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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

This information pertains to a past summer program.

Join our e-mail list to be alerted when Summer 2017 information is available (in December).

Teens (13-15)

The 2016 CAU teen program has filled to capacity. Please join our e-mail list to receive 2017 program information when it becomes available.

Teens participate in a morning enrichment program of their choice taught by one or two Cornell student mentors. The rest of the day is devoted to non-stop elective activities: special-interest workshops, recreation and sports, field trips, community volunteering, crafts, music, art, and games.

This is a great opportunity for teens to explore Cornell, meet new friends, and discover interests and skills in a well-supervised, encouraging environment. Teens without parents or guardians on campus are welcome to attend for one or more weeks.


  • Resident Teens live in a dorm with their counselors from Sunday afternoon until Saturday morning; see Housing for details.
  • Commuter Teens attend from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Morning Courses for Teens

In thousands of ways, engineers put scientific knowledge to practical use. Learn about emerging initiatives and engage in hands-on activities to further your understanding of the design process for weight-bearing structures; of utilizing innovative circuitry for light, movement, and sound; and of developing renewable and solar sources of sustainable energy. Study the basics of civil engineering projects and meet with engineering students who will discuss and demonstrate their research.
Filmmaking and Analysis
Collaborate in a hands-on team experience in filmmaking, from developing the concept, scripting, and storyboarding through shooting, editing, and uploading completed films to YouTube. View and discuss indie films that utilize innovative technologies and communicate through smart dialogue and strong visual narrative. This course may require additional participation in afternoon workshops to complete film projects. Additional equipment fee: $70.
Outdoor Teen Adventures
Featuring adventurous challenges and fun, this program includes Hoffman Challenge Course elements, technical tree climbing, canoeing on Beebe Lake, and rappelling off Schoellkopf Stadium. If you’re a teen who enjoys non-competitive but highly physical activity, this is a good recreational opportunity in a safe but exciting learning environment, led by instructors from Cornell Outdoor Education. Additional fee: $150 (Limited enrollment; register now!)
Teen Sailing on Cayuga
This complete introduction to sailing and tying knots, with lectures, demonstrations, and group practice on Cayuga Lake, will be taught by certified instructors and supervised by Cornell’s superb Department of Athletics and Physical Education. You must know how to swim and be prepared to fall in and tread water, rain or shine. Additional fee: $130.
Writers’ Circle
Whether you love to write or want to improve your writing, you’ll grow in skill, enthusiasm, and confidence as you develop short stories, try your hand at opinion and persuasive writing, and experiment with overheard dialogue and poetry. You’ll read and critique excerpts from popular, provocative literature written by young published authors. By the end of the week, you may feel fearless enough to join CAU counselors on open mike night to read your work at the Teen Cabaret.

Youth program fees

The weekly residential program fee (per youngster, per week) covers tuition, housing, seventeen meals, and all morning, afternoon, and evening activities. It does not cover special instructional fees for some youth courses, as noted in the course listings. Children (other than teens) in on-campus programs reside adjacent to parents in Court/Kay Hall or with parents at the Hilton Homewood Suites.


There is an additional charge of $250 for unaccompanied Teens staying in residence over a weekend, to cover the cost of extended supervision, dining, and dorm accommodations.

*Reduced rates apply to the second and all additional children (after the first, oldest child) accompanying a registered adult in residence on campus.

**The weekly commuter rate for Li'l Bears, Tykes, Explorers, Big Reds, and Junior Cornellians includes the full program (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday), lunches, and snacks. The Commuter Teen rate includes the full program (8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday to Friday), lunches, snacks, and dinners.