Carnegie Mellon University

Below is a listing of programs for high school students and parents. Programs are conducted by a variety of Carnegie Mellon Faculty and Staff. Click on each program link for contact and general information.

The Architecture Explorations program encourages Pittsburgh youth to look closely at their built environment, be open to creative expression, ask questions, think critically, and understand civic responsibility - all through the lens of architecture. Architecture Explorations is a collection of architecture-based extracurricular and academic enrichment programs for students in kindergarten through high school, offered through Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture. Our organization partners with several Pittsburgh communities, schools, and museums to provide an array of architecture education programs. Whether you are a student, parent, counselor, teacher, or community organization, we would love to hear from you and help devise a plan to provide a program that is tailored for each appropriate age-group and organization.

Contact: Samantha Weaver
Phone: (412) 268-5551

The Arts Greenhouse is a hip-hop music education program for Pittsburgh teens that is affiliated with the Carnegie Mellon’s Studio for Creative Inquiry. With the help of faculty and students, as well as local hip-hop performers, teens write, compose, and then record songs in a state-of-the-art recording studio. Through the process teens develop musical and verbal skills, gain familiarity with historical and contemporary issues, and form connections that open new routes to community participation and to higher education.

Contact: Shad Henderson
Phone: (412) 268-3451

Programs are conducted annually by faculty and students in the Biology Department. Visit our site for descriptions of recent programs.


This program aims to show rising 10th and 11th graders what engineers do and what it is like to study engineering in college. Students will get hands-on experience using engineering software to design products and will then fabricate them in a CMU maker studio. They will also learn about different engineering disciplines through guest speakers and tours of CMU engineering labs. 

Phone: (412) 952-5991

Introductory programming & Computer Science classroom curriculum developed at CMU by David Kosbie and Mark Stehlik.  The curriculum is suitable for 9th grade students and above as it requires no prerequisite other than algebra readiness.   It was piloted in 14 high schools to over 400 students during the Spring 2018 semester and received very positive reviews.  It features a framework of notes and exercises to guide the students through an Intro to Programming and Computer Science.  Teachers are expected to help the students with difficulties in content or exercises.  Three things make this curriculum stand out:

  •             a purpose-built course Development Environment (IDE) with a Python-based graphics/animation framework
  •             a graphics window inspector that allows students to see key points in the image and their properties
  •             an autograder for graphics

Contact: Mark Stehlik

The purpose of CS 101 is to educate and prepare disadvantaged high school sophomores and juniors for the college admission process. Students attending CS 101 must have at least a 2.3 GPA and must show a desire to attend a four-year college directly after high school graduation.

Phone: (412) 268-2082

ECE Outreach began creating sessions for the SPARK Saturdays program in Fall 2012, and held our first two sessions in Spring 2013. In Spring 2015 we expanded our reach to middle school students and local high schools through the Snap Circuit Lab and the Mobile Labs programs, respectively. We hope to keep expanding in the future. Professor Tom Sullivan has been the faculty sponsor at CMU for ECE Outreach since its onset.

SPARK Saturdays is structured to be six sessions, held on campus about every other Saturday. Each session lasts two hours and consist of a learning portion and a hands-on activity, led by CMU students. The entire SPARK Saturdays series is held once every semester, and aimed at high school students. No prior knowledge on the part of the students is assumed. The sessions are structured to introduce students to a wide variety of electrical and computer engineering concepts to help them decide whether this might be a good career path for them.

Mobile Labs is an adaptation of SPARK Saturdays, still geared toward high school students, but brought to schools. The labs are typically held after school for interested students.

Snap Circuits is structured similarly, but is currently offered just once per semester and is exclusively for middle school students. During the lab, students are taught the basics of circuit building, using Snap Circuits® kits, and get to build some simple, yet fun, circuits, both through our leading and then later, on their own.

Dozens of students participate in each program annually; approximately 20 each semester for SPARK.


Students from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit participating in its Apprenticeship Program have the opportunity to explore different areas of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, which include civil, chemical, electrical and computer, engineering and public policy, environmental, materials science, and mechanical. Students will tour labs and see the cutting-edge technology that is being developed by faculty and students, and they will also have an opportunity to engage in hands-on experiments related to the research being done on campus. 

