Below is a listing of programs for high school students conducted by a variety of Carnegie Mellon Faculty, Students and Staff. Click on each program link for contact and general information.
Alice is an innovative block-based programming environment that makes it easy to create animations, build interactive narratives, or program simple games in 3D. Unlike many of the puzzle-based coding applications Alice motivates learning through creative exploration. Alice is designed to teach logical and computational thinking skills, fundamental principles of programming and to be a first exposure to object-oriented programming.The Alice Project provides supplemental tools and materials for teaching using Alice across a spectrum of ages and subject matter with proven benefits in engaging and retaining diverse and underserved groups in computer science education.
Alice is used by teachers at all levels from middle schools (and sometime even younger) to universities, in school classrooms and in after school and out of school programming, and in subjects ranging from visual arts and language arts to the fundamentals of programming and introduction to java courses.Contact: Eric W. Brown
Phone: (412) 268-5551
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: Jenna Kappelt
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: Richard Purcell
Phone: (412) 268-2614
A variety of camps and clinics are offered each summer. Programs include FITT Camp for children aged 7-14, soccer camp for children ages 5-14, Learn to Swim Classes and more!Phone: (412) 268-1236
Be an Engineer
Are you a high school student who is interested in pursuing a future in engineering? Do you want to learn more about it? Then join us at Be an Engineer! This Fall semester program designed especially for students in 9th through 12th grades comprises an overview of Engineering at CMU, a panel discussion and Q&A with CMU Engineering students, and lab tours with current students who are involved in co-curricular organizations and activities. Come get a first-hand look at a variety of engineering disciplines at Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering.
Contact: Kelly McQuoid
Biological Sciences Outreach Program
Each spring the Department of Biological Sciences Outreach Program hosts high school students from several local districts in southwestern Pennsylvania to participate in hands-on experiments such as a Molecular Biology Transformation Experiment, or designing a project to determine the quantity of protein in a variety of food items.
The experiences are designed and coordinated by Dr. Carrie Doonan. Carnegie Mellon graduate and undergraduate students assist the high school student teams as they work through each experiment.Contact: Carrie Doonan
Carnegie Mellon AI4ALL
Carnegie Mellon AI4ALL gives rising juniors and seniors with a strong interest in computer science the chance to study artificial intelligence with CMU faculty, staff and researchers who are leaders field. The goal? Learning to leverage AI for social good.
Contact: Natalie Hatcher
CMU CS Academy
CMU CS Academy began when co-founders, and professors in SCS, David Kosbie and Mark Stehlik were approached by Pittsburgh Public School teachers, asking for a computer science curriculum to meet their students' needs.
From those conversations, David and Mark set out to achieve one goal - access for all to high-quality computer science education for anyone who wants it. For that reason CMU CS Academy is, and always will be, free for schools to offer to their students.
The project was initially run as a course on CS Pedagogy in SCS but after the first year that model transitioned to our current model as a non-profit organization at CMU that employs CMU students.
Contact: Erin Cawley
Site: https://academy.cs.cmu.edu/, https://www.cs.cmu.edu/outreach/programs/cs-academy
CMU Engineering Workshop
Do you know what you want to study in college, or what career you want to pursue? Have you considered engineering? How much do you know about it? Come learn more about what engineers do and what it would be like to study engineering in college at one of the nation's top engineering schools!
Try out real mechanical engineering practices to create your own products! You will learn how to:
Design your product using computer-aided design (CAD) software
Analyze your product using computer-aided engineering (CAE) software
Fabricate your product using 3D printers, laser cutters, resin casting, and hand-held tools
Learn about other engineering disciplines (electrical, biomedical, robotics, etc.) through daily presentations and tours of CMU labs.
The workshop wants to introduce kids to engineering, so even if you’ve never thought about it before, come for a week to see what it’s all about!This is not a residential program.
Phone: (412) 952-5991
Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College Summer Programs mirror the undergraduate experience, giving rising high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore their interests and passions while receiving instruction from acclaimed Carnegie Mellon faculty and staff. We provide a holistic and robust student experience that includes academic and personal development both inside and outside of the classroom in order to prepare students for the future.
Phone: (412) 268-5914
Computer Science Scholars Program
This newly developed precollegiate initiative launched in summer 2021 is focused on teaching digital literacy and foundational computer science-related skills. The program targets rising high school juniors and seniors from across the country. Students participate in a rigorous, residential academic experience on CMU's campus.
Contact: Natalie Hatcher
Computer Science STEM Network
This learning management system offers hundreds of hours of research-based, outcomes-driven curriculum. Students and teachers can freely use the site to learn and earn badges in a variety of topics, including robotics, computer science and related fields. The site has nearly 27,000 users who have earned more than 2 million achievements.
Contact: Jesse Flot
Engineering @ CMU (AIU Apprenticeship Program)
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: Kelly McQuoid
ETC: Entertainment Technology Community
The Educational Technology Community is a unique project of Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center made possible through the generous support of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and Grable Foundation. The network focuses on exploring and developing experimental educational initiatives in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Eastern OH through collaboration.
- Transform teaching and learning approaches by sharing educational applications and curricular innovations developed at the ETC with the community.
- Co-create, develop and deliver teacher and student training in the use of ETC crafted applications and experience.
- Grow Professional Learning Communities of teachers who share their experiences, ideas and expertise while they try new pedagogy, applications, and e-tools.
- Work with school districts, their teachers, and students already using ETC educational application to expand and improve their use in their schools.
Every academic semester the ETC holds a Playtest Day when graduate student teams make available their project work for guests for playtesting. The work is “in progress” with the playtests useful to help improve the final project delivery. The term playtest indicates the use of an experience or game by a guest to see whether it is performing as expected. Guests have in the past tested from three to six projects over the course of two hours, along with an optional tour of the ETC and a meal break that starts off or ends the visit. Some projects have experiences requiring two or more guests at once, while others are meant to be used alone.Contact: John Balash
We are a motivated group of Carnegie Mellon students who use our interests and abilities to aid the local and global refugee cause. We help with the local refugee population, consisting predominately of Somalis. But we also work increasingly with Burundi and Burmese people.
What We Do:
We often work in conjunction with other organizations, including FORGE-Pitt, Jewish Family and Children Services, and Amnesty International. We believe in establishing a strong sense of community among volunteers and then using that community to go out and help Pittsburgh.
- Help with the refugee resettlement program (through Jewish Family and Children Services) – we welcome refugees, go into their homes, help them with English, and teach them how to maintain their new space.
- Teach English to international high school students.
- Organize outreach events, including soccer games, art projects, and meals with refugees.
We hold campus events to bring people together and inform them about the cause:
- We have concerts featuring local and nationally known bands.
- We show documentaries and prepare refugee camp style meals to make the experience more tangible to the campus community.
- We sell CDs, food, and screen-printed tee shirts that we make.
- We sponsor book drives.
- We display art and posters all over campus to advocate our cause.
We also are involved in national campaigns, like “Baridi Night: A Night Without Blankets” (with guest lecturers, bands, and artwork to raise awareness and funds for the cause), and do other fundraisers.
Girls of Steel FIRST Robotics Team
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) 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 FRC team welcomes applications from girls in grades 9-12 in the greater Pittsburgh area, regardless of financial status. Mentored at CMU by faculty, staff, students, and parent volunteers, the team competes in annual regional FIRST robotics competitions, has received numerous awards, and regularly participates in community outreach events with robot demonstrations and/or activities for children.
The FRC team is running its 12th season this year (2021-2022) with 46 girls from 20 different schools and offers multiple programs such as the 8th/9th grade FIRST Tech Challenge team opportunities as well as FIRST LEGO League Challenge and Explore teams for elementary and middle school students in greater Pittsburgh.
Mission statement: Girls of Steel strives to empower everyone, especially women and girls, to believe they are capable of success in STEM.
Mission: The Girls of Steel is more than a robotics program. Our mission goes past building robots for competition; we work hard to give students the skills that will last far beyond their high-school years. *For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
Governor’s School for the Physical Sciences
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. The program provides instruction in biological sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science, with emphasis on collaborative learning and team research.
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.
HARP Lab Tours
The Human and Robot Partners Lab (HARP) welcomes children and adults to learn more about how robots can be designed to work well with people. The lab may also demonstrate an assistive robot, depending on availability.
Tours are scheduled by request. The lab prioritizes requests from groups that are underserved or don't already have a connection to CMU. The lab personnel can also speak to interested groups via video conferencing.
Contact: Henny Admoni
INTEL ISEF: International Science & Engineering Fair
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. This event will bring more than 1,600 high school competitors from 60+ countries to our city and other participating cities.Contact: Judith Hallinen
Troops are expected to bring enough adults to comply with Girl Scout Adult / Girl Ratio requirements. Adults will be expected to help chaperone classes and assist the teachers. However, adults should also feel free to bring a book or other quiet entertainment.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LEAP: Leadership, Excellence, Access, Persistence
LEAP is an educational partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and City Charter High School that uses the arts, humanities, and social sciences to empower under-resourced high school students to become agents of social change. It provides a supportive, non-hierarchical learning environment for students to engage with issues of equity and justice in their lives and communities.
In this year-round program, students learn with and from local artists, activists, and CMU faculty who are working to create positive change in the world. They participate in hands-on learning experiences focused on personal reflection, artistic expression, and civic engagement. Students work individually and collectively to cultivate self-efficacy, a love of learning and creating, and the confidence to envision and build a better future. LEAP works alongside City Charter High School to help students construct a plan for their lives after high school and then acquire the resources they need to achieve their goals.
Contact: Sarah Ceurvorst
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 John Friday
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (412) 268-7517
Site: http://www.nacloweb.org and https://www.lti.cs.cmu.edu/naclo-cmu
Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) is a Microsoft Philanthropies program that connects classroom teachers with tech-industry volunteers to create sustainable CS and technology education programs. Through remote and in-person collaboration, instructors learn to teach CS independently over time to ensure all young people are equipped for the future. SCS is Microsoft's Pittsburgh university partner. CMU is also the leading provider of volunteers for the program nationwide.
Contact: Ashley Patton
NREC Tours for Schools and Educational Organizations
The National Robotics Engineering Center provides tours for schools and groups to show kids the real-world application of the robotics concepts they learn in school. Participants see all of the robots and technology that the centers develops for use out in the world from different sectors like agriculture, defense, maintenance and more. *NREC has restrictions and a process to sign-in due to it being a secure research facility.*
Contact: Vu Nguyen
Improve learning outcomes for individual learners while collectively advancing our larger understanding of human learning.
The vision behind OpenSimon is a more integrated and easier-to-use toolkit, used and expanded by a larger community of educators to drive deliberate, iterative improvements in education. This approach supports educators as citizen scientists, and helps the people who support them — at universities and companies that make educational products — provide help that is grounded in the science of learning.
Contact: Erin Czerwinski
The CMU Physics Department offers a variety of Outreach opportunities for high school students that can be done remote, onsite at schools, and/or onsite at CMU. Topics include: General Physics Topics, Astronomy and Cosmology, Biology & Physics, Coding & Computational Physics, and Partical & Nuclear Physics.Email: email@example.com
This free computer security gamified education program offers original educational content built on a capture-the-flag framework created by CMU security and privacy experts. Learners of all skill levels gain access to a safe and unique hands-on experience as they reverse-engineer, break, hack, decrypt, and think creatively and critically to solve challenges and capture digital flags. They learn and practice cybersecurity principles with picoCTF's noncompetitive features, then put their skills to the test in one of picoCTF's hacking competitions.
Contact: Megan Kearns
Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College Programs mirror the undergraduate experience, giving rising juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore their interests and passions while receiving instruction from acclaimed Carnegie Mellon faculty and staff. We provide a holistic and robust student experience that includes academic and personal development both inside and outside of the classroom in order to prepare students for the future. *Admittance to Carnegie Mellon University Pre-College Programs has no influence on a student's undergraduate application to the university.
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.
Robotics Academy: Robotics Camps, Clubs, and Competitions
Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy (CMRA) is a research, development, and outreach component of the Robotics Institute. CMRA studies how educators can use robots to teach Computer Science, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CS-STEM). Their mission is to use the educational affordances of robotics to create CS-STEM opportunities for all learners. They fulfill their mission by developing research-based solutions that are classroom-tested and foreground CS-STEM concepts.
CMRA offers programs that include teacher training, curriculum, virtual tools, and certifications for both K-12 Robotics Education and Workforce Development. They collaborate with regional and national community to bring their programs to underserved populations in sustainable ways. All programs are delivered through their CS-STEM Network learning management system which enables educators to create free accounts and track participant progress.
Contact: Jesse Flot
Phone: (412) 681-7160
Robotics Education Lab
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
Robotics Merit Badge (Merit Badge University)
This programs gives young BSA scouts the opportunity to earn the Robotics Merit Badge as part of Alpha Phi Omega's Merit Badge University days.
Contact: Vu Nguyen
SAMS: Summer Academy for Math and Science
As SAMS Scholars, students engage in a rigorous curriculum taught by CMU faculty and staff who are deeply committed to student success. The program allows students to develop a deeper understanding of STEM via traditional classroom instruction, through hands-on projects, and sustained engagement with world-renowned faculty and skilled staff mentors. In addition to their academic experiences, students also have the opportunity to collaborate and develop meaningful relationships with peers from across the country.
High school students must apply. High school sophomores and juniors from underrepresented communities will develop a deeper understanding in areas such as mathematics, biology, and physics at SAMS.
Contact: Roshawn Lang
SEE: Summer Engineering Experience
The Summer Engineering Experience (SEE) is a week-long summer experience for students between the ages of 13-16 who are interested in math and science. SEE gives students hands-on experience in different forms of engineering.
Contact: Kelly McQuoid
SMART-ER works with local Pittsburgh community organizations in underserved areas to train members of organizations to teach youth and young adults the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for robotics technician positions. This PA Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Robotic Technician program consists of five microcertifications focusing on five foundational areas: mechanical, electrical, software, fabrication and robotics integration. Programs include free training for the trainers, initial materials and support for a successful program. The program has reached over 200 participants in more than eight communities.
Contact: Vu Nguyen
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.
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.
Dozens of students participate in each program annually; approximately 20 each semester for SPARK.
STEM Junction Symposium
SCS partners with this annual student-run symposium at Fox Chapel Area High School. It has a focus on computational biology.
Contact: Phillip Compeau
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.
Phone: (412) 256-8162
SWE: Society of Women Engineers High School Day
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.
Contact: Dr. Nisha Shukla
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Phone: (412) 268-4827
Voices Against Violence (VAV) Robotics Initiative
VAV delivers a beginner and intermediate robotics course to summer camp participants. The students also learn elementary programming skills, which they continue to learn throughout the year via in-school and after-school delivery. The program develops digital literacy while providing safe spaces for vulnerable youth during out-of-school time.
Site: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/outreach/programs/voices-against-violence, https://www.vavpgh.org/