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Top STEM Internships For High School Students


STEM internships provide high school students with practical experience in science, technology, engineering, and math fields; they’re also an excellent way to set yourself apart on college applications.

The Jefferson Lab Summer Research Program invites high school students in their area to join scientists and researchers in collaborative research studies across medical disciplines ranging from immunology and neurobiology to cancer biology. Internship opportunities span a wide array of medical specializations.

Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR)

The Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR) offers you an exclusive opportunity to gain hands-on experience across various biomedical fields. This hands-on experience can play an instrumental role in your academic career; for instance, by testing out potential academic fields before fully committing to college; it also gives an in-depth view into how different scientific disciplines interconnect; perhaps you might work on a project combining data science with molecular biology or ethical considerations with genetic engineering – something the SIMR makes possible!

Students selected for this program will be assigned to a lab under the mentorship of a Stanford faculty member or graduate student and attend lectures and weekly seminars, in addition to having access to cutting-edge technologies like next-gen sequencing machines and imaging software to investigate developments in cellular genomics and neuroscience.

This program is open to high school juniors and seniors with an interest in science, regardless of grades. While good grades are essential, selection panels also look for intensity and enthusiasm when selecting candidates for participation. Activities like participation in science clubs or competitions or conducting independent experiments will strengthen an application; applicants should clearly articulate this passion in both essays and interviews in order to increase their chances of being selected for participation in this program.

California Academy of Sciences – Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program

The California Academy of Sciences Careers in Science internship program is an incredible opportunity for high school students. Specifically designed to assist those from traditionally underrepresented groups in finding their niche within STEM fields, as well as equipping them with tools necessary for success, it offers outdoor fieldwork experiences, learning experiences, professional development training, and mentorship – not to mention many other benefits!

Interns work in both public education spaces and behind the scenes at the museum, learning communication and teaching skills while exploring careers in science. Attendance at professional development workshops allows interns to increase their expertise. Furthermore, peer-based training sessions, college tours and science-themed field trips round out this experience. The CSI Internship Program only accepts applicants from the San Francisco Unified School District; specifically targeting underrepresented STEM candidates.

At first, interns perform research with Academy scientists in the laboratory. They gain practical experience using microscopes and specimens. Later in their internships, interns join professional researchers on project teams working on real science or environmental projects; additionally, they may have opportunities for outdoor fieldwork or presentations at science conferences.

This program is offered at no cost, enabling students to work 10-20 hours each week for eight weeks during summer school break. To apply, full-time students in grades 9th-12th must possess an acceptable academic record as well as pass a background check, and be legally eligible to work in the United States.


MITRE internships provide students with hands-on experience in cutting-edge research and development. As a non-profit organization operating Federally Funded Research and Development Centers dedicated to solving some of the country’s toughest challenges, including cybersecurity, healthcare, and national defense – its work covers multiple fields such as cybersecurity healthcare and national defense. Students can submit up to five projects of interest before being placed with one sponsoring company for an eight-week internship which pays a stipend.

This program also provides networking opportunities, which are invaluable when building a career in STEM. Applicants can participate in numerous training opportunities to enhance their abilities and broaden their knowledge base, while an internship provides invaluable exposure to real workplace environments.

Javier Aleman found great meaning and fulfillment through his high school internship, expanding his world. Now, his aspiration is to pursue a Ph.D. in either science or engineering – paying his tuition through weekly work-study jobs at local businesses.

The CS4CS program provides high schoolers with a barrier-breaking introduction to computer science and cybersecurity through NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s Tandon Summer Experience, with a special focus on diversity. Teenagers looking to learn cybersecurity or programming will have mentors as they participate in workshops to develop their skills and interests further.

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) offers high school students an outstanding opportunity to gain hands-on research experience and build their resume before college. Their AFRL Scholars program offers paid internships at one of their national research sites during either summer or winter break – giving participants an unparalleled chance to gain a more in-depth understanding of their field while exploring America beyond their hometown and building important personal and professional skills.

This prestigious program aims to attract and retain the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and math professionals. Through this stipend-based fellowship opportunity for students who qualify, AFRL Technical Directorates offer students work opportunities while healthcare coverage for associates is also provided annually.

AFRL program also assists students in becoming more socially responsible leaders by connecting their scholars to non-profits that serve their local communities while developing leadership skills. Furthermore, mentors provide them with the tools needed to pursue STEM careers successfully.

Established at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in October 1997 with the consolidation of four laboratories and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research into one lab, AFRL employs over 11,500 military and civilian staff at eight research centers nationwide. Operating as a research and development enterprise that supplies affordable warfighting technologies using its extensive and diverse portfolio of basic, applied, and advanced research to meet two services’ requirements, it employs over 11,500 military and civilian staff throughout its eight research centers nationwide.

Fred Hutch

Fred Hutch Cancer Center is an institution designated by the National Cancer Institute with world-class scientists who have revolutionized cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and other diseases. Furthermore, there are various programs at Fred Hutch for high school students interested in science, medicine, or research.

This eight-week internship provides intensive hands-on laboratory and classroom experience, designed for students who possess an avid passion for science and are interested in medical research careers. To qualify, applicants must possess strong academic records as well as evidence of scientific interest; applicants are welcome from underrepresented racial/ethnic communities, individuals with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Fred Hutch interns not only engage in research activities but also participate in activities to foster a healthy and supportive community environment. Interns discuss, reflect upon, and debate social justice-related topics while participating in workshops or seminars that offer exposure to particular diseases or developments in diagnostic techniques.

Hutch United (HU), an initiative of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Core, spearheads several activities at Fred Hutch. HU is a community of graduate and postdoctoral scientists that provides support for marginalized and historically excluded students at Fred Hutch. For example, one mentor recently led a meeting on health inequities at Fred Hutch; furthermore, these mentors assisted interns in developing Op-Ed pieces highlighting any social injustices that impeded their efforts at success in science.

Boston University RISE

Learning to code, working with stem cells, or solving some of the world’s biggest engineering challenges are subjects students must get hands-on experience in. An intensive summer program like Boston University RISE can provide invaluable hands-on education.

Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) offers students an exciting six-week research experience within university lab research under the tutelage of both faculty and graduate students from Boston University. Open to both commuter and residential students alike, RISE features two research tracks: Practicum and Internship.

RISE students engage in workshops each week designed to hone their academic and professional abilities, attend field trips to local biotech and pharmaceutical firms, and showcase their research projects at an end-of-program poster symposium.

While most high school students can take part in college-specific programs, applying to universities often requires attending more general university-like programs like RISE. Participating in these programs provides an invaluable glimpse of university life, helping narrow down choices when the time comes to apply. Furthermore, RISE offers social activities designed to build camaraderie among its participants as well as familiarize them with Boston.