Coding is an increasingly important skill in the modern world, and coding camps for high schoolers can help jumpstart your high school student’s programming journey! Create & Learn offers several coding camps during spring break, summer break, and winter break designed specifically for high school students. Learning to code is more important now than ever, with many industries looking for employees with these skills. Coding can also provide valuable problem-solving and critical thinking abilities, as well as open up opportunities for future careers. So why not give your teen a head start with coding camps for high schoolers?
Explore Coding Camps for High Schoolers
Let's take a look at some programs that can help high schoolers develop a passion for computer science and lifelong learning. This award-winning high school coding curriculum is designed by experts from Google, Stanford and MIT, equips students with the skills they’ll need to go from absolute beginners to experienced programmers in the fields in which they’re interested.
High schoolers are at the perfect age to start exploring the exciting world of coding. They can learn a range of valuable skills, from designing user interfaces, to building 3D video games, exploring data science, and even earning AP class credit through courses like our Computer Science Principles course. With the right guidance and resources, they can unleash their creativity, challenge their problem-solving skills, and set themselves up for a rewarding and in-demand career in the future.
We recommend starting with foundation camps, choosing intermediate camps based on interests, and completing advanced camps for ambitious learners.
Top Free Coding Camps for High Schoolers
Create & Learn offers award-winning computer science camps in 35+ different subject areas. These camps are small group sessions of about 5 students, and are taught live by an engaging instructor whose feedback, answers to questions, and personalized support can be especially helpful to high schoolers beginning to explore coding. All camps use real-world applications, so teens can learn skills they can immediately apply outside of the classroom setting.
Create & Learn camps are designed to be taken over the course of 4 days in a row, allowing students to immerse themselves in the material and learn a new skill quickly! There are also many free coding camps to try first, to see what sparks your high schoolers' interests.
Python is a great programming language to start with for high school students. In Python, code is written in a syntax which is similar to English, which can make it easier for beginners to learn. It’s also one of the most popular programming languages in the world, used in nearly every tech industry!
1. Free Python
Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, due to its ease of use and wide array of real-world applications. It’s used in everything from game development to artificial intelligence, making it a great option as a first text-based coding language. In this introductory camp session, students will learn how to animate and draw with Python, and will build their own story project with cool animations. It’s recommended that students have experience with block-based coding before taking this lesson, although highly motivated students can get started with Python first if they’re willing to spend a little extra time practicing!
Roblox is an ever-growing platform beloved by teens everywhere, so why not learn how to make your own games in Roblox? This camp session introduces students to coding in Roblox Studio using a system similar to the one used in Scratch. They’ll be guided on the process of installing and activating Roblox Studio, followed by a tutorial to create an interactive Obby game with different shapes, colors, and materials. The expert teacher will walk students through the process, do demos, and of course, answer questions if needed. It is recommended that students have some programming experience first, either with block-based coding systems or languages like Python.
Top Coding Camps for High Schoolers
Online coding camps offer a unique and valuable experience that is worth the cost. With expert instructors leading small-group camps, students receive personalized attention and guidance to help them reach their coding goals. These classes are tailored to specific skills and programming languages, ensuring that students receive the most comprehensive and up-to-date education. Online coding camps provide access to quality education, experienced teachers, and a collaborative learning community that help high school students get a step ahead in the world of computer science.
In this camp, students will build their very first mobile app using the block-based programming system of Thunkable. This is a great place for a high schooler to dive into their professional programming journey, as using block-based programming helps practice the core concepts of coding without worrying about the complexities of text-based programming. It is advised to have some experience with a platform like Scratch before taking this class.
Python is a high-level programming language used by companies such as Netflix and Google, and it’s popular for web development, game development, app development, machine learning, and more. This camp is designed to help students transition from block-based programming to text-based programming, with a focus on the elements of Python most useful to the field of artificial intelligence. It is recommended that students come in with experience with block-based programming systems, although motivated students can make it as long as they’re willing to put in a little extra practice time!
Web design is a massive field in the world of computer science, and Wix is the leading platform for designing and managing websites. This camp starts students out with the fundamentals of web design and covers the core features of Wix. Throughout the course, students learn how to add complex elements to websites, such as maps, submission forms, private pages, interface design, and even how to set up payment gateways. There is no required prerequisite to take this camp, although students with prior coding and design experience will likely get the most out of the course.
Data analytics is a critical field of computer science for modern businesses, so there’s no time like the present to start learning about data science! Whether your high schooler has aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur, lawyer, journalist, doctor, or engineer, it’s important to gain the power to analyze and utilize data to gain business insights and make decisions. This camp teaches students how to use Python alongside the Pandas library to clean data, process it, and analyze it. Students need to have completed Python for AI Part 3 or have equivalent experience to take this camp.
Game development is always a popular subject, and Unity is one of the most popular platforms in the world for making video games! It uses the C# programming language alongside a powerful editor to create both 2D and 3D games. In this camp, students begin by learning how to make a 2D platform game, and work toward building a 3D first person game. Be sure to take the free introductory camp to get Unity set up and get familiarized with the interface. It is recommended that incoming students have a basic knowledge of text-based coding languages, such as Python or Java.
Learning to code is extremely valuable, but learning how a computer works is important too! This camp introduces students to a wide range of important fundamentals topics in computer science, such as binary code, encryption, networking, and more. Designed by expert AP computer science educators, this camp also meets the requirements for the APCSP exam as defined by the College Board. It is strongly recommended that students have completed Python for AI to get the best learning experience from this course.
Java is an extremely flexible object-oriented programming language used by professional software engineers all over the world. This camp covers a broad range of Java topics, including designing solutions to problems, using data structures to organize large amounts of data, developing and implementing algorithms to process that data, and the ethical and social implications of computing systems. The camp will also thoroughly prepare students for the AP CSA exams offered by the College Board. Incoming students must have a good understanding of text-based programming languages like Python.
Start Coding Camps for High Schoolers
The camps listed in this post are great places to start, and be sure to explore more about our high school curriculum here! There has never been a better time than now for high schoolers to dive into the world of coding, as technology becomes more and more integrated with our daily lives. For more on how to help prepare your high school student for the future, check out leadership activities for high school students.
Written by Create & Learn instructor Josh Abbott Salazar. Josh is a teacher, coder, audio engineer, and musician. After graduating with a Master's in Music from Belmont University in Nashville, TN, Josh turned his attention to the technology side of things, and has been working in various aspects of coding and engineering ever since. He runs a small music studio in Nashville called Tango Sound Studios, and develops video games in his spare time.