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15 Summer Programs in Nebraska for High Schoolers

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Summer is just around the corner and for many teens that means time to relax and unwind. However, high schoolers hoping to gain admission to competitive colleges will want to use their summer vacation wisely to build their college profiles, whether it’s through the pursuit of an internship, job, or class. Another great option for grabbing the attention of colleges is to enroll in a summer program. 

 

15 Summer Programs in Nebraska for High Schoolers 

 

1. Young Nebraska Scientists Camp | Explorations in Biology Camp

 

In this four-day residential camp at Nebraska Wesleyan University, students learn to perform and interpret various physiological tests, survey microorganisms, and investigate bacteria in hands-on workshops and labs. Participants are also treated to various evening activities and enjoy access to campus recreation centers.

 

Affiliate Organization: Nebraska Wesleyan University

Grades: 9th, 10th, and 11th

Cost: $150

Deadline: 5/13/22

 

2. Young Nebraska Scientists Camp | Biodiversity: Field Science

 

Learn about Nebraska‚Äôs high plains ecosystem while living at the Cedar Point Biological Station‚ÄĒa 900-acre field research and teaching facility located in western Nebraska‚ÄĒduring this week-long summer program. Students will take part in a variety of activities, including observing burrowing owls, identifying plant and animal species, and measuring insect diversity and abundance.¬†¬†¬†

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Grades: 9th, 10th, and 11th

Cost: $150

Deadline: 5/13/22

 

3. Young Nebraska Scientists Camp | Discovering Food Science: How the Cookie Crumbles

 

Participants in this summer program learn about food science through a variety of hands-on activities. Students will discover how STEM fields are intertwined with the production of food products‚ÄĒor, more simply, how agricultural commodities are turned into the items lining grocery store shelves.¬†

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Grades: 8th-11th

Cost: $150

Deadline: 5/13/22

 

4. Big Red Summer Academic Camps | Discover Animation 1.0

 

In this six-day residential camp, students learn the art of animation from professional, LA-based animators. Students watch a variety of films using various animation techniques, study the principles of animation through both a camera and a computer, and apply their skills to short films that are screened at the end of the program.

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: $600-$700

Deadline: 5/20/22

 

5. Big Red Summer Academic Camps | Discover Agriculture & Natural Resources

 

Participants in this six-day summer program will learn how they can make a difference in the fields of agriculture and natural resources. Students explore topics such as agribusiness, animal science, agronomy, fisheries, and wildlife while gaining firsthand experience in the field and research laboratories. 

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: $600-$700

Deadline: 5/20/22

 

6. Big Red Summer Academic Camps | Discover Engineering

 

Led by faculty and staff from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering, students in this six-day residential program learn how engineering and science are used to solve global challenges in sectors such as energy, water, and urban infrastructure. Participants go on field visits to various on-campus labs and facilities such as the Tractor Test Lab, the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, and the Super Computing Lab, as well as industrial sites off-campus.

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: $500-$600

Deadline: 5/20/22 

 

7. Big Red Summer Academic Camps | Discover Filmmaking

 

Students in this six-day residential program are taught by faculty from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and learn in the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center. Here, they learn how motion pictures really work while creating their own short films.

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: $685-$785

Deadline: 5/20/22 

 

8. Big Red Summer Academic Camps | Discover STEM

 

This six-day summer program serves as a great introduction to the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Participants engage in a variety of hands-on activities through numerous colleges and departments to gain insight into the multitudes of career pathways available to STEM students. 

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: $550-$650

Deadline: 5/20/22 

 

9. Big Red Summer Academic Camps | Discover Veterinary Science

 

Participants in the University of Nebraska Discover Veterinary Science program live on campus for six days and discover what veterinarians need to know to help sick animals. Students can expect to learn about veterinary medicine including anatomy, bacteriology, parasitology, and surgery, and about how animal diseases are diagnosed, treated, and prevented.

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: $600-$700

Deadline: 5/20/22 

 

10. Big Red Summer Academic Camps | Discover Weather & Climate Science

 

In this six-day program, students discover how scientists observe and forecast the weather as well as monitor the changing climate. Students learn about the tools and instruments used for making weather observations and predictions, conduct experiments to demonstrate basic weather and climate processes, and explore weather and storm photography.

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: $500-$600

Deadline: 5/20/22 

 

11. Big Red Summer Academic Camps | Discover Unicameral Youth Legislature

 

In this four-day residential program, participants are immersed in a legislative simulation, taking on the role of lawmakers to sponsor bills, conduct committee hearings, and debate legislation. Students will learn firsthand what it’s like to serve as a state senator while they discover the unique process of Nebraska’s state government, the nation’s only unicameral.

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: $425-$525

Deadline: 5/20/22 

 

12. University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture High School Camp

 

In this six-day residential course, students learn about design issues, the design process, and the design professions of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design. Students learn through discussions, design studio explorations, field trips, and video presentations.

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: N/A

Deadline: 4/21/22

 

13. Nebraska Writing Project: Young Writers Camp

 

This two-week day camp is offered on the University of Nebraska’s city campus and is open to aspiring young writers in all genres. Held from 10 am to 1 pm each day, students work with accomplished writers in the community, participate in workshops, and receive one-on-one writing mentorship. Work is collected in an annual YWC Anthology and students participate in a public reading of their writing on the evening of the final day of camp.

 

Affiliate Organization: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Grades: 8th-12th

Cost: $250

Deadline: N/A

 

14. Launch Senior High Leadership Workshop

 

This five-day/four-night residential leadership camp promises a fun-packed leadership experience in an extremely supportive environment. Students work in small groups to navigate hands-on leadership activities and discuss how to apply the lessons to their everyday lives. Students also concentrate on personal development, group development, time management, and values awareness.

 

Affiliate Organization: Doane University

Grades: 9th-12th

Cost: $525

Deadline: N/A 

 

15. Launch Advanced Leadership Workshop

 

Open only to rising 12th graders who have attended at least one Launch Workshop already, the Launch Advanced Leadership Workshop focuses on issues that students will face as a leader during their senior year of high school, in college, and beyond. Students can expect to expand on the skills they have and gain new insights into leadership through discussion, activities, service projects, and more. 

 

Affiliate Organization: Doane University

Grades: 12th only

Cost: $525

Deadline: N/A

 

How do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances?

 

The influence your participation in a summer program has on your chances of getting into college will vary. The selectivity and prestige of a summer program play a significant role in the weight a college gives it. Colleges differ on the value they place on extracurricular activities like summer programs‚ÄĒsome search for applicants with robust extracurricular profiles while others are more interested in quantitative metrics, like grades and test scores.¬†

 

The four tiers of extracurricular activities are useful for better understanding how colleges view your participation in activities outside of the classroom, such as summer programs. Tiers one and two are reserved for demanding, difficult-to-get-into summer programs with excellent reputations. Participation in a top-tier summer program is highly likely to grab the attention of admissions offices and bolster your odds of college admission. 

 

Tiers three and four are home to more-common/less-impressive summer programs, and attending these won’t have the same effect on your college chances as that of higher-tiered programs. That said, attending a lower-tiered summer program can still improve your college odds; many lower-tiered programs contain a college-readiness component that can help set you apart from other applicants. 

 

Curious how the summer program you participated in affects your odds of college admission? CollegeVine can help! Our free chancing calculator uses a variety of factors including grades, test scores, and extracurriculars to estimate your odds of getting into hundreds of colleges and universities while also providing insight into how to improve your profile.

Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.