Helpful articles, seminars, and links for students and parents alike.

Prestigious High School Summer Programs in the U.S.


Compiled by Benjamin Owens

Math and Science Summer Programs

  • Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) is an intensive six-week residential academic enrichment program for about 80 promising high school juniors who intend to pursue careers in science, engineering and entrepreneurship, especially those from minority backgrounds and other underrepresented segments of the population. The program is free of charge to participating students, not including transportation.
  • Research Science Institute (RSI) brings together about 70 high school students each summer for six stimulating weeks at MIT. This rigorous academic program stresses advanced theory and research in mathematics, the sciences and engineering. Participants attend college-level classes taught by distinguished faculty members and complete hands-on research, which they often then use to enter science competitions. Open to high school juniors, the program is free of charge for those selected.
  • Women's Technology Program (WTP) is a four-week summer academic and residential experience where 60 female high school students explore engineering through hands-on classes (taught by female MIT graduate students), labs, and team-based projects in the summer after their junior year. Students attend WTP in either Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) or Mechanical Engineering (ME).
  • LaunchX - a 4-week entrepreneurship program for high school students, teaching the entrepreneurial skills and mindset through starting real companies. Students go through rigorous coursework, collaborate with peers and mentors, and use the multitude of tools surrounding them at LaunchX to realize what it takes to be successful in the real world – resourcefulness, adaptability, and innovation. Many need-based scholarships are available.
  • While the Summer Science Program (SSP) is not on campus, MIT does co-sponsor this residential science research program. With locations in New Mexico and Colorado, and many MIT students among the program's alumni/ae, students learn mathematics, physics, astronomy, and programming over the program's 6 weeks. The curriculum is organized around a central research project: to determine the orbit of a near-earth asteroid (minor planet) from direct astronomical observations.

Non-STEM Summer Programs

There are also summer programs at various prestigious universities, such as at Harvard, Columbia, Brown, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Last but not least, if you have time, there is a wealth of information on College Confidential's forum for summer camps.

A Comprehensive List of Olympiads


Compiled by Benjamin Owens

Foreign Language Seminar


On February 26, 2017, Bryan Owens and Joseph Ng hosted a we-chat seminar for 500 audience members in the US and around the world.

Bryan shared tips on learning French, German, Chinese and English spelling bee. Here are the slides Bryan used in the seminar:

Joseph Ng shared tips on learning Spanish. Here are the slides Joseph used in the seminar:

On February 16, 2017, Bryan Owens gave a presentation on foreign language learning.

Here are the video recordings of his seminar:

Part 1:

Part 2:

LBW at Warton Seminar


On September 18th, 2016, Bryan Owens gave a talk on Leadership in the Business World at The Wharton School.

You can watch the video here. The PowerPoint is here.

Sponsored by Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Leadership in the Business World (LBW) is an intensive summer program for a select group of rising high school seniors who want an introduction to a top-notch undergraduate business education and the opportunity to hone their leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Since 1999, LBW has brought students from six continents and nearly every state to the Wharton School. Its official website is here.

AP French Study Tips


By Bryan Owens

  1. Memorize the gender hints: link. Every rule has exceptions, but you’ve probably already memorized a great deal of the exceptions through your years of learning French. Here are the most important hints that’ll help you out right away:
    1. Feminine: -e, -ion, -sé, -té, -eur (except malheur, bonheur)
    2. Masculine: -age, -ble, -eau, -isme, -ment, -é (except -sé, -té), most nouns that end with a consonant
  2. Memorize prefixes and suffixes. They usually sound like their English equivalents, which means you can often guess French translations with high accuracy. For example:
    1. dé- = de
    2. in- = in-, un-
    3. -ion = -ion
    4. -isme = -ism (e.g., terrorisme, athéisme, racisme). You will use this suffix all the time when discussing the themes of Les défis mondiaux and La quête de soi
  3. Try to read 1 full article on current events from Le Monde every day. Look up all the words you don’t know on Wiktionary and make them into a list. Every week or so, review the last week’s list. Wiktionary is great because it gives you etymology (which can aid memorization).
  4. Review vocab words whenever you can.
  5. Make sure you have an excellent grasp of grammar because that will boost your confidence to practice talking and writing in French. Plus it will impress your teacher.
  6. Write emails in French to your teacher, with the customary salutations and closings. This will help you immensely in the email-writing portion of the AP test. Also useful if you want to share your exciting extracurricular accomplishments with your teacher.

Obtaining a Driver's Permit in California (under 18 years)


By Bryan Owens

Instructions on how to get a permit: here.

I used this course: Some of the things in the course are not relevant though, such as the parts of a car (just glance through that section quickly). A friend said he used this Driver Ed course:, $10.

The most important thing is to read the handbook:

Before the real test, make sure to take at least three practice tests:

I spent about 4-5 hours on the course, another 1-2 hours reading the handbook (much of the stuff in the handbook is already covered by the course but you should read the entire thing anyway), and another 2 hours or so doing practice tests. In total I spent about 7-9 hours.

You should start learning it now so you can get your permit as quickly as possible. It is best to space out the course and reading instead of doing a lot in a short period of time so that you can remember it better.