“School’s out!” is the general consensus among students and parents in this first week of summer break.

“School’s out.” is probably how parents will feel a couple weeks in. 

But what if kids weren’t sleeping in till noon, spending hours at the pool or playing video games or fighting with their siblings and instead learning new skills that might just prepare them for a career in something heady like science, math or technology. The Triangle has bunches of these programs available to kids of all ages this summer, as well as options for continuing that extracurricular learning during the school year.

Because we care about the pipeline of talent—especially entrepreneurial and technical talent—in the Triangle, we’ve assembled for the first time a guide to youth entrepreneurship and technology programs for parents (and students). We hope this can be a living document that can be added to and updated over time. So please tell us of any program we’re missing. And please share this with other parents and students interested in entrepreneurship, technology or business.

Our list is organized by age group—middle and high school first, then elementary, then miscellaneous programs for all ages at the bottom. 

And a final request, if your kid does something really cool this summer, tell us about it.


Black Girls Code Summer Camp

Where it’s located: Microsoft Offices at 4825 Creekstone Drive, Suite 190 in Durham
When it meets or happens: July 20-24, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
What is it: The California nonprofit partners with a local organizing team to host five days of project-based instruction, where young women of color learn computer science and coding principles and skills from instructors and adult mentors. Camp runs every day with a graduation ceremony on the last day of programming from 6-8 p.m. It includes lunch, breaks, community building and field trips. Here’s an ExitEvent story about the new group.
Ages: 13-17
Cost: $150 but scholarships are available

iD Tech Camps 

Where it’s located: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
When it meets or happens: Weeklong programs from June 15- July 31 
What it is: 10 different camps run many weeks throughout the summer providing instruction on topics like Java and C++ Programming, Game Programming and Robotics Engineering, 3D Level and Game Design and 3D Modeling and Film Production. Instruction is personalized to the student and project-based, and provided by students and graduates of top universities around the nation.
Cost: Day Camp: ~$900 Overnight: ~$1,500  but very few spots are left
Ages: 13-17 

Startup High

Where it’s located: Raleigh, Virginia Beach and Lenoir, NC
When it meets or happens: The first two cities are sold out. Spots are open in Lenoir for day sessions June 15-19 and June 22-26.
What it is: A summer computer science experience held at startup hubs in North Carolina and Virginia, in which high school students are partnered with entrepreneurs to work on technology-based entrepreneurial projects.
Ages: High school students
Cost: Free

Summer Camps at Wake Tech

Where it’s located: Wake Tech Community College Main Campus 
When it meets or happens: Weeklong camps from June 15-August 3 
What it is: More than a dozen weeklong camps include topics like Video Game Design, Level Design and 2D and 3D Animation, Build a Computer, Engineering Technology. Robotics, STEM Fun, Creating Cool Websites, Math and Youth Entrepreneurship.
Ages: 11-18
Cost: $300/week

Cells At Work: Exploring The Basics of Biotech 

Where it’s located: BioNetwork Capstone Center on NCSU Centennial Campus 
When it meets or happens: July 6-10, 7:30am-6:00pm 
What it is: Here’s a great introduction to biotechnology, covering the world of microbes (the smallest living things) and their use to society and getting kids into a lab environment, with lab coats and all.
Ages: 13-16 
Cost: $150

Summer Youth Business and Entrepreneurship Academy

Where it’s located: North Carolina Central University, Chidley Residential Facility and School of Business
When it meets or happens: June 14-26, but application deadline is past for 2015
What is it: A two-week residential academy with lectures, corporate visits and a business plan competition judged by local entrepreneurs.
Ages: 14-18 with a 3.0 or above and extracurricular activities
Cost: Free
Where it’s located: Participating high schools in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, West Virginia and Iowa 
When it meets or happens: Year long educational program and competition 
What it is: This 17-year-old program teaches high school students the applied and electrical engineering skills to build full-sized functioning plug-in electronic vehicles. Student teams then compete against each other, learning and practicing public speaking and presentation skills. 
Ages: 14-18 
Cost: Free to students at participating schools 

Hi-Tech Teens 

Where it’s located: Wade Edwards Learning Lab, 714 St. Mary’s Street, Raleigh NC 27605
When it meets or happens: During the school year, in six-week Saturday sessions. During the summer, over weeklong half-day sessions June 22-July 30
What is it: Workshops or classes to teach students to design, build and code websites, computer or mobile applications and games.
Ages: above 8th grade
Cost: $35 per workshop

Wake NC State STEM Early College High School 

Where it’s located: 715 Barbour Dr. Raleigh NC, 27603 
When it meets or happens: Traditional school year schedule 
What it is: The Wake NC State STEM Early College High School is a joint project between the Wake County Public School System, NC State University and the NC New Schools Project. Early college means students take college courses at NCSU as well as the courses required to earn a high school diploma over a five year period. But classes at this high school all involve elements of science, technology, engineering and math, and the curriculum encourages students to take on 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering, including making solar energy economical, providing access to clean water, improving urban infrastructure, securing cyberspace and enhancing virtual reality.
How to Apply: Applications for the 2015-2016 have closed. For next year’s application dates, visit the website.

