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30 STEM Internships for High Schoolers in 2024

What’s Covered:


Why wait until college to start doing internships? Now, more than ever, organizations are actively searching for high school talent to help them with important research and project development initiatives. Heads up: many of these are even paid opportunities, which means your summer job could be the first step on the path toward your future career!


Why Pursue Internships in High School?


Starting an internship in high school can give you a competitive edge for both college and future careers. Here are just a few of the top reasons to look for an internship.


Gain Relevant Industry Experience


Although other experiences, such as volunteering and traditional part-time jobs, help you develop important soft skills that you can take to any job, internships show you what it takes to succeed in the industry you’re interested in. STEM internships in particular will often allow you to focus on developing your logical and analytical thinking skills, solve problems, and acquire skills such as research, data analysis, or coding.


Connect With Professionals In Your Field


Many of the internships below pair you with a mentor who will guide you through some of the tasks you may be unfamiliar with and also share their educational and professional journey with you. You can ask them about what to do in your high school years to prepare for success in college and your anticipated career.


Strengthen Your Resume Or Portfolio


Internships count as a form of work experience, and they might catch the eye of future employers or college admissions officers. Not only that, but the life experiences you have during an internship can provide you with rich material for an engaging admissions essay.


30 STEM Internships for High Schoolers


The internships below are a great starting place for identifying the right type of internship for your interests and providing insight into what to expect from STEM internships in general.


1. NASA OSTEM Internship


Application Deadline: February 2

Duration: Varies


Becoming a NASA intern is a highly competitive process. Interns have the chance to work on cutting-edge research and receive mentorship from current NASA employees. Internships can be completed during the fall, spring, or summer, and spaces for high school students are limited to select centers.


To qualify, students must be at least 16 years old and have a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.


2. National Institute of Health


Application Deadline: February 16

Duration: Varies


This internship allows students to work alongside NIH biomedical researchers over the summer. Participants can also choose to complete one of their subprograms: the first is called HiSTEP, and it’s a part-time program geared toward rising seniors. The second, HiSTEP 2.0, is an option for current high school seniors  and is a full-time program. 


For the general NIH internship, students must be at least 17 years old by June 15 of the year of the internship and live within 40 miles of the NIH campus where they’ll intern. Interns receive a stipend for their work.


3. Ladder Internship Program


Application Deadline: Varies

Duration: Eight weeks


Ladder Internships is a selective start-up internship program for ambitious high school students. In the program, students work with a high-growth start-up on an internship. Start-ups that offer internships range across a variety of industries including AI, machine learning, health tech, marketing, journalism, consulting, and more.


This program is designed to accommodate a student’s schedule—internships are available throughