Opportunities for Students (February 2024)

From free spring break learning camps from STEM Matters NYC, to paid summer jobs from the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), there are thousands of outstanding opportunities available in February 2024 for students of NYC Public Schools! Check out some of the great programs, events, contests, and activities available for City students in grades K–12, and learn how students can apply TODAY!

  • Feb 9, 2024, 12:24 PM

We might be in the middle of winter, but opportunities are starting to "heat up" for New York City public school students this season!

This month, organizations and City agencies like the New York Public Library (NYPL), STEM Matters NYC, the Department of Youth and Community Development, the Brooklyn Public Library, and The Cooper Union, are seeking City students for outstanding learning and work opportunities taking place later this spring and summer. These experiences, which include contests and challenges for cash prizes, can help participating students explore new interests, develop additional skills and discover different career connections.

Below, you'll find a list of opportunities available to City students in February 2024. Take a look, and then click through the embedded links to learn more!

Opportunities for Students in February 2024

The opportunities listed below are ordered by their submission/registration deadline dates, with the most urgent deadlines listed first. For more information about any of these listings, please click through the corresponding links embedded in each entry.

Go on STEM-Related Adventures During Spring Recess with STEM Matters NYC

For students in grades K–8
Program runs April 22–April 26, 2024 (9 a.m.–3 p.m.)
Cost: FREE
Contact: STEMMattersNYC@schools.nyc.gov

Deadline to Apply: February 12, 2024

This upcoming Spring Recess (April 22–26, 2024), NYC Public Schools and STEM Matters NYC are offering a range of exciting and hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) enrichment programs for City students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Each of the weeklong camps provide participating students with the opportunity to meet and work with field experts while gaining real-world learning experiences at cultural institutions across the five boroughs, including the New York Botanical Garden, the Intrepid Museum, and Staten Island MakerSpace. Some of the programs available to students this year include animal science, ecology, aviation, marine biology, wildlife conservation, and more!

Don’t miss out; spots are limited! Apply online by Friday, February 12, 2024.


Fight Book Censorship by Becoming a "Freedom to Read Teen Ambassador"

For students aged 14–19 years old
Program runs February 20–23, 2024
Earn a $200 Stipend Upon Completion
Contact: Karen Keys (keys@bklynlibrary.org) at (718) 230-2798

Deadline to Apply: February 12, 2024

The Brooklyn Public Library's Freedom to Read Teen Ambassadors program is looking for teens, aged 14–19, who are interested in issues concerning book challenges, intellectual freedom, and anti-censorship advocacy. Participating students will learn how to fight censorship through civic engagement in their schools, libraries, and communities over the course of a four-day institute where, upon completion, students will earn certificates, recommendation letters, and resume-boosting experience.

Visit BPL's Freedom to Read Teen Ambassadors page, and apply by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 12, 2024.


Create an "Anthem to Us," and Tell Our Collective Story through Your Song

For students of all ages
Workshops begin March 4, 2024 for selected students
Cost: FREE
Contact: anthemtous@lincolncenter.org

Deadline to Apply: February 12, 2024

Anthem to Us, a collaborative project between the Brooklyn Public Library, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and the Queens Public Library, invites all voices, regardless of origin, to create a modern anthem that "echoes our collective hopes, struggles, and untold histories."

As part of the project, applicants of all ages and backgrounds are being asked to create a new American anthem in the vein of classics like "America, the Beautiful," "My Country Tis of Thee," and "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Up to 160 participants will be selected to be part of a three-part writing workshop series guided by instructors who will explore themes, song structures, and melodies across various musical styles. Eight song lyrics will emerge from the workshop series, and three participants will advance, receive $1,000 cash prizes, and collaborate with composers to create three final compositions that will be performed at Lincoln Center on Saturday, July 6, 2024. Out of the three final compositions, one winning piece will then be selected by a slate of musical luminaries to become our next classic American anthem.

Learn more and complete the official Anthem to Us application on the project's official website by February 12, 2024.


Two students using a net to collect algae from a pond.
Through the STEM Matters NYC program, City students in grades K–12 can apply for exciting learning camps taking place across the City during Spring Recess—learn more from our STEM Matters NYC webpage, and submit your application by February 12, 2024!


Take Your Artistry to the Next Level Through the Summer Arts Institute

For students entering grades 8–12 by September 2024
Program runs July 8–August 2, 2024 (9 a.m.–3 p.m.)
Cost: FREE
Contact: SummerArtsInstitute@schools.nyc.gov

Deadline to Apply: February 23, 2024

The Summer Arts Institute provides NYC public school students with a free, four-week intensive arts training program where they are able to develop and strengthen their artistic skills in an art form of their choosing—dance, film, vocal music, instrumental music, orchestral strings, theater, or visual arts. The Institute, which is designed for students at either an intermediate or advanced level of study in their chosen art form, offers participants a unique opportunity to work with arts specialists, cultural organizations, and guest artists to help build their personal portfolio or improve their audition skills for their next level of study, whether at an arts-focused high school, college/university, or conservatory.

Learn more about the Summer Arts Institute by checking out the 2024 Summer Arts Institute Application webpage and submit your application by February 23, 2024.


Get a Paid Job This Summer Through SYEP

For NYC youth who will be 14–24 years old by July 1, 2024
Program runs up to 25 hours a week, July 1–August 16, 2024
Contact: SYEP Community Connect at (800) 246-4646

Deadline to Apply: March 15, 2024

Discover new career possibilities this summer by signing up for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), the nation’s largest youth employment program. Through SYEP, City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 can get paid work experiences this summer in structured project and work-based opportunities that help prepare them for future careers in a variety of industries across the five boroughs. Participating students will be able to explore different interests, develop productive and positive workplace habits, earn paychecks, and engage in learning experiences that strengthen their social, civic, and leadership skills.

To be considered for placement within SYEP, students must submit an application by March 15, 2024. Once the application closes, students will be selected for SYEP by lottery. Please note that submission of an application does not guarantee an offer.

To learn more about SYEP, visit the Department of Youth and Community Development’s dedicated SYEP webpage. Note that students who are 14–17 years old must get an employment certificate, otherwise known as “working papers,” from their school. Visit our official “Working Papers” webpage to learn more.

Remember—the SYEP application closes on March 15, 2024—don’t delay; apply TODAY!


Win Up to $250 in NYPL's Frankenstein Short Story Contest

For students aged 13–15 and 16–19 years
Contact: youngadultservices@nypl.org

Deadline to Apply: March 17, 2024

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is calling on City teenagers to write or illustrate a short story based on their dreams (or nightmares)! Through NYPL's Frankenstein Short Story Contest, City teenagers in two age categories, 13–15 and 16–19 years old, have the chance to submit written works (up to 2,000 words) or illustrations (including comics or narrative art) in the spirit of young Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, who wrote her legendary novel following a terrible dream she had of a scientist creating a monster when she was a teenager.

Five winners will be selected in each of the two age categories, and one winner in each category will be awarded $250; one runner-up will be awarded $100 in each category, and three honorable mentions in each category will be awarded $50 each.

Learn more about the contest by reviewing NYPL's official Frankenstein Short Story page, and submit your entry by March 17, 2024!


Take Engineering Classes through the Cooper Union's Summer STEM Program

For students in grades 9–12
Sessions run July 8–August 16, Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Cost: Three-week classes = $1950 ; six-week classes = $3950 (financial aid available)
Contact: stem@cooper.edu

The Cooper Union Summer STEM program offers design and engineering classes for students who are either seeking to try engineering for the first time or are looking to dive deeper into engineering principles and practices. This selective program encourages all curious, compassionate, and college-interested students to apply regardless of prior engineering experience. Financial aid is available for applicants from low and middle income households, and there is even a separate internship program called Cooper Next Scholars that can be attained by students from low and middle income households who are applying to the six-week STEM program.

Students applying for the program will need to complete the online application (including the financial aid form, if applicable) and submit a recommendation letter along with it.

To learn more and start your application, visit the Cooper Union’s Summer STEM webpage. Remember; the application closes on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 5 p.m., E.S.T.!

Two students in a classroom, sitting at their desks and writing in their notebooks.
Have a scary story you'd like to write, or perhaps you'd like to write your generation's anthem? Consider participating in NYPL's Frankenstein Short Story contest or in BPL/Lincoln Center's "Anthem to Us" competition! (Photo by cottonbro studio. Original can be found on Pexels.)



For more opportunities like these, check out The Morning Bell every month during the school year—and don't forget to share this post with your friends, family, and colleagues!

On behalf of NYC Public Schools, we wish all of our students a wonderful learning experience both inside and outside the classroom!

Banner photo by Vanessa Loring. Original can be found on Pexels.



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