25 Summer Programs for High Schoolers in Indiana

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Students and parents often think that “summer camps” are just for younger kids and that high schoolers are better off spending their summers working. However, there are summer programs designed specifically for high school students that give students the opportunity to learn and grow in ways that a traditional part-time job can’t do.

 

Summer programs are a way for high school students to develop their interests and learn more about college and careers. Plus, participating in a summer program can make a student’s application stronger by senior year. We’ve rounded up 25 summer programs in Indiana to help parents figure out which program might suit their student’s interests.

 

Why Summer Programs Benefit High Schoolers

 

Summer programs for high school students are about more than having fun (although there’s plenty of that too!). One of the main benefits of summer program is that they allow high school students to specialize in an area of interest. They often give students an inside look into an industry or academic discipline that they wouldn’t be able to get in a traditional class setting and expand students’ awareness of opportunities in that field.

 

Many summer programs are at colleges and universities, which provide an additional bonus of helping students get a feel for what it’s like to be on a college campus. These programs often share hard-to-find resources with high school students in preparation for college admissions, such as specialized learning communities or even scholarships. Not only that, but students have the chance to connect with college faculty and students directly, which can make them more excited about college in general.

 

Colleges admissions officers care about students’ extracurricular activities. They want to see that students pursued their interests and took advantage of what was available to them. Summer programs are often more interesting to admissions counselors than just other types of activity because fewer students participate in them, and the experiences can be valuable material for an admission essay.

 

There’s also no need to have to choose between working over the summer and doing a summer program. Many summer programs are short, sometimes even as short as a day, which allow students to balance work and family obligations while pursuing their interests.

 

Summer Programs in Indiana

 

These program costs are all approximate. There may be differences in cost based on whether a student stays on-campus or decides to commute, is an Indiana resident or not, or if there are scholarships available.

 

 

1. Summer Academies | Engineering Institute

 

Students will explore engineering topics such as robotics, electronics, material testing, alternative energy and programming during this 6-day program. Learn more about the Engineering Institute.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Hanover College
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $700
  • Deadline: 3/16/19

 

 

2. Summer Academies | Environmental Science Institute

 

Students will learn about the biological diversity in Indiana and participate in hands-on scientific activities such as water sampling and tree-ring analysis during this 6-day program. Learn more about the Environmental Science Institute.

  • Affiliate Organization: Hanover College
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $600
  • Deadline: 3/17/19

 

 

3. Summer Academies | Health Science Institute

 

Students have the chance to learn from healthcare practitioners and science professors about the health sciences during this 6-day program. Learn more about the Health Science Institute.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Hanover College
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $700
  • Deadline: 3/18/19

 

 

4. Summer Academies | Lights! Sound! Camera! ACTION!

 

Students will learn the basic steps of filmmaking during this 6-day program. They’ll get to explore different mediums such as radio, television and film. Learn more about the Lights! Sound! Camera! ACTION! Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Hanover College
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $600
  • Deadline: 3/19/19

 

 

5. Summer Honors | Audio & Video Production

 

Students will learn audio/video techniques during this credit-earning 1-week seminar. Learn more about the Audio & Video Production Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Indiana State University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $425
  • Deadline: 6/1/19

 

 

6. Summer Honors | Aviation Careers

 

Students will have the chance to explore careers in aviation through guest lectures, a field trip to the regional airport, and flying in an aircraft simulator. Learn more about the Aviation Careers Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Indiana State University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $425
  • Deadline: 6/1/19

 

 

7. Summer Honors | Business Communication for Professional Success

 

Students will enhance their leadership and communication skills during this 1-week program. Not only that, but students learn the basics of how technology shapes the way we communicate. Learn more about the  Business Communication for Professional Success Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Indiana State University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $425
  • Deadline: 6/1/19

 

 

8. Balfour Scholars Program

 

Students will cultivate their academic skills and career development during this program. This program covers things like managing your personal finances and evaluating career and major options. Learn more about the Balfour Scholars Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Indiana University
  • Grades: 11th Only
  • Cost: $0
  • Deadline: 3/31/19
  • Essay prompts:
    • Describe an experience that has impacted who you are as a person. What is special, unique, distinctive, or impressive about you or your life story? (one paragraph)
    • Share with us why you want to attend college.(one paragraph)
    • Why are you interested in attending the 2018 Balfour Scholars Pre-College Academy? (one paragraph)
  • Additional Requirements:
    • African American, Latinx, and/or Native American
    • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher

 

 

9. Business is Global: Summer Language Program

 

Students will immerse themselves in languages and cultures during this 2-week program. They can choose from Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, and Dutch. Learn more about the Business is Global: Summer Language Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Indiana University
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $1,800
  • Deadline: 4/10/19

 

 

10. Foundations in Science and Mathematics

 

Students develop critical science and math skills during this 2-week program. Learn more about the Foundations in Science and Mathematics Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Indiana University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th

 

 

11. Hoosier Debate Camp

 

Students hone their debate skills during a 1- or 2-week program. This premier debate institute will refine students communication and critical thinking skills. Learn more about the Hoosier Debate Camp.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Indiana University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $1,350

 

 

12. Jim Holland Summer Enrichment Program in Biology

 

Students will broaden their knowledge of biology during this 6-day program. They’ll get to explore topics such as genetics, evolution, environmental biology, molecular biology, and plant sciences, Learn more about the Jim Holland Summer Enrichment Program in Biology.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Indiana University
  • Grades: 9th & 10th Only
  • Cost: $75
  • Deadline: 4/1/19
  • Additional Requirements: Underrepresented high school students who have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (non-weighted) and are taking/have taken science and math courses.

