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  • Akhil Daswani

Astrophysics and Astronomy Summer Programs for High School Students

Updated: Apr 3

Embark on a celestial journey like no other! For high school students fascinated by the mysteries of the cosmos, summer programs in astrophysics and astronomy offer an exciting opportunity to explore the universe firsthand. These programs provide hands-on experiences, expert guidance, and the chance to connect with peers who share a passion for the stars.

Here are some summer programs tailored to high school students, equipping them with the tools and experiences needed to embark on an exhilarating journey within the world of astrophysics and astronomy.

Program focus: ISRO’s recently launched ‘Young Scientist Program’ provides students with in-depth knowledge of the emerging trends within astrophysics. This two-week residential program exposes students to space science and its applications through classroom lectures and hands-on activities such as model rocketry, sky gazing, robotic coding, drone demonstrations, and facility visits. 

Cost: Free

Eligibility: 14-18 years 

Location: Seven ISRO centres across India 

Dates: 12th May - 25th May 2024

Deadline: 20th March 2024

Program focus: This all-encompassing course hosted by The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth equips students with a conceptual understanding of astrophysics. During the two-week residential course, participants learn about stellar evolution, black holes, distances between planets, and the formation of neutron stars. Additionally, students are taught applied mathematics topics including Kepler’s Third Law, Stefan-Boltamann Law, and the Drake Equation. 

Cost: $6,964 (USD)

Eligibility: 14- 18 years 

Location: Baltimore, MD

Dates: Session 1: June 23 - July 12, 2024| Session 2: July 14 - August 2 2024

Deadline: May 3, 2024

Program focus: Yale’s Summer Program in Astrophysics provides students with a unique insight into the life of a scientist. Across six weeks, students are armed with essential concepts in advanced mathematics and physics which they use to create a research project. During this project, students practise data collection and analysis techniques using facilities within the Leitner Observatory. 

Cost: $7,500 USD

Eligibility: 16-18 years 

Location: New Haven, CT

Dates: June 24 - Aug 4, 2024

Deadline: March 8, 2024

Cohort: 32 students 

Program focus: The REACH program allows students to interact and learn from CIERA astronomers. The program provides an intensive introduction to necessary research skills, including learning Python programming language and gaining an understanding of astronomical concepts and theories. Students also benefit from participating in college/career panels, solar observing at Dearborn Observatory and social games. The program culminates in students creating their own mini-projects based on ongoing research at CIERA. 

Cost: $2,500 USD

Eligibility: Open to all high school students 

Location: Evanston, IL

Dates: Session 1: June 10- June 28, 2024 | Session 2: July 8- July 26, 2024

Deadline: March 19, 2024 

Program focus: The University of Pennsylvania’s Experimental Physics Research Academy focuses on arming students with an understanding of applied physics and mathematics. Through lectures, activities, projects, and discussions with instructors, students move past memorizing equations to gain an appreciation of physics concepts such as mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and astrophysics. 

Cost: $9,700

Eligibility: 14-18 years 

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Dates:  July 6 - July 27, 2024

Deadline: Feb 15, 2024

Program focus: The Summer Science Program, hosted by a variety of universities, offers students a once-upon-a-time opportunity to experience the life of an astrophysicist. Forming groups of three, students learn about celestial coordinates and interpret near-earth asteroid activity.  Students create their own observational projects, writing proposals and reports like professional astronomers. 

Cost: $8,400

Eligibility: 16- 18 years

Location: UC Boulder, New Mexico State University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Dates: Vary depending on the host university 

Deadline: Feb 16, 2024

Program focus: PAN hosted by Michigan State University provides students with a unique opportunity to learn about astrophysics from a different perspective. The program focuses on particulate matter, getting students to use rare isotope beams to understand the particles that make up materials and how the reaction between these can influence astronomical bodies. 

Cost: Free

Eligibility: 16- 18 years 

Location: East Lansing, MI

Dates: July 22 - 26, 2024

Deadline: March 25, 2024

* Please note that this program is only open to US citizens. 

Program focus: This highly coveted program is a seven-week summer intensive which provides students with hands-on practical research experience. The program includes social activities and weekly seminars. It also culminates in a research project report, with the chance of winning a $750 stipend for the best report. 

Cost: $6,722

Eligibility: 17 - 18 years  

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Dates: June 16 - August 1, 2024

Deadline: March 1, 2024

Cohort: 12

* Please note that this program is only open to US citizens. 

To understand which of these programs is ideal for you, speak to your mentors at OnCourse who will be able to make the most effective recommendations keeping in mind your interests, your current academic standing and your resume. If you are not enrolled with OnCourse, reach out to set up a consultation meeting to understand more about our mentoring programs for students from Grade 8 to Grade 12.

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