by Sara Calvert-Kubrom, former admissions officer at Lewis & Clark College
Have a science enthusiast teen at home? Fear not! There are many exciting summer opportunities that can be done from home this summer.
Although not all programs have made the final call, many summer programs, camps, internships, and on-campus pre-college programs have canceled or moved online. Although these cancelations are disappointing, there are many additional online opportunities for students to engage in their love of science this summer that are enriching, will help them explore future college majors, and will enhance college applications.
Although the list below is not exhaustive, it highlights several opportunities our college admissions consultants are familiar with and spans a variety of STEM careers and disciplines. Time is of the essence, as programs may fill, and some have an application process and enrollment deadlines.
- Polygence pairs students with academic mentors via video meetings to conduct independent research and projects—a great way to grow intellectually and explore areas of interest. A student I work with who is interested in science and pre-med is being mentored by a fourth-year medical student and they are partnering on a podcast about dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- DigiPen Academy (part of DigiPen Institute of Technology) offers robust online summer programs for students interested in computer science and technology. Although these programs are not graded, they are a fantastic way for students to develop concrete skills and show interest in computer science or technology on their college applications.
- Bucknell University’s summer Engineering Camp had to be canceled, but they are still offering free online opportunities to engage with Bucknell faculty and staff and learn about engineering this summer. Sign up online to receive more information about this summer’s events as plans are finalized.
- Explore opportunities to take graded online high school or college classes in math or science (this will add rigor to a student’s academic profile). Here are some opportunities to explore:
- Local community colleges and public universities (offerings vary, but many community colleges welcome high school students to take classes).
- UC Scout offers free or affordable online classes with extensive options in math and science, including many AP classes.
- Here are some examples of online pre-college programs:
- Tufts University is offering Virtual Campus Pre-College Programs this summer including programs focused on medical professions, coding, and engineering & design.
- Cornell University Precollege Studies offers online classes for high school students this summer, including some biology and psychology classes.
- Wake Forest University online pre-college programs include a new course taught by Wake medical school professors.
- University at Buffalo Pharmacy Summer Institute for High School and College Students is a free online program for exposure to pharmacy careers and academic research.
- Brown University’s Summer@Brown Online offers a diversity of STEM classes on topics such as DNA science, neuroscience, ethics and cybersecurity, biomedical engineering, and renewable energy.
We also encourage students to think about members of their social network (teachers, parents, friends, etc.) who do science-related work and start networking! Even if we are stuck at home, now is a great time to do video informational interviews to learn about career paths and future opportunities.