Research Triangle High School

Where it’s located: 10 Park Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 
When it meets or happens: Traditional school year schedule 
What it is: An independent public charter school with the mission to increase access to globally competitive science, technology, engineering, and math education for students and teachers and by incubating, proving and scaling innovative models of teaching and learning. 
Ages: 14-18 

Youth Digital—Camps in App Design, 3D Game Design, 3D Animation, Mod Design

Where it’s located: Six different locations across the Triangle, including the company’s Chapel Hill headquarters
When it meets or happens: June 22-26, June 30-July 2, July 6-10, July 13-16
What it is: Youth Digital teaches kids coding, technology and design skills using software programs that are “stepping stones” to professional tools. Youth Digital has also launched online courses based on its in-person camps and programs, as well as an After School program during the school year.
Cost: $330-410 for summer camps
Ages: 8-15 

Duke School Summer Camps 

Where it’s located: 3716 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705 
When it meets or happens
What it is (short description): 3D Animation, Strategic Gaming and Maker Camp are three programs at the Duke School aimed to train middle and high school students in technology and entrepreneurship skills this summer. Duke School is a private independent school for preschool to 8th grade started as a lab for students in the university’s departments of psychology and education in 1947.
Ages: 8-15
Cost: $320-410 

Advanced Robotics Camp 

Where it’s located: 123 Middle Creek Park Ave 
When it meets or happens: August 10-14, 9am-4pm 
What it is: During camp, students prepare to compete in the international robotics competition called FIRST®LEGO® League (FLL). This camp is based on the activities for the 2010 Body Forward Challenge and will give experienced students an opportunity to take their learning further. Prerequisite: Intro. Robotics Camp, membership on an FLL team, instructor permission. 
Ages: 9-14 
Cost: $310

Electronic Game Design: Invader Defense 

Where it’s located: 123 Middle Creek Park Ave 
When it meets or happens: July 13-17, 1pm-4pm 
What it is: This camp teaches engineering through electronic game design, giving students the freedom to use their imagination as they design a video game from start to finish using the program Multimedia Fusion 2.  
Ages: 12-14 
Cost: $173

Citizen Schools 

Where it’s located: Neal Middle School, 201 Baptist Road, Durham, NC 27704 
When it meets or happens: Duration of each school year 
What it is: Citizen Schools partners with urban public schools to expand the middle school day to include academic support around homework, math or literacy and apprenticeships in the area of business, law, science, architecture, cooking and more. According to Citizen Schools, 80 percent of students in the program report interest in pursuing a STEM career.
Ages: 11-14 

Triangle TechGirlz

Where it’s located: Various locations
When it meets or happens: Workshops every two months
What it is: A Philadelphia-headquartered organization that introduces tween girls to a variety of technology skills and careers through interactive workshops like Designing a Website, Creating mobile apps, Beginner and Intermediate Javascript, HTML, Game Development, User interface design and PhotoShop, as well as hardware and Internet of Things workshops like Robotics and Python, Makey Makey and littlebits. The mission is to get girls interested in technology careers before ninth grade, the year many decide technology is not for them. Here’s an ExitEvent story from when the Triangle chapter began in 2014.
Ages: 10-13
Cost: Free


Introduction to Coding 

Where it’s located: 3716 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705 
When it meets or happens: June 30-July 2 
What it is: Kids will learn the basics of coding: what it is, what it means, and what it can do using simple demonstrations on iPads and computers. Campers will write their own computer programs during classes.
Ages: 6-9
Cost: $250 

Jr. Robotics 

Where it’s located: 123 Middle Creek Park Ave 
When it meets or happens: June 15-19, 1pm-4pm or July 27-31, 9am-12pm 
What it is: This class introduces campers to the concept of robotics and gives them a chance to build and program their first robot. Students build various creations using LEGO® WeDo Robots and LEGO® bricks and then learn to program and operate their creations using a laptop.
Cost: $168 
Ages: 5-7 

Electronic Game Design: Invader Defense 

Where it’s located: 123 Middle Creek Park Ave 
When it meets or happens: June 15-19, 9am-12pm 
What it isThis camp teaches engineering through electronic game design, giving students the freedom to use their imagination as they design a video game from start to finish using the program Multimedia Fusion 2.  
Cost: $168 
Ages: 7-11 

FEMMES After School Program 

Where it’s located: Select Durham elementary schools 
When it meets or happens: See website for specific days and times at each school location 
What it is: FEMMES is a student-led organization at Duke University that provides mentorship and programming around science, engineering and math to girls in 4th-6th grade girls at local elementary schools. Student volunteers teach fundamental concepts in an engaging, hands-on manner. Activities include designing egg-drop parachutes and trebuchets (Physics and Engineering), performing ink chromatography (Chemistry), and making respiratory system models (Biology).  
Ages: 4th-6th grade girls 
Check the website for Fall application dates.

