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6 Best AI Programs for Middle School Students

If you’re a middle school student looking for opportunities in AI and ML, then you already know that finding suitable programs can be hard. Well, good news - this blog is for you!

While pursuing programs in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and related topics as a high school student is essential to build your knowledge and profile, doing so in middle school gives your profile an edge and allows you to leverage more learning opportunities by the time you get to high school. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

In this blog, we’ve covered 6 of the most popular AI programs open to students in Grades 6-8.

Almost all of these programs are remote/virtual, which means that you can learn and study from the comfort of your home, at your own pace.

Note that these programs do not require any prerequisites for participation, making it accessible and beginner-friendly for you to get started with!

Veritas AI is a virtual AI program that offers programs for both high school and middle school students. For middle school students, the Veritas AI Trailblazers program allows you to learn the fundamentals of Python and key concepts in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Alongside skill-building sessions, you will be expected to build real world AI models across fields such as medicine, art, and architecture, to name a few!

The program also provides a deep dive into topics that aren’t usually covered in middle school curriculums, such as neural networks, AI ethics, and image classification using AI. The program is conducted online, which makes it accessible to middle school students from across the world. The program runs on the weekends, which makes it a great choice for students looking to do a program while completing their school year on the side.

Note: You can find the complete program brochure here.

Eligibility: Open to students in Grades 6-8

Cost: $1490

Program Dates: The program runs for a total of 25 hours over 10 weekends

Application Deadline: The application deadline for the Summer Cohort is May 14, 2023

Location: Remote!

GirlsWhoCode hosts Clubs, which are free groups for students in Grade 3 and above. These clubs can be formed both virtually and in-person, and offer middle school students an opportunity to learn various concepts such as loops, variables, conditionals and functions. As a Club member, you have the chance to interact with your club members, work on real-world projects, and hone your skills in the field of computer science. Clubs work on a variety of topics, and can span the length of your summer break, on weekends during your school year, or everyday after school. As a middle-school Club member, you will be expected to work on your coding skills, under the guidance of a Club Facilitator, and free tutorials and meeting guides.

These Clubs are quite unique in terms of their structure, as they allow for flexible learning and exploration, and are safe spaces for you to hone your skills.

You can apply to join clubs/form clubs using this link.

Eligibility: Middle school students are eligible for this program!

Cost: None

Program Dates: Each Club has its own timeline for the academic year, which you can read about before joining/making a club of your own.

Application Deadline: None, only registration is required

Location: Remote/In-Person

AI for Oceans is a program by, one of the world's largest free coding platforms for students, that combines marine biology and artificial intelligence in an accessible format. The program is hosted in collaboration with Microsoft.

As a participant of the AI for Oceans program, you will be required to understand and learn about the various challenges ocean ecosystems face, and how to use AI to solve these challenges. You will learn to analyze oceanic data, develop AI models to study marine life, and design AI-based solutions to address issues such as pollution and climate change. This is valuable for you whether you are interested in computer science or targetting a career in marine biology and oceanography.

AI for Oceans is a solid program that you should consider if you’re passionate about contributing to climate change solutions, and subjects such as marine biology, environmental science, and conservation.

Eligibility: Middle school students are eligible for this program!

Cost: None

Program Dates: The courses are available all year-round

Application Deadline: None, only registration is required at the time of starting a course

Location: Remote

The RAISE program comprises multiple courses and curriculums for middle school students, as a way of exposing them to AI and its applications in the real world. As a RAISE participant, you can choose to learn from multiple workshops that are available, including the DAIly Curriculum, which include hands-on and computer-based activities on AI concepts, ethical issues in AI, and creative expression using AI.

As part of this workshop, you will use machine learning to make predictions, investigate bias in machine learning applications, use generative adversarial networks to create original works of art, to name a few. You can also choose to learn from other workshops and curriculum available on the RAISE website, such as Conversational AI Tools, GANPaint, and PICaboo.

Eligibility: All middle schoolers are eligible for this program. You may want to consult your computer science/AI instructor at school for more information!

Cost: Varies

Program Dates: Varies from curriculum to curriculum

Application Deadline: Varies from curriculum to curriculum

Location: At your school!

The Beaver Works Middle School Program is an initiative, an extension of the Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI) hosted by MIT that introduces middle school students to the world of AI and engineering.

In this intensive program, you will collaborate on projects, work together with your fellow program participants to solve real-world problems using AI and engineering principles. Additionally, you will also learn to design and program intelligent systems, explore the fields of robotics and autonomous vehicles, and gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge technologies that will be provided to you as part of the program.

Eligibility: Middle school students can apply

Cost: Free

Program Dates: 4 weeks starting the Monday after the July 4th weekend, Monday-Friday 9am - 3:30pm.

Application Deadline: The program is currently shut for 2023, but you can expect applications for the 2024 batch to open sometime in May(tentative)

Location: Both in-person and virtual options are available

A self-paced learning program offered by Google AI, these courses focused on Generative AI and Machine Learning can be a solid foundation for future research or study in the field of Computer Science and AI. As a middle school student, these courses are pretty well-paced, and cover complex topics in AI in a lucid and simple manner.

Note that these courses are purely self-paced, so it is up to you to set aside learning time during your summer break, or even during your school year! You can view a complete list of courses offered by Google AI that can be accessed from anywhere in the world here.

Eligibility: Middle school students are eligible for this program!

Cost: None

Program Dates: The courses are available all year-round

Application Deadline: None, only registration is required at the time of starting a course

Location: Remote

If you're looking for a real-world internship that can help boost your resume while applying to college, we recommend Ladder Internships!

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. 

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 more option - The Lumiere Junior Explorer Program

The Lumiere Junior Explorer Program is a program for middle school students to work one-on-one with a mentor to explore their academic interests and build a project they are passionate about.  Our mentors are scholars from top research universities such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale, Duke and LSE.

The program was founded by a Harvard & Oxford PhD who met as undergraduates at Harvard. The program is rigorous and fully virtual. We offer need based financial aid for students who qualify. You can find the application in the brochure

To learn more, you can reach out to our Head of Growth, Khushi Malde, at or go to our website.

Multiple rolling deadlines for JEP cohorts across the year, you can apply using this application link! If you'd like to take a look at the cohorts + deadlines for 2024, you can refer to this page!

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. 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: Veritas AI logo



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