free.


This one-week residential program will empower and inspire you to become a leader in your community. Through a series of workshops, interactive discussions, and hands-on activities, you will explore the legacy of civil rights leader César E. Chávez and learn about social justice issues. The program emphasizes leadership development, cultural understanding, and community engagement. Students collaborate on projects, engage in dialogue about equity and inclusivity, and develop practical skills to create positive change.


Another summer program along these lines that’s worth considering, is the Summer Experience at Arizona State University Polytechnic.


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 2023

Eligibility: Students 16 years or older can apply.

Program dates: July 1, 2023 - July 31, 2023

Location: Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona

Fee / Stipend: Information is not available.


This program is for motivated students interested in neuroscience and biomedical research. You will work alongside leading scientists and researchers in a renowned neuroscience institution while engaging in hands-on laboratory work, data analysis, and scientific discussions. You will be exposed to cutting-edge research techniques and technologies in areas such as neurobiology, neuroimaging, and neurodegenerative diseases. The program also includes seminars, journal clubs, and mentorship opportunities.

Application deadline: The date will vary based on the subject you choose.

Eligibility: Students aged 12 to 18 can apply.

Program dates: June 12, 2023 - June 30, 2023

Location: Mesa MIX Center and Tempe Campus, Arizona State University

Fee: Vary depending on when you register, from $375 to $425.


If you’re keen on exploring the world of digital media and technology, then this program is for you. It offers a hands-on learning environment where you can work on digital projects and collaborate with faculty and industry professionals. You can dive into subjects like game design, interactive media, digital storytelling, and virtual reality, and acquire practical skills in digital production, coding, and design while gaining a deeper understanding of the cultural and social implications of digital technology. The program also includes guest lectures, workshops, and field trips.


Application deadline: March 5, 2023

Eligibility: Different camps are available for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Program dates: June 4, 2023 - June 10, 2023

Location: College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona

Fee: $600, which includes meals, as well as room and board. Financial Assistance: Need-based scholarships are available.


For students interested in the field of healthcare and medicine, this program is a must-consider. It offers a comprehensive curriculum that combines interactive workshops, medical simulations, and clinical rotations to provide a unique insight into the medical profession. Students engage in activities such as suturing, CPR training, anatomy labs, and patient simulations, allowing them to develop practical skills and knowledge. The program also includes guest lectures from healthcare professionals, college readiness workshops, and guidance on the medical school application process.


The university also offers a longer, more intensive program for students interested in careers as health professionals: Med-Start Health Careers Program at University of Arizona.


Application deadline: The date varies, the first round of applications are usually reviewed in January of each year

Eligibility: To be eligible to apply for this program, students must have completed 8th grade (but not enrolled in 12th grade yet), must attend either Coolidge High School, Casa Grande Union High School, or Vista Grande High School; be a permanent resident or US citizen; be first-generation college students (neither parent should have received a bachelor’s degree at the time of application) and/or meet the federal family income guidelines set by the US Department of Education.

Program dates: It’s a six-week summer program, dates are disclosed

Location: Central Arizona College, Coolidge, Arizona

Fee: Free

This program is designed to empower and support students on their way to college, with activities that will foster academic growth, including tutoring, workshops, and college readiness courses. The program also offers college visits, financial aid guidance, and assistance with the college application process. Apart from academics, Upward Bound promotes personal development through leadership training, cultural enrichment, and community service projects.


Application deadline: April 1, 2023

Eligibility: High school students aged 14-18 are eligible to apply.

Program dates: June 18, 2023 -June 23, 2023

Location: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona

Fee: $1700. This includes supervised housing, on-campus meals, classroom instruction, books, and materials.


If you’re wondering about aerospace engineering, this program will give you the perfect window into that world. It offers a comprehensive curriculum that combines hands-on activities, laboratory experiments, and interactive workshops to provide a deep understanding of the subject’s principles and applications. You will participate in projects related to aircraft design, propulsion systems, aerodynamics, and space exploration, gaining practical skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. The program features state-of-the-art facilities, including wind tunnels, flight simulators, and engineering labs, allowing you to experience aerospace engineering in a real-world setting.


Similarly, Embry Riddle has noteworthy summer camps for Flight Exploration, Forensic Science, Data Science, and Game Design, Animation & Simulation. Many of these offer scholarship options as well.


Registration deadline: May 29, 2023

Eligibility: Students in grades 8-12 can apply.

Program dates: There are two sessions of this program held in June.

Location: Arizona State University Tempe campus or online.

Fee: $300 for the online program, and $325 for the in-person program.

Financial Assistance: Need-based scholarships are available.


This program is designed for young writers passionate about storytelling. It will create a supportive and creative environment where you can explore various genres, experiment with writing techniques, and develop your unique writing voice. With interactive workshops, one-on-one mentorship, and group discussions, you will work on your writing skills, receive constructive feedback, and gain insight from published authors and industry professionals. YAWP will help you cultivate your creativity, refine your storytelling abilities, and build a strong foundation for future writing endeavors.


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.


Image source: Helios Scholars at TGen logo

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