Summer vacation is a great time for students to develop their interest in programming or get ahead in a fun, low-stakes environment. These programs can also fight learning loss and keep your student motivated and engaged. In today’s article, we’ll cover some of the best computer science summer programs for high schoolers, and give you some more insight into how to choose the best one for you and your family. There are many options for coding for teens, and all the ones we’ll talk about have unique benefits for budding computer scientists.

Jump right into a popular teen coding class, led live by an expert, and designed by Google, Stanford, and MIT pros:

Best online Computer Science summer programs for high schoolers

First, we’ll examine some of the most comprehensive online coding classes for teens. The programs below provide a deep dive into a language or computer science subject, and will help your teen quickly grow their skillset.

1. Web Development Coding Program

In this three part award-winning Create & Learn series on web development, students learn the fundamental building blocks of websites. Starting with HTML/CSS and later moving into Javascript, students develop increasingly complex websites dedicated to a subject of their choice in this live online class. The class is taught in a small group by an experienced teacher, and there’s a lot of flexibility as to when classes can be scheduled.

Format: Live online class

Best for: Teenagers interested in building their own websites

Create & Learn also offers a variety of free coding courses for teens.

2. Code Next

Google’s Code Next Curriculum takes a lab-based approach to learning how to code. The company’s interactive Code Next page takes students through a tour of coding on a Raspberry PI, building a “Raspimon” character that incorporates AI. All you need to get started is the Raspimon Academy kit (or an equivalent set of materials, listed on their website). Google is also committed to releasing more curriculum materials this year, so expect more lessons shortly.

Format: Self-paced

Best for: High school students who want to start programming for the first time and would enjoy seeing their work applied to a physical object in the real world

3. Prep for AP Computer Science

For students who are thinking about or preparing to take AP Computer Science Principles soon, Create & Learn offers a class to help get ahead. The class covers core programming topics such as algorithms and data types, and is designed to help students pass the AP CSP exam. While more heavily lecture-based than many of our live online classes, this course does help students reinforce concepts through several interactive assignments, and meets the College Board standards.

Format: Live online class

Best for: High schoolers preparing for AP computer science

4. Introduction to Data Science

One of Create & Learn’s more advanced classes, Introduction to Data Science covers data analysis using Python and Pandas. For students who already have substantial Python background, this class is a great way to develop a critical skill - data analytics - using industry tools. Students will get a chance to complete an individual project on a dataset of their choice.

Format: Live online class

Best for: High schoolers interested in data

Free Computer Science summer programs for high schoolers

Next, we’ll look at some free options for high school summer programming. These options are often, although not completely, more self-paced


While many students have experienced through school, the site offers lots of great, self-direct resources for learning coding. The Express Course is a good place to start coding, with game-based lessons that will have your teen coding in no time. also has modules aimed at specific skills, such as game design or animation, and the App, Web, and Game labs that allow for less structured coding exploration.

Format: Self-paced

Best for: Teens who like block coding

2. Kode with Klossy

Kode with Klossy is a scholarship-based, two-week summer coding intensive for girls and non-binary students ages 13-18. Accepted students attend either an in person or a virtual session, and learn topics such as web development and data science. Kode with Klossy has a fantastic network and offers opportunities for coders of all skill levels. Applications open in February.

Format: All day classes, online or in person depending on location

Best for: Middle and high school girls

3. Start on Python for Free

Finally, for students who want to learn Python, Create & Learn has a great, free way to get started. Sign up for our introduction to Python free class and learn some basic Python skills while creating a custom drawing using Python libraries. This class can help your student determine if they’re ready to learn a new language in a low-stakes environment.

Format: Live online class

Best for: High schoolers interested in learning a new, real-world programming language

Tips for evaluating and picking a coding program that’s right for your high schooler

There are several things to consider when selecting the right summer programming experience. These include:

  • Curriculum: Look for a program that offers a well-rounded curriculum that covers the programming languages and computer science concepts that are of the most interest for your student. Does the program allow you to work on interesting projects? Does the program provide support at an appropriate level for your student?
  • Location and duration: Think about the teenager's availability and whether they would prefer a shorter, local program or a longer, more immersive program at a different location.
  • Cost: Look for a program that fits your budget. But also keep in mind that more expensive programs may offer more resources and a higher quality of instruction.
  • Reviews: Look for programs with positive reviews from past participants or industry professionals. This can give you an idea of the program's reputation and effectiveness.

By considering these factors, you can choose a summer coding program that will be the best fit for your teenager's needs and interests.

Enjoy Computer Science summer programs for teens

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to choose a computer science program with your teen. While you’re here, check out some great resources for teenagers: tips and templates for developing a stellar resume, and some interesting coding books for teens.

Written by Sarah Rappaport, who graduated from Northwestern University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering and music. She's now working on a masters in data with Georgia Institute of Technology. She taught math and computer science with Teach for America for two years, and now works as a Systems Engineer.