April Maguire 7 min read 11th Grade, Summer Activities

14 Summer Programs in South Dakota for High Schoolers

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It’s not uncommon for a parent to ask their teen what they want to major in only to hear a response along the lines of, “I have no clue.” Although this uncertainty is naturally frustrating for the parent who will ultimately shoulder  the burden of those high tuition bills, sometimes it just takes a little time and some inspiration for students to figure out what career paths they want to pursue. If you want to give your high schooler a leg up on the search for a college major, consider enrolling them in a summer program.

 

Also known as pre-college programs, summer programs are like academic camps where high schoolers have the opportunity to learn new skills and develop new interests while diving deeper into their existing ones. Read on to discover 14 South Dakota summer programs perfect for your high school student.

Why Summer Programs Are Beneficial for High Schoolers

One of the best reasons to consider enrolling your teen in a summer program is that it affords them the opportunity to learn alongside real industry professionals and accomplished faculty. Because these programs are taught by industry experts, students will get a sense of what it takes to succeed in their chosen field. Witnessing how hard a scientist or engineer has worked to achieve their goals might just help your teen to narrow down their prospective career choices as well as motivate them to increase their own efforts to succeed.

 

Of course, the benefits of summer programs go beyond the academic. For many teens, a summer program represents their first opportunity to be away from home for more than a night or two. High schoolers who attend these programs have to balance various responsibilities while learning how to be responsible for themselves, an experience which can ultimately smooth their transition to college.

 

So which programs are ideal for your teen? Read on to discover which South Dakota summer program will help your high schooler succeed.

14 Summer Programs in South Dakota for High Schoolers

1. South Dakota Youth Business Adventure

Held at the University of South Dakota and sponsored by the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this week-long program introduces young people to the business world. Along with learning about what it takes to succeed in the industry, participants will enjoy various recreational activities, like dancing and swimming. To apply, submit a paragraph explaining why you want to attend YBA.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of South Dakota/South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Grades: 10th & 11th
  • Cost: $250

 

2. Robotics Camp

A one-week program, the Robotics Camp lets students learn from and interact with full-time faculty at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The coursework includes a range of robotics topics, including micro-controllers, sensors, and drive motors. Additionally, students will build a fully functional robot.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 10th & 11th
  • Cost: $975

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant.

 

3. Wild Weather Camp

If your teen is passionate about all things climate related, consider the Wild Weather Camp out of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. This week-long course introduces students to topics like weather forecasting, flash floods, and tornadoes. Additionally, teens will have the chance to interact with local weather experts.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $975

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant.

 

4. Camp Construct

Future architects will appreciate this week-long course out of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Along with introducing basic architectural concepts, the course invites attendees to design and test concrete beams, construct cardboard structures, and learn how wastewater is transformed into fuel and electricity.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $975

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant.

 

5. Mining and Explosives Camp

What better place to learn about mining and explosives than South Dakota, a state known for its rich history in the industry? During this four-day program, students will take field trips to active mines while learning about the topic from trained explosives experts. Additionally, teens will have the chance to learn about detonating various materials.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: Free

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant. 

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6. It’s Rocket Science

Embarking on a career as a rocket scientist may seem intimidating. So why not get a leg up on the competition by attending the It’s Rocket Science summer program at the South Dakota School of Mines? During this course, students will explore an array of physics topics, including mechanics, neutrinos, and the search for dark matter. As a bonus, they’ll get to visit research labs and even launch a real rocket.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $975

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant.

 

7. Materials, Metallurgy, and Forensics

A one-week course, this summer program exposes students to topics related to metallurgy and forensics. Not only will students learn about topics like heat treating, blacksmithing, and welding, but they’ll also have the chance to use a scanning electron microscope to characterize different materials. The application process is competitive and requires a personal essay.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: Free

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant.

 

8. Chem/Bio Engineering Camp

Aspiring scientists will benefit from this program that explores concepts in chemical and biological engineering. The week-long course deals with a range of topics, including chemical process design, conversion of biomass into products, and the creation of bio-pharmaceuticals. Additionally, students will learn about generating alternative energy using new and exciting catalysts.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: Free

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant.

 

9. Green Chemistry Camp

If your teen is passionate about shaping a brighter and more sustainable future, the Green Chemistry Camp out of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology might be ideal. A one-week program, the camp exposes students to the 12 principles of Green Chemistry. Additionally, teens will learn about renewable energy concepts from real-life industry experts.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $975

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant.

 

10. Fossils: Paleontology Camp

Many high schoolers dream of a career in paleontology, but what does it really take to succeed in the industry? A week-long program, the Paleontology Camp at the South Dakota School of Mines allows students work in the field alongside paleontology professors and grad students. Collect and cast fossils while discussing what opportunities exist for paleontology majors to earn a living.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $975

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant.

 

11. Geology Rocks! Geology Camp

Did your teen graduate from collecting rocks to wanting to work with them? This week-long geology program lets high schoolers explore the fascinating landscape of the world-renowned Black Hills. Explore topics like ground-water quality, mineral resources, and paleontology while learning from real industry experts.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $975

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant.

 

12. GenCyber Girls: Computer Science Camp

Open to young women in grades nine and ten, the GenCyber Girls: Computer Science Camp explores topics related to online ethics and security. Covered subjects include cyber security, privacy, the internet of things, and correct online behavior. Sponsored by the NSA Gen-Cyber program, the course is free to accepted students.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th & 10th-grade girls only
  • Cost: Free

 

13. Summer Camp: 3D and Beyond!

Technophiles are sure to enjoy this week-long program out of the South Dakota School of Mines. Along with mastering emerging technologies like 3D printing, students will learn the seven fundamental Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes. Additionally, they’ll gain familiarity with popular software packages like Tinkercad, SolidWorks, and Netfabb.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  • Grades: 9th & 10th
  • Cost: $975

 

Students will be required to write a 500-800 word essay that explains who they are as a student, why coming to the program is important to them, what their expectations for the program are, as well as what attributes they will bring to the camp as a participant.

 

14. Fishback Summer Scholars Program

Get a feel for college life at South Dakota State University’s Fishback Summer Scholars Program. Along with academic and research components, the week-long course invites students to explore various college social programs. After completing the course, students will have a better idea of what they want from their own college experiences.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: South Dakota State University
  • Grades: 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $275
  • Deadline: 6/1/19

 

The pressure on today’s high schoolers can feel immense, and students often need support as they prepare for their academic futures. That’s where the CollegeVine Mentorship Program comes in. Designed to help teens make smart decisions in anticipation of the college application process, the Mentorship Program offers support with everything from selecting extracurriculars to choosing a summer program. Contact us to discover how CollegeVine can help your teen succeed.

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April Maguire
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.