List of High School STEM Programs of Interest

Here’s a list of some of the top high school STEM summer programs and competitions. More details can be found in the links below.

  • Columbia University Science Honors Program (NY, NJ area)
  • The Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program
  • National Institute of Health Summer Internship Program
  • MIT Research Science Institute
  • State Governor’s School
  • Summer Science Program (New Mexico Tech and UC Boulder)
  • AwesomeMath Camp
  • Regeneron STS
  • ISEF
  • Siemens
  • Google Science Fair

General Overview

These prestigious STEM programs could potentially lead to research opportunities. STEM school year programs are often regional in nature, as they may require a weekly commute. STEM Summer programs are often available to students from outside the region, but may require nearby housing if not provided through the program.

Potential programs include lectures during the school year, summer research opportunities usually offered through universities, summer STEM camps, science fairs, math competitions, and robotics competitions.

School Year Science Programs

Columbia University Science Honors Program (NY, NJ area)
Saturday lecture courses at Columbia University covering college level material in courses such as Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and Physiology. 

Summer STEM Programs

The Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program
7 week biomedical research program at The Rockefeller University where students are paired with a research mentor.

National Institute of Health Summer Internship Program
Biomedical summer research at the NIH campuses in Maryland.

MIT Research Science Institute
Summer research program at MIT, selecting only 80 students internationally.

State Governor’s School
Depends on state availability. Summer STEM programs for rising seniors in each state. Students participate in lectures, hands-on labs and projects, and interact with guest speakers.

Summer Science Program
Two 39 day camps held on New Mexico Tech and University of Colorado Boulder campuses. Scholars participate in astrophysics hands-on research, lectures, and colloquia.

AwesomeMath Camp
Paid summer math camp at University of Texas Dallas, Cornell University, and University of Puget Sound. Students engage in math education as well as recreational activities. Students often participate in the American Mathematics Competitions.

Science Fairs

Regeneron STS
Regeneron Science Talent Search (formerly Intel STS) is a world-wide science fair/competition for high school aged students.

Intel Science & Engineering Fair is a world-wide science fair/competition for high school aged students.

Siemens Competition is a world-wide STEM fair/competition for high school aged students.

Google Science Fair
Google Science Fair is a world-wide science fair/competition for high school aged students.

Junior Science and Humanities Symposia is a prestigious scholarship program to engage students in science and research.

Maker Faire & Make Magazine
The concept behind the Maker Movement is to get people into STEM by promoting the concept of DIY and individual creation.

STEM Competitions

USA Olympiads

American Mathematics Competitions (AMC/AIME/USAMO)
National series of math exams culminating in the International Math Olympiad.

USA Biology Olympiad (USABO)
National series of biology exams.

U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO)
National series of chemistry exams.

USA Physics Olympiad (USAPO)
National series of physics exams.

USA Computing Olympiad
National series of computer science exams.

Science Olympiad
Team-based regional, state, and national competitions in various events such as Robot Arm, Forensics, and Invasive Species.


Hackathon at University of Pennsylvania

Hackathon at Rutgers University

Online Courses and MOOCs

With a goal to spread STEM education MIT OCW provides real courses from real professors prominent in the areas of study.

Spreading knowledge and learning opportunities, Coursera provides courses from professors and respected institutions such as Stanford, MIT, Ivy League Colleges, and more.

Udacity Nanodegree Program
While it started out providing university style courses, it has in recent times pivoted to offering more direct vocational training and skill-based courses. Save 10% off when you use our link.

A platform for anyone to start their own courses, it offers relatively focused and specific coursework in a wider range of topics than the traditional online course provider. Examples include their popular Python Bootcamp and top ranked ML course.

Featuring learning resources primarily from the UK.


FIRST Robotics
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST Robotics is an organization devoted to bringing STEM education to all ages of students. FIRST Lego League (FLL) caters to elementary school students, FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is geared towards middle school students, and FIRST Robotics Competition brings STEM education to high schoolers around the world. FIRST is the world’s most prestigious robotics competition with teams from around the world meeting in Saint Louis, Louisiana every year for the World Championships. It’s student engineering, at its best.

VEX Robotics
Compete on the world stage with VEX robotics. For middle school to high school aged students the VEX robotics competition offers a simpler alternative to FIRST, yet still expands STEM education and promotes the future of technology.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA is the US government home of advanced robotics and technology. DRC or the DARPA Robotics Challenge is the world’s most prestigious search & rescue competition. Teams from numerous respected research institutions such as MIT, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory develop the world’s most advanced robots to compete in the DRC.

NASA Robotics
The command center of robotics NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory support a wide range of robotics programs across the country.