Contact: Alicia Angemeer

Each year, Women@SCS present workshops entitled "Is There A Robot In Your Future?" at the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) conference. This is a nationally held event aimed at increasing the participation of girls and women in mathematics and science. Our teams present two sessions of workshops that have been attended by about thirty middle school girls each year. Our robotics workshops have proved to be a very successful part of EYH in Pittsburgh gaining high acclaim from participants.

Contact: Carol Frieze
Phone: (412) 268-9071

FIRST* Team 3504,The Girls of Steel, was founded in the fall of 2010 at Carnegie Mellon University's Field Robotics Center. Initially, the team consisted of 24 girls from 12 different schools, and 4 different educational options (homeschool, public school, cyber school, and independent school). The team welcomes applications from girls in the greater Pittsburgh area, regardless of financial status. Mentored at CMU by faculty, staff, and students, the team competes in annual regional FIRST robotics competitions, has received numerous awards, and regularly participates in community outreach events with robot demonstrations and/oractivities for children. Read more about the team at

The team is running its 6th season with 60 girls from 30 different schools and offers multiple programs such as the 8th grade Junior Team Member opportunity as well as FIRST LEGO League teams for middle school studentsin greater Pittsburgh.  Contact The Girls of Steel at for more information.

Mission statement:  To find success in the empowerment of girls through well-developed skills in STEM.

Mission: We, the Girls of Steel, are more than just a robotics team. Our mission goes past building a robot for competition; we work hard to give girls the skills that will last far beyond their high-school years. *For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (


The Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences (PGSS) was established in order to provide a summer enrichment experience in the sciences and mathematics for talented Pennsylvania high school students and to encourage them to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

PGSS is an ungraded summer enrichment program which is in session for five weeks, seven days per week. All students are required to live on the CMU campus in a college dormitory. It is an intense program in which the students take lecture courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science. In addition, they are expected to participate in their choice of one laboratory course in either biology, chemistry, physics, or computer science, and to engage in team research projects in one of the above five major discipline areas. The students also have the opportunity to take elective courses which may vary from year to year, to participate in several field trips, and to be further enriched by a distinguished guest lecture series.

The program costs are supported by the PGSS Campaign, Inc. - alumni, parents, and friends of the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences who have generously provided funds to make this year's PGSS program possible.

Contact: Barry Luokkala

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. This event brings more than 1,600 high school competitors from 60+ countries to our city and other participating cities.

Contact: Judith Hallinen

Leap@CMU is a summer enrichment program run by the Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science. All local area high school students are encouraged to apply (and occasional middle school students). Through special classes and guest faculty seminars, students will be exposed to the frontiers of computer science. They will "leap" ahead approximately ten years. Students will have an opportunity to interact with some of the country's leading scientists, and will emerge from the program with a vivid overview of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. Leap@CMU has been run every summer since 1991. Leap is not for academic credit. We do not evaluate or grade the participants. We want students who want to do it for the fun of it.

Phone: (412) 268-5944

This olympiad is a contest in which high-school students solve linguistic puzzles. In solving the problems, students learn about the diversity and consistency of language, while exercising logic skills. No prior knowledge of linguistics or second languages is necessary. Professionals in linguistics, computational linguistics and language technologies use dozens of languages to create engaging problems that represent cutting edge issues in their fields. The competition has attracted top students to study and work in those same fields. It is truly an opportunity for young people to experience a taste of natural-language processing in the 21st century.

There is NO participation fee!

Contact: Dr. Lori Levin or Mary Jo Bensasi
Phone: (412) 268-7517
Site: or 

With a passionate interest in Outreach for the School of Drama, Natalie has developed a community based outreach course for her sophomore students, who teach distinct speech to disadvantaged children to help fifth grade students at Holy Rosary School improve speaking skills. To have a teaching tool for this work, she is working with research scientists at Cepstral, LLD to adapt vocal synthesis software. It is being tested in her outreach course The My True Voice Project. The My True Voice Project combines the teaching of pronunciation with an exploration of poetry and the use of voice synthesis software. The program is featured on the PBS program hosted by Robyn MacNeil: "Do you Speak American?"

Contact: Natalie Shirer
Phone: (412) 268-5751

CMU offers summer programs to help high school students explore possible areas of study. Our Pre-College programs are intensive, highly challenging programs. The amount of work varies from program to program.  In general, the Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Programs are intense six-week programs modeled after the undergraduate experience. The Fine Arts programs are intended to help student determine if a conservatory/studio experience is what they are looking for at the college level. All programs send evaluations after the six-week experience. Pre-College is academically/artistically challenging, not at all like a recreational “summer camp” experience.

The programs below do not offer Carnegie Mellon credit:

  • Art
  • Design
  • Drama
  • Music
  • National High School Game Academy

The National High School Game Academy explores the video game industry and the skills needed to be successful in it. The program includes an exciting blend of hands-on exercises combined with traditional lecture and discussion. Students are encouraged to expand their own creative possibilities in a unique blend of left- and right-brain college-level work. 
The facts: 230 students apply; 100 students are admitted, and approximately 75 complete the program annually.

This program offers high school students enrichment experience in science and math careers. The following workshops are currently being taught:
  • Turning Genes On and Off
  • Making Glow in the Dark Bacteria


PROGRESS takes a fresh approach to address the need for gender equity in society by teaching middle school aged girls (8-12 years old) how to negotiate. PROGRESS has three core objectives: develop local and national tools to teach women and girls how to harness the power of negotiation, form networks between nonprofit organizations to efficiently disseminate information about issues impacting women, and explore obstacles to and potential solutions for the advancement of women. The tendency for women to negotiate less than men is a current and persisting problem, even among young college-aged women and those in business schools today. Unless society makes changes to the way we socialize our children and change our attitudes to allow women to be more direct in asking for what they want, this problem will continue to have an adverse impact on women for decades to come.Targeted programs that seek to educate women and girls about this issue and teach them to negotiate effectively can have a very tangible impact on their well-being. Furthermore, raising awareness of a critical gender biases that create long term inequities can be instrumental in societal change.

Phone: (412) 268-8650   
Fax: (412) 268-5338

Project Ignite is a student-run outreach organization at Carnegie Mellon University offering an interdisciplinary project-based educational program for high school students in the greater Pittsburgh area. Ignite provides a valuable opportunity for students to work in a team and gain hands-on experience planning and executing a project with funding for materials provided to each group. The vision is that all students, regardless of socioeconomic standing or prior academic achievement, will have the opportunity to participate in the program. The ultimate goals are to expose students to subject areas that they would otherwise be unable to explore, and to allow students to pursue a new or existing interest that they lack the knowledge and/or support to engage with on their own.

High school students meet with their project advisors for a weekly 3 hour workshop over a 10 week period during the spring semester. The majority of project work is done during these workshops, though students continue to work on the project throughout the week. At the end of the 10 week program, the high school students present their projects to friends, family, and the Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh communities in a project showcase.


Project LISTEN (Literacy Innovation that Speech Technology Enables) is an inter-disciplinary research project at Carnegie Mellon University to develop a novel tool to improve literacy; an automated Reading Tutor that displays stories on a computer screen, and listens to children read aloud. To provide a pleasant, authentic experience in assisted reading, the Reading Tutor lets the child choose from a menu of high-interest stories from Weekly Reader and other sources including user-authored stories. The Reading Tutor adapts Carnegie Mellon's Sphinx-II speech recognizer to analyze the student's oral reading and intervenes when the reader makes mistakes, gets stuck, clicks for help, or is likely to encounter difficulty. The Reading Tutor responds with assistance modeled in part after expert reading teachers, but adapted to the capabilities and limitations of the technology. The current version runs under Windows (TM) 2000 on an ordinary Pentium (TM) with at least 128MB of memory.

Contact: Jack Mostow
Phone: (412) 268-1330  

The Robotics Academy is committed to using robotics to excite children about science and technology and to help create a more technologically literate society. Programs include summer camps and First Lego League competitions, held in May and December each year.

Mission Statement:

  • To develop a mathematically competent and technological literate workforce;
  • To influence children to become interested in robotics and related technologies as an area of study and employment;
  • To grow future entrepreneurs and employees for the region and nation;
  • To enhance the economic development of these technologies in Southwestern Pennsylvania;
  • To develop standards-driven curriculum for middle and high school teachers;
  • To catch kids having fun experimenting with science and technology. 

Contact: Robin Shoop
Phone: (412) 681-7160  

The Robotics Education Lab is a central resource to support courses and individual projects. Equipment includes manipulators, mobile robots, electronics & mechanical fabrication benches, Lego, a video editing workstation, machine vision systems and more.

Anyone affiliated with CMU and interested in robotics is welcome. Stop by and see what the lab has to offer. Lab address: Newell-Simon Hall 3206 x8-5561.

Contact: Greg Armstrong
Phone: (412) 268-2007

SPARK Saturdays is a Saturday workshop series created by volunteers studying Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University that aims to introduce beginners to concepts about electrical and computer engineering and expose them to engineering as a potential career choice.  Topics include, but are not limited to, Mechanical Logic, Programming, Smart Light, and Radio Building. 


SUCCEED is a 5-day program for rising 10th graders that is designed to complement what students have studied in school and provide you with opportunities to expand your understanding of energy, the environment, and how those relate to climate change. At the end of the program, the student will be able to answer a variety of question related to these topics, such as: What is climate change? What is the role of engineering to solve the climate change challenge? Where & how is your electricity generated? What careers could you have in climate, energy, or the environment? The program includes a variety of experiments, field trips and activities organized by PhD students from Carnegie Mellon University.

Contact: Steve Gradeck
Phone: (412) 268-6657

The Summer Academy for Math and Science, administered by the Carnegie Mellon Advising Resource Center (CMARC), is designed to enhance the academic preparation of ethnic minority students and other underrepresented populations in STEM fields.

The program is a six-week, rigorous residential experience for rising high school seniors who have a strong interest in computer science, engineering and/or natural science.  The curriculum focuses on assisting students in developing mastery and execution of critical concepts in higher-level, collegiate math, computer programming, and science. In addition, students will benefit from SAT/ACT standardized test preparation and will participate in one six-week hands on project. The projects are designed to expose and engage them to the wonder and excitement of problem solving and innovation. Project outcomes will be showcased to the campus community during the program’s closing symposium.

The program represents Carnegie Mellon’s commitment to expanding and diversifying the national STEM pipeline. As a result the university assumes the cost of tuition, room and board for all participants.

Contact: Ty Walton
Phone: (412) 268-2082   

High School Day is an annual event in which approximately 250 Pittsburgh high school girls are invited to CMU’s campus. It is one of our largest outreach events and collaborates with CMU professors and students from various campus organizations. The girls are able to participate in activities related to electrical, mechanical, civil, biomedical, material science, and chemical engineering. The event aims to help young girls get a better idea of what engineering entails and offers them guidance and advice for pursuing engineering. At the same time, it allows CMU students and faculty to share their knowledge and passion for engineering and inspire young women. The event has been a great success in the past and continues to grow. Each year, we have had more and more students participate in the event and we expect the trend to continue for next year.

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Contact: Dr. Nisha Shukla
Email: or 
Phone: (412) 268-4827

Office of Admission, Warner Hall 2nd Floor

The Pre-College Programs are designed to preview an actual college experience. Our programs afford high school students many opportunities for personal growth and development within a university setting. A wide range of social, cultural, and recreational activities are planned by a staff of resident counselors to fully integrate the students’ lives on campus and in Pittsburgh. Movies, dances, museum and gallery visits, field excursions or attendance at professional theater productions, concerts, and Pittsburgh Pirates games are just a few of the sponsored activities.

Address: Pre-College Programs
Office of Admissions
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Phone: (412) 268-2082
FAX: (412) 268-7838

TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) helps high schools throughout the US build and grow sustainable computer science programs. In its proven program, TEALS pairs trained computer science professionals from across the technology industry with classroom teachers to team-teach computer science. Industry volunteers and partner teachers create a ripple effect, impacting the students they teach, and the many students who will study CS in the future. Over two years, the classroom teacher gradually takes over the responsibilities of teaching the course without volunteer support. The team-teaching and volunteer system of TEALS creates a strong ripple effect: it empowers teachers who can multiply the impact by providing computer science education to hundreds more students over the years. TEALS was founded in 2009 by former high school CS teacher and Microsoft engineer Kevin Wang, who now runs the program full time.

Contact: Mark Stehlik