Activities and Opportunities for Students

Below is a listing of low or no-cost programs, events and opportunities for middle school students around the city. They are neither endorsed nor recommended by ESMS, but rather listed for reference only. Suggestions and updates can be emailed to


  Shine this summer with STEM!

Students entering kindergarten through grade 12 in September 2023 can apply now to attend enrichment programs with STEM Matters NYC. Get your hands dirty in the garden, encounter amazing animals, or design an art or engineering project. Students entering kindergarten through grade 9 in September 2023 can apply for weeklong camps. Students entering grades 10-12 in September 2023 can apply for multi-week programs. Choose from a wide range of programs offered at sites throughout the city!

Don’t miss out, spots are limited and the application deadline is Wednesday, April 26. For rising K-9 camps, lottery preference is given to students who attend Title I schools. Download our flyer, learn more, and apply now. Translated flyers, FAQs, and application guides are also available on our program page. For questions, contact

MS Arts Audition Boot Camp 2024 Application

Middle School Arts Audition Boot Camp is a free, two-week arts program for New York City Department of Education public school students entering grade 8 in September 2024. The 2024 application is now available - click here for more information and to apply.

Enter the 6th Annual NYC Public School Film Festival now through March 25. Films 5 minutes and under are accepted from current public school students in 5 categories: Short Feature, Animation, Documentary, Experimental  and Public Service Announcement.  

Full rules and info:


The Science & Technology Entry Program is a precollege STEM enrichment and mentoring initiative aimed at providing engaging curricula to diverse and underserved students in grades 7-12 in New York City. 

During the fall semester, our program offers a range of foundational courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and guidance on the college application process. In the spring semester, we provide a 6-week introductory STEM course focusing on interactive research and techniques, a weekly career seminar featuring medical and health professionals, and a 4-week partnership with medical departments to introduce students to various medical specialties. Recently, the STEP program has introduced an interactive 6-week paid summer program for current STEP rising seniors. This summer program offers hands-on research, lab experience, and guidance on creating materials for successful poster and oral presentations. 


AI Camp - Kids can learn AI with zero coding experience

ai camp logo.png

Know any students who are interested in learning about AI, gaining technical experience, and AI internship opportunities? We are AI Camp! Founded by Stanford Ph.D.s, we provide quality AI education, opening doors into the tech industry and providing scholarships to top students!

Discount Tickets for Students at Carnegie Hall



Student Insiders have the benefit of purchasing discount tickets online or over the phone. They are also eligible to purchase Hope and Robert F. Smith Chairman Student Seats (Parquet Level) at the Box Office.  With the pass, students are allowed to purchase up to 2 tickets per concert with the discount. Carnegie Hall also offers other student opportunities.  




CUNY CAT Junior Youth Theatre - Free Program for Middle Schoolers

Cat Youth Theatre CAT: Creative Arts Team logo is an award-winning theatre program that helps young people to thrive- on stage and in life. Young people to create socially relevant, artistically sophisticated original plays—all while having fun and building community! The program offers engaging activities that help students practice critical thinking skills while exploring their creativity!

The Junior Youth Theatre meets on Tuesday afternoons at our midtown studios from 4pm to 6:30pm in person. Now is the perfect time for new members to join. Interested participants or their families can apply at

NYC Summer Youth Employment Program


CCNY Explorers invites you to virtual tours!

CUNY Explorers is an opportunity program for middle school and high school students (6th-10th) to participate in virtual experiences to promote all students can go to college, college is affordable, and students can take steps now.  

Virtual Experiences: 

·         Family Feud- interactive game for students to learn about college, and steps they can take now as a middle school student and how to prepare for high school   

·         Virtual Tour through Minecraft - We use Minecraft and supplement photos to visualize the campus and talk about campus life.   

 Please visit to select a date that works best for your school! 

Working Papers

Working Papers - All teens between 14-17 years of age must get an employment certificate in order to work. Interested students should complete this form and reach out to Jessica McInnis, our school counselor:


Girls Empowered in Medicine and Science (GEMS) is a day camp and mentorship program for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls formed in partnership with the Center for Excellence and Youth Education (CEYE). Our goal is to serve as a support network and safe discussion space for young girls to develop meaningful interpersonal relationships, promote resiliency, cultivate leadership, improve team-building skills, and learn about STEM career pathways while applying those skills in practical and real-life settings.  Learn more.

STEP virtual science program

 NYU's Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) is a free science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) focused program aimed at recruiting 7-12th grade students interested in the STEM and medical fields. It is designed to increase diversity and access in STEM to historically underrepresented students with goals of applying to and attending college and medical school.  The fall and spring semesters have Zoom courses in genetics, microbiology, psychology and more, plus guest speakers from various STEM fields. Information HERE More questions?

NYU STEM program flyer

New-York Historical Society

NY Historical Society LogoAt the New-York Historical Society, discover dynamic education programs and curriculum resources about the history of our city, state, and nation. 

Guggenheim New York

Guggenheim Museum Logo

The Guggenheim’s programs for families, kids, and teens are taught by artists and museum educators who use a wide range of media to foster creativity.

