High school students with a passion for robotics have many opportunities during the summer to delve into the world of cutting-edge technology. Here, we’ll go through the ten best robotics summer programs for high school students, providing a summer camp directory for institutions that nurture creativity, critical thinking, and hands-on experience. 

Why Participate in a Robotics Summer Camp?

Participating in computer programming and robotics camps can provide immersive experiences that offer a unique blend of education, hands-on learning, and personal development. Robotics is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses aspects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Engaging in these programs allows students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world challenges, fostering problem-solving skills and critical thinking. 

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What are the Best Robotics Summer Programs?

1. MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute (BWSI)

  • Hosting Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Location: Cambridge, MA

  • Application Deadline: March 31

  • Cost: Free

This four-week journey at MIT delves into robot design, autonomous systems, and coding. Students engage in hands-on projects and collaborate with esteemed faculty, immersing themselves in a dynamic learning environment with a prestigious camp director. This program not only equips students with technical expertise but also cultivates a problem-solving mindset essential for future success in robotics. 

2. NYU Summer Program for Automation Robotics and Coding (SPARC)

  • Hosting Institution: New York University

  • Location: New York, NY

  • Application Deadline: April 20

  • Cost: $3,670

Engage in the forefront of technological advancement with NYU’s SPARC program. Through a combination of classes and workshops, students explore the intersections of robotics and other fields such as artificial intelligence. Students engage with NYU’s world-class faculty and gain insights into the latest robotics projects, preparing them to navigate the complexities of these rapidly evolving fields. 

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3. UT Austin Academy for Robotics

  • Hosting Institution: University of Texas at Austin

  • Location: Austin, TX

  • Application Deadline: Spring

  • Cost: $2,100

Join UT Austin’s Academy for Robotics for an enriching summer experience. Through a comprehensive curriculum, students gain proficiency in programming, design, and problem-solving. Engage in hands-on projects, explore cutting-edge technologies, and collaborate with peers under the guidance of renowned robotics experts. This program is a great way to foster technical skills and instill a passion for innovation. 

4. iD Tech Robotics Camp

  • Hosting Institution: UC Berkeley

  • Location: Berkeley, CA

  • Application Deadline: Spring

  • Cost: $1,299

This rigorous week-long iD Tech camp at UC Berkeley allows students to unleash their creativity and problem-solving skills. Here, students will work in teams to build a custom robot with VEX hardware, program in C++, and compete in a BattleBots-style championship. This program goes beyond basics, offering hands-on experiences and exposure to cutting-edge robotics technologies. 

5. NYU Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP)

  • Hosting Institution: New York University

  • Location: New York, NY

  • Application Deadline: March 24

  • Cost: $350

NYU’s STEP is a great school program for career success within STEM fields, where students will participate in immersive courses and workshops. Students have the chance to work with NYU faculty and current NYU students and participate in enrichment classes, college admissions prep workshops, project-based learning, and more. Though not the typical robotics summer program, STEP can be a developmental opportunity for a student’s career. 

6. Tuft University Pre-College Engineering Design Lab

  • Hosting Institution: Tufts University

  • Location: Medford, MA

  • Application Deadline: May 15

  • Cost: $1,049 per credit

Tuft’s Pre-College Engineering Design Lab enables high schoolers to explore the fields of engineering, fabrication, robotics, and computation in the context of solving real-world issues while working in state-of-the-art laboratories alongside Tufts faculty. This course allows students to work with hardware such as laser cutting, 3D printing, and more. This is a great course for students interested in the hardware behind robotics. 

7. University of Wisconsin-Madison Engineering Summer Program

  • Hosting Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Location: Madison, WI

  • Application Deadline: March 11

  • Cost: Free

Discover the world of robotics engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s engineering summer program. Students have the opportunity to engage in a comprehensive curriculum covering design, computer programming, and hands-on experimentation while working on real-world projects under the guidance of experienced faculty and gaining practical skills.

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8. Drobots Summer Camp

  • Hosting Institution: Drobots

  • Location: Not announced for 2024

  • Application Deadline: Spring

Drobots is an organization that offers programs for high schoolers focused on different areas within robotics. Some of the programs offered include drones, animation/design, aerial robot league, and future tech focused on AI and AR. Regardless of the course, students get to engage in hands-on projects and learn from professionals in the robotics field, while gaining insights into the challenges and advancements in robotics. 

These eight robotics summer programs offer high school students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of innovation, discovery, and collaboration. Whether exploring the fundamentals of robotics or delving into advanced topics like artificial intelligence, these programs provide a platform for students to cultivate their passion, expand their knowledge, and make lasting connections with like-minded individuals. 

Interested in working on your robotics project under experts in the field? Visit Polygence’s page to look at some examples of projects other students have worked on!