Programs for High Schoolers
High school has a structure. You come in, you learn about physics and math and history, then you go home, come back, repeat. It might be new and exciting right out of middle school – so much independence! – but after a while it starts to get boring, monotonous. I like to get online and find something new to do. After-school or weekend programs are great to get involved in, especially volunteer activities. I recommend checking some of these out if they’re near you.
1 – Splash
Splash is often a one or two day program that takes place on a college campus, taught by college undergraduate students. The students come up with all sorts of bizarre course ideas from Chocolate Tasting to Studying Swing Dancing and Quantum Mechanics (I made that last one up, but expect that level of weirdness!). A few MIT students came up with the idea and now other schools like Yale, Princeton and Columbia are jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve been to nearly all of them and I’ve had a blast every time! The best was at MIT – they took us into their Junior Labs and showed us their projects in experimental physics.
2 – TED Talks
Now, I’ve never been, but when I say they are truly amazing, I mean it. I love TED Talks. They are informative, digestible, funny, serious and everything in between. If you consider yourself a “multipotentialite” (go watch the TED talk on “multipotentialites”) then these talks are the perfect way to learn about new fields of study.
3 – Local Makerspace/Biolab
Makerspaces are areas dedicated to providing tools, material and lessons to those interested in taking on a project or just learning how to work 3D printers and other powerful tools. Libraries are very involved in this Maker community and many have actually started their own Makerspaces. If you are into DIY – or learning about it – I suggest searching up a space near you. Biolabs are very similar, except they focus more on the biology aspect of “making” than the electronic/programming side of things. These are for people who are excited by DNA splicing, gene modification, bioart and bioengineering. If you’re in the New York City/Brooklyn area – Genspace is your go-to Biolab!