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13. SICE Summer Camp

 

Students will explore technology during this 5- or 7-day residential camp. Learn more about the SICE Summer Camp.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Indiana University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $600

 

 

14. Project STEM

 

Students will hone their STEM research skills during this program. Students get to intern with a faculty mentor and graduate researcher to make a scientific impact. Learn more about Project STEM.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Indiana University
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Deadline: 4/1/19
  • Additional Requirements: You must live in or around Bloomington, Indiana.

 

 

15. Summer Scholars | Acting

 

Students will explore the world of acting during this 2-week program. They’ll participate in workshops focused on acting technique, scene analysis, movement, and voice. Learn more about the Summer Scholars | Acting Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Notre Dame
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $3,500
  • Deadline: 2/19/19

 

 

16. Summer Scholars | Confronting Poverty: Bringing Service to Justice

 

Students learn about service and justice during this 2-week program. They will combine theoretical knowledge and hands-on service to answer the question: why does poverty exist? Learn more about the Summer Scholars | Confronting Poverty Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Notre Dame
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $3,500
  • Deadline: 2/19/19

 

 

17. Summer Scholars | Debate and Public Speaking

 

Students hone their public speaking skills during this 2-week program. The program uses policy debate to help students develop strong communication skills and exercise critical thinking. Learn more about the Summer Scholars | Debate and Public Speaking Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Notre Dame
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $3,500
  • Deadline: 2/19/19

 

 

18. Summer Scholars | Film Production, the Art of Being a Filmmaker

 

Students learn the skill of filmmaking during this 2-week program. They’ll explore the history of filmmaking, and produce and direct their own short film. Learn more about the Summer Scholars | Film Production Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Notre Dame
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $3,500
  • Deadline: 2/19/19

 

 

19. Summer Scholars | From Malcolm X to the Beatles: Youth Activism and Repression in the 60s

 

Students explore youth activism during this 2-week program and connect it to modern movements such as Black Lives Matter, Dreamers, and environmentalism. Learn more about the Summer Scholars | Youth Activism Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Notre Dame
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $3,500
  • Deadline: 2/19/19

 

 

20. Gifted Education Resource and Research Institute | Pulsar

 

Students enhance their academic profile during this program. Learn more about the Gifted Education Resource and Research Institute | Pulsar.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Purdue University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $2,400

 

 

21. Cybersecurity Camp

 

Students delve into cybersecurity during this 1-week program. They’ll explore topics such as programming, networking, and cybersecurity ethics. Learn more about the Cybersecurity Camp.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Purdue University
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $0
  • Essay prompts:
    • Please describe your career goals (500 characters)
    • Please describe any skills/classes/training/proficiencies relating to computer security. (250 characters)
    • Please describe why you are interested in attending the Purdue Cybersecurity summer camp. (500 characters)
  • Additional requirements: Females only

 

 

22. PREFACE

 

Students examine engineering fields during this 1-week program. They’ll have the chance to engineer solutions to modern problems and evaluate career choices according to their personal goals. Learn more about PREFACE.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Purdue University
  • Grades: 9th & 10th Only
  • Cost: $900
  • Deadline: 4/30/19
  • Essay prompts:
    • If you could develop, invent, or innovate anything to change the world for the better or improve the lives of others, what would it be and why? (300 words)
    • What do you hope to learn by coming to a summer program at Purdue? Why are you interested in learning more about engineering? (300 words)
    • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a community problem, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter how big or small. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. (300 words)

 

 

23. Multiethnic Introduction to Engineering

 

Students explore engineering projects during this 5-week program. They receive personalized attention about life as an engineering student, assistance with improving their SAT scores, and participate in hands-on workshops. Learn more about Multiethnic Introduction to Engineering.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Purdue University
  • Grades: 11th Only
  • Cost: $3,700
  • Deadline: 4/30/19
  • Essay prompts:
    • If you could develop, invent, or innovate anything to change the world for the better or improve the lives of others, what would it be and why? (300 words)
    • What do you hope to learn by coming to a summer program at Purdue? Why are you interested in learning more about engineering? (300 words)
    • Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a community problem, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter how big or small. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. (300 words)

 

 

24. Operation Catapult

 

Students explore STEM fields during this 2-week program. They can choose to learn about topics such as robotics, develop a machine, or brew biodiesel. Learn more about Operation Catapult.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • Grades: 11th Only
  • Cost: $2,500
  • Deadline: 4/30/19

 

 

25. Indianapolis Project SEED High School Research Program

 

Students conduct hands-on research during this 8-week SEED program. Learn more about the Indianapolis Project SEED High School Research Program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Project SEED
  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $0
  • Deadline: 4/1/19
  • Additional Requirements: Participation is limited to students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

 

Wrapping it Up

 

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for students to learn more about different industries and experience college firsthand.

 

If your student missed a deadline or isn’t currently eligible for one of these programs, there are plenty of other activities that students can participate in over the summer to stay engaged. These include getting involved in community organizations, volunteer service, and working. You can find some ideas for activities in our post Summer Activities to Strengthen your College Applications.

 

For more guidance about extracurriculars, college applications, and how to choose activities that best suit you, download our free guide for 9th graders and our free guide for 10th graders. Our guides go in-depth about subjects ranging from academicschoosing coursesstandardized testsextracurricular activitiesand much more!

 

Check out some of our other posts about extracurriculars:

 

11 Academic Competitions to Boost your High School Profile

15 Medical Internships for High School Students

6 Pre-College Programs You can Join in High School

11 Summer Programs in Arizona for High Schoolers

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Gianna Cifredo
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.