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History 

The American Museum of Natural History offers a variety of experiences and opportunities for teens. From internships and research opportunities to courses, workshops and special events, there are offerings to suit a range of interests.  


Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York Logo
At the Museum of the City of New York, discover weekend and after school programs for middle and high-school students who want to dig deeper into NYC and its history while building their skills and resumes.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

 Whitney Museum Logo 

Programs at The Whitney give New York City students the opportunity to discuss art critically, think creatively, and make art with contemporary artists, educators, and their peers. 

Note: some programs are limited to HS students.

Cooper Hewitt, A Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt Museum

Cooper Hewitt's mission is to educate, inspire and empower people through design.  They offer an array of programs and opportunities geared towards tweens and teens.  

Also check out their family programs

Museum of Arts and Design

 Museum of Art and Design Logo 

Special Events and Programs @ MAD With the understanding that a great deal of learning occurs informally outside of school, MAD offers free admission to students with a school ID.   MAD also offers a number of programs just for teens including teen nights, artist and teen workshops, peer-to-peer tours, and work-study opportunities.

The Frick Collection

Frick Museum 

Artists of all skill levels are welcome to sketch in the tranquil, historic galleries of the Frick among the Old Masters.  Check out teen programs at the gallery.

Children's Museum of The Arts

Students working on art at CMA
Children Museum of the Arts

CMA’s Teen program offers art lovers in 6th-9th grade a variety of free opportunities to create, develop, and explore art-making under the guidance and mentorship of their teaching artists. 

Museum of The Moving Image

 Museum of Moving Image Logo 

MOMI offers a wide variety of learning activities--from drop-in workshops to multi-week courses--for young people and teens. For more information about the Museum’s tween and teen programs, visit their education program Tumblr, or sign up for the teen programs newsletter.

The Met - Free Admission

MET Free Teen Pass

Metropolitant Museum of Art

Check your backpack at the door, and travel around the world and across time at the Met! All you need for unlimited free admission is this Teen Pass and a valid middle or high school ID. Use this pass and keep it in your wallet for access to some of the world’s greatest art, anytime the mood strikes you. 

See NYC attractions for free with Culture Pass

NYC Cultural Pass

Culture Pass is one of the best deals in town for NYC families! If you have a library card with the Brooklyn, Queens or New York Public Library you may get free admission to dozens of cultural venues. 

Participating institutions include museums across the city plus many other attractions such as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York Youth Symphony, Second Stage Theater, Historic Richmond Town, Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Sign up for Culture Pass at

If you don't have a library card, get one today at:




Inside Schools

New York City offers children and teens a wide range of after-school and summer activities--from paid museum internships to free science research programs. The free and low cost programs listed here are a great way to explore new interests, get extra support, and supplement what is being taught during the school day.

YMCA Logo New York City's YMCA
Teens Take the City Program

Teens Take the City is a civic engagement program focused specifically on NYC government and fostering community organizing skills to build thoughtful, leaders of tomorrow.  By working alongside local political leaders, teens have the chance to see how political decisions are made, and learn how to become effective agents of change. Writing legal memoranda, resolutions, and press releases gives teens hands on experience, and exposure to how the democratic process impacts NYC communities.

The program provides opportunities for students to:

Understand the New York City legislative system
Read and debate current bills before the New York City Council
Meet and work alongside local politicians, professionals and managers of NYC agencies
Hold a legislative session in New York City Council Chambers
Pursue internship opportunities within City government
Make change in their community

Contact your local branch to learn more about Teens Take the City opportunities near you!

Brainfuse offers students in Grades 1-12 free online homework help from one-on-one tutors, daily from 2–11 PM.

Available in English and Spanish in core subject areas. Video content and other resources are also available 24 hours a day. (En español)

Log in with your library card number for access. Please note: library cards must have a home library selected. If you need to select a home library, log into your account and click on Settings to set your Preferred Pickup location.


Our city’s children have big dreams. As they get older, and more curious, they want to do and explore more. Now, as they turn 10 years old, you can help them get their very own New York City government issued ID card to explore the city together.

With free one-year memberships at museums, plus discounts on movie tickets and amusement parks, the whole family can do more, together. Even better: Your child’s IDNYC card works as a city-wide library card

Be sure to check out their Teen and Young Adults Page

See Additional IDNYC Benefits


SAI is a free, 4-week arts program for NYC Department of Education public school students currently in grades 7-11. This intensive program is designed for students at an intermediate or advanced level of study in dance, theater, instrumental music, orchestral strings, vocal music, film, or visual arts. It will be held at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, from July 8 – August 2, 2024.

Admission is by application and audition. 

Students may apply and audition for only ONE studio. 

Student Application Deadline: February 11, 2024

Virtual Audition Submission Deadline:  February 12, 2024


Information & Application


Homework help at 96th St Library!

The NY Public Library offers a free drop-in program for kids ages 6–12 from 3-6pm Monday-Thursday. Tutors and Teen Reading Ambassadors give homework help, reading recommendations, fun writing, STEAM, and enrichment activities. There are even snacks! The library is on 96th St between Park and Lexington Avenues. No need to register—just show up! Everything is free.