Research and Summer Programs in Illinois For High School Students

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Research Opportunities for High School Students in Illinois

The top research programs in Illinois for high school students, selected based on prestige, location, and affordability. See research opportunities in other states here.

Institution
Location
Tuition
Event type

Hosting Institution

Polygence

Online/In Person

Online

Location

Online

Cost

Starting at $2695

Application Deadline

Dec 15, 2023

Categories

Neuroscience, Biology, Psychol...

Summary

Polygence is an online research program designed to offer high school students accessible research opportunities, making them more inclusive. The program was created by researchers from Harvard, MIT, and Stanford and provides tailored research projects, allowing students to explore their interests, acquire professional skills, and increase their competitiveness for college admissions.

EXPLORATIONS IN NEUROSCIENCE: NEURONS, BEHAVIOR, AND BEYOND

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Hosting Institution

University of Chicago

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Chicago (IL)

Cost

$8,350

Application Deadline

May 20, 2024

Categories

Neuroscience

Summary

In this course, we will investigate how electrochemical and circuit activity in nervous systems contributes to sensation, perception, and various behaviors such as movement, language production, spatial navigation, emotional responses, sleep, and learning and memory. Our approach is inquiry-driven, involving close examination of primary data. Students will learn about experimental methods used in neuroscience research such as molecular DNA and protein sequence analysis, fluorescence microscopy of nervous tissue, and behavioral assays. By examining nervous systems across different phyla, we will also gain insights into the evolution history and inner workings of the human brain.

University of Illinois High School STEM Research Program

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Hosting Institution

University of Illinois

Online/In Person

Online

Location

Urbana (IL)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Engineering

Summary

This program caters to motivated rising high school juniors and seniors who have a keen interest in STEM fields. It offers participants a valuable research experience in a range of disciplines, including cancer immunology, pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents, physics, biophysics, bioengineering, and electrical engineering. Upon acceptance into the program, students are carefully paired with another student and a teacher who specialize in their chosen field of interest. This mentorship structure ensures that participants receive individualized guidance and support throughout their research journey. The program spans six weeks, providing an immersive and comprehensive experience. During this time, students are expected to commit 30-35 hours per week to their research activities. This commitment allows them to gain hands-on experience, engage in scientific inquiry, and develop a deeper understanding of their chosen STEM field. Participants have the opportunity to work on research projects under the guidance of their mentors. They may explore areas such as cancer immunology, pharmacogenomics, physics, biophysics, bioengineering, or electrical engineering, depending on their specific interests and the available research opportunities. By actively participating in research, students enhance their critical thinking skills, expand their knowledge base, and develop important technical and analytical abilities. Furthermore, the collaborative nature of the program fosters teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills as students work closely with their peers and mentors. Overall, this program provides rising high school juniors and seniors with a valuable opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of scientific research. By working alongside experienced mentors and engaging in hands-on projects, participants gain a deeper understanding of their chosen STEM discipline and develop essential skills that will serve them well in their future academic and professional endeavors.

Illinois Institute of Technology: Psychology in Everyday Life

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Hosting Institution

Illinois Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Chicago (IL)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Psychology

Summary

The Psychology Summer Program offers high school students an introduction to the fascinating field of psychology. Throughout the program, students will delve into basic psychological principles, explore overarching theories, and gain hands-on experience in simple research design. The highlight of the program is a week-long project where students have the opportunity to collect data, analyze it using Jamovi software, and present their findings to their peers. Students will also have the valuable chance to interact with current graduate students and faculty members at Illinois Tech who have expertise in various specialized areas of psychology. This program is open to rising 10th to 12th graders who are eager to explore the world of psychology and gain valuable insights into the field.

UIllinois – High School STEM Research Programs

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Hosting Institution

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Champaign (IL)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Neuroscience

Summary

Rising high school juniors and seniors have the opportunity to participate in this program. It offers an immersive STEM research experience at a respected research university for a duration of 6 weeks during the summer. The program covers a wide range of disciplines, including cancer immunology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, physics, quantum mechanics, bioengineering, and electrical engineering. Upon acceptance, students will be paired with another student and a teacher who specialize in their chosen field, providing them with valuable guidance and mentorship throughout the program.

UIUC Illinois Aerospace Institute

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Hosting Institution

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Urbana (IL)

Cost

$1,000

Application Deadline

Mar 23, 2024

Categories

Engineering

Summary

The University of Illinois' Engineering Summer Camps presents an Aerospace Engineering program that spans multiple sessions, catering to high school students of all grade levels. While juniors and seniors are preferred for on-campus activities, students from all grade levels are encouraged to participate. Prior experience in the aerospace field is common among many campers, but it is not a requirement for application. The program offers a comprehensive learning experience where students will explore various aerospace engineering topics, including flight mechanics, aerodynamics, rocket propulsion, and more. Through engaging activities and instruction, participants will gain valuable knowledge and hands-on experience in these areas. The Engineering Summer Camps at the University of Illinois provide an excellent opportunity for high school students to expand their understanding and passion for aerospace engineering, regardless of their previous experience in the field.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s High School Summer STEMM Research Program–IDEA

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Hosting Institution

University of Illinois Board of Trustees

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Urbana (IL)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Engineering

Summary

This is an excellent choice if you want the opportunity to get interested in real STEM research. The opportunities to study about physics, quantum mechanics, neurology, artificial intelligence, bioengineering, electrical engineering, and more will be presented to you. Working with seasoned experts in engineering, computer science, and medicine, you must participate in up to 35 hours of learning and research each week. Your study will be presented in a symposium at the conclusion of the program. You'll grow confident in your aptitudes and accomplishments.

THE BRADLEY SFI 360 EXPERIENCE

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Hosting Institution

Bradley University

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Peoria, IL

Cost

$1,000

Application Deadline

Jun 30, 2024

Categories

Arts

Summary

The Bradley SFI 360 Experience offers comprehensive training for speech and debate enthusiasts. With a focus on individualized attention, Bradley University's speech team, hailed as the most successful collegiate team by the Associate Press, provides personalized coaching in three key areas: Writing Focus (covering various speech events and writing skills), Performance Focus (emphasizing acting and character development), and Research Focus (teaching research strategies and persuasive speaking). The program, available in-person and virtually, includes interactive lectures, one-on-one coaching sessions, and skill-focused breakout sessions. Participants can expect to enhance their speech and debate skills under the guidance of experienced coaches and former champions.

Illinois Chamber Music Festival and Camp

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Hosting Institution

Illinois Wesleyan University

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Bloomington, IL

Cost

$950

Application Deadline

May 4, 2024

Categories

Arts

Summary

The Illinois Chamber Music Festival, hosted at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, offers an enriching experience for classical musicians passionate about chamber music. Spanning from July 7-26, 2024, the festival provides intensive coaching, lessons, and classes for strings, piano, harp, and winds. Participants engage in rehearsals, masterclasses, and 15 concerts throughout the two-week program. Elective courses cover music theory, performance techniques, and diverse activities like handbell choir, conducting, dance, and tennis. Admission requires an audition or submission of a five-minute solo recording. Testimonials emphasize the profound impact on participants' musical growth and the formation of lasting friendships. Contact details and application information are available on the festival's website.

STEM Camp

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Hosting Institution

North Central College

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Naperville, IL

Cost

$1960-$3670

Application Deadline

Jun 30, 2024

Categories

Comp Sci

Summary

Emagination STEM Camp offers a comprehensive program featuring four tech courses, small class sizes, and daily recreational activities. Campers receive personal computers with the latest software, access to 3D printers, and robotics kits. Registration is stress-free with flexible course selection. The camp provides a safe and healthy environment with on-site supervision and adherence to strict health and safety standards. Overnight campers enjoy air-conditioned dorms with WiFi and meals included, while day campers have lunch provided. Extended day options offer flexibility with extended drop-off/pick-up times and additional recreational activities. Emagination STEM Camp operates on premier U.S. university campuses since 1982, providing a rich and immersive learning experience for campers worldwide.

Early College Program Summer Institute (ECPSI)

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Hosting Institution

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Chicago, IL

Cost

$1785-$7140

Application Deadline

Apr 1, 2024

Categories

Comp Sci

Summary

The Early College Program Summer Institute (ECPSI) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers an intensive and transformative experience for high school students aged 15-18. Participants have the opportunity to earn college credit in art and design while developing a competitive portfolio for college admission. With small class sizes and rigorous instruction from SAIC faculty, students engage in studio work and critique-based assessments, exploring diverse media and interdisciplinary approaches. The program operates on a variety of session lengths, from one to four weeks, allowing flexibility for participants. ECPSI provides an immersive environment where students from around the world come together to foster creativity, innovation, and self-expression.

Summer Camps at SIUE

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Hosting Institution

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

St. Louis, IL

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

May 31, 2024

Categories

Arts

Summary

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) offers a diverse range of summer camps catering to various interests including visual arts, sports, music/theater, science, engineering, foreign language, and health. From Band Camp to Engineering Camp, Dance Camp to Odyssey Science Camp, there's something for everyone. Additionally, programs such as the SIUE East St. Louis Center Visual & Performing Arts Summer Camp and the SIUE Freedom School Program provide enriching experiences. Whether it's honing musical skills at Jazz Camp or exploring entrepreneurship at the Imagine Summer Success Academy, SIUE's summer camps offer opportunities for students of all ages to learn and grow. With varying dates, details, and fees, interested participants are encouraged to browse the offerings and check for updates regularly. So why not explore the possibilities right in the heart of the cornfields with SIUE this summer?

Summer Music Camps

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Hosting Institution

Western Illinois University

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Macomb, IL

Cost

$150-$350

Application Deadline

May 1, 2024

Categories

Arts

Summary

Summer music camps offer diverse options for young musicians, avoiding classical genres. Activities include steel band, jazz choir, marching band, and more. Camps accommodate various age groups, typically 9th to 11th grade, with costs ranging from $50 to $550. Deadlines vary, so early application is encouraged. Some camps may require audition materials. Early registrants before May 1 can avail a 20% scholarship. Camps run weekly sessions, with activities like instrument exploration, vocal training, and specific genre-focused camps like jazz and rock. Registration involves providing student details, music experience, and preferences. Additionally, an option for carpooling is available, and registrants can specify how they learned about the camps.

Saper Law Immersion Program

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Hosting Institution

Saper Law Offices

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Chicago, IL

Cost

$750

Application Deadline

Jul 21, 2024

Categories

Business

Summary

The Saper Law Immersion Program offers a week-long camp for high school and college students interested in law. Led by Daliah Saper and other attorneys, the program includes negotiation exercises, writing tasks, mock legal proceedings, and field trips. Guest speakers from various legal backgrounds enrich the experience. Limited to 20 participants per class for focused attention, the program prioritizes small sizes. The curriculum focuses on entertainment, business, and internet-related law, reflecting Saper Law's expertise. Dress code is casual yet presentable, and daily activities include lectures, exercises, and virtual tours. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with a deadline for withdrawal.

Illini Summer Academies (ISA)

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Hosting Institution

University of Illinois

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Champaign, IL

Cost

$400-$500

Application Deadline

Apr 30, 2024

Categories

Environmental Science

Summary

The Illini Summer Academies is a transformative personal development opportunity hosted at the University of Illinois campus. It offers various academy sessions led by university professors, providing high school students with a glimpse into potential career paths. Participants engage in hands-on activities, lectures, and discussions related to diverse fields such as business, digital agriculture, sustainability, healthcare innovation, beekeeping, molecular biology, video game development, leadership, veterinary medicine, and applied health sciences. The program aims to broaden students' horizons, foster critical thinking, and inspire them to explore future educational and career opportunities. Financial assistance and scholarships are available to ensure inclusivity and accessibility.

Northwestern College Preparation Program

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Hosting Institution

Northwestern College

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Chicago, IL

Cost

$1000

Application Deadline

Apr 1, 2024

Categories

Literature and Languages

Summary

The Northwestern College Preparation Program offers high school rising juniors and seniors the opportunity to experience college life and academics through a variety of credit courses taught by Northwestern faculty. Students can choose from a range of subjects, both online and in person, with flexible durations. The program emphasizes self-direction, motivation, and time management skills for success. International students must take two credit classes to maintain full-time status on an F-1 Visa. Additionally, students gain access to the "Wildcat Connect: Get Ready Series" for further college preparation and community integration. The program provides a valuable insight into college expectations, fosters academic growth, and facilitates networking with peers and faculty.

Elevate College Prep: Summer 2024 Programs at Illinois Tech

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Hosting Institution

Illinois Tech's Elevate College

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Chicago, IL

Cost

$350-$5500

Application Deadline

May 3, 2024

Categories

Mathematics

Summary

Illinois Tech's Elevate College Prep offers engaging and rewarding summer programs for middle and high school students. Participants delve into various fields including STEM, business, law, and the arts through hands-on experiences in Chicago and its suburbs. With options for residential, commuter, and online programs, students gain valuable skills, earn college credit, and explore college life. From building apps to understanding the human mind, the programs cater to diverse interests. Need-based scholarships are available, emphasizing inclusivity and accessibility. Don't miss the chance to elevate your summer with Illinois Tech's dynamic learning opportunities. Apply early, as seats may fill up quickly!

Are there many Research Opportunities for High School Students in the state of Illinois?

Illinois colleges and universities offer thousands of degrees and their campuses range from small private colleges in quiet rural locations to large vertical campuses in big-city settings. Science, business, engineering, medicine and a vast array of humanities offered at Illinois universities are at the top of the ranks. Illinois, the "Land of Lincoln," is home to a variety of universities such as Northwestern, Loyola University, DePaul University, and The University of Chicago.

What other research opportunities are available?

For a full set of research opportunity listings, see our guide to research opportunities for high school students.

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