FEMMES Saturday Program 

Where it’s located: Duke West Campus 
When it meets or happens: Saturdays during college semesters
What it is: The Saturday series integrates science, math and engineering activities from the after-school program, but is held on Duke’s West Campus. Each semester, FEMMES host 60 local 4th-6th graders who don’t attend the elementary schools with after-school programs, helping the group expand its reach.
Ages: 4th-6th grade girls 
Check the website for Fall application dates. 


Black Girls Code Build a Webpage in a Day

Where it’s located: TBD
When it meets or happens: July 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
What it is: The inaugural workshop of the Raleigh-Durham chapter of Black Girls Code will teach girls of color to build their own webpages using fun games and activities to introduce HTML, CSS, and basic web structure.  
Ages: 7-17
Cost: $36.87 but scholarships are available

Splat Space 

Where it’s located: 800 N. Mangum Street, Durham, NC 
When it meets or happens: Open 24/7 for members but weekly meetups happen Tuesdays at 7:00pm 
What it is: Previously known as Durham Makerspace, Splat Space is a nonprofit and member-funded workshop and hackerspace in Downtown Durham. Crafters, engineers, mad scientists, artists, programmers, tinkerers, and makers of all kinds are welcomed to join the organization and use the space to work on personal hobbies or projects or to collaborate with others. Members get access to workshops and classes, from crochet to basic circuitry. 
Ages: All ages
Cost: Full Membership: $50/month, 
Student Membership: $35/month, Associate Membership: $20/month 

The Iron Yard Kids Classes 

Where it’s located: American Underground on the American Tobacco Campus 
When it meets or happens: Sign up for the Raleigh-Durham mailing list to learn of upcoming classes.
What it is: Introductory coding classes for kids, based on Scratch, HTML or CSS.
Ages: All ages, but children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult 
Cost: Free 

Wake Robotics

Where it’s located: The Forge Downtown, 220 West Chatham St. in downtown Cary
When it meets or happens: 
What it isWhile learning new technologies and engineering skills, young people involved in Wake Robotics develop leadership, collaboration, communication, team-building and public speaking skills. At a space in downtown Cary, adult and parent volunteers work with students to build robots, 3D printers and play with Makey Makeys and other tools. There are robotics camps, competitive robotics teams and other workshops for youth and families.
Ages: K-12 with adult/parent volunteers
Cost: Program fees 

Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science After-School, Weekend & Summer Camp Program 

Where it’s located: Trinity Academy in North Raleigh, Underwood Elementary in Raleigh, Triangle Day School and Voyager Academy in Durham, Christ UMC and Extroardinary Ventures in Chapel Hill, Cary Academy 
When it meets or happens: Days and times depend on location 
What it is:  Programs include Math Enrichment, Computer Programming & Virtual Robotics, Electronics, University-Level Computer Science (for high school students), and University-level Logic for Mathematics (for high school students). These programs are for high-achieving kids or those interested in developing skills in computer science or technology before college. There are summer camp opportunities for all ages as well. 
Admission Process: 1 hour placement class provided by IMACS 
Ages: Grades 1-12
Cost: Varies based on program

US2020 RTP

Where it’s located: The Frontier at Research Triangle Park and various locations around the Triangle
When it meets or happens: Set by partner organizations
What it is: A mentorship organization that pairs STEM professionals with underrepresented minority, girls and low income students in Durham and Wake counties. The organization partners with nonprofits, schools and universities to match mentors with students. A list of partners is located on the website, but you can also become a US2020 member to find mentorship opportunities near you.
Ages: K-16
Cost: Free


Where it is: The Frontier at Research Triangle Park, 800 Park Offices Drive
When it meets or happens: Annually in April
What it is: A career fair to expose up to 1,000 local underrepresented minority, girl and low income students to companies at Research Triangle Park, career opportunities in STEM and live demos of technologies and science projects.
Ages: Middle and high school students
Cost: Free

NC Science Festival

Where it is: Events are held in nearly every North Carolina county. There are also statewide engineering competitions.
When it meets or happens: Annually over two weeks in April
What it is: Through hands-on activities, lab tours, nature experiences, science talks and performances, this annual event showcases science and technology to students in North Carolina. It was the first festival of its kind in the U.S. when it was founded in 2010 by a pair of science educators at UNC’s Morehead Planetarium. Part of the festival is the Carolina STEM Challenge, in which middle and high school students use engineering kits to design, build and test a device and then compete against other teams.  Another element is the NC Gravity Games, in which teams compete to develop the fastest and coolest car.
Ages: K-18
Photo credit: Smashing Boxes, organizer of a local Rails Girls event in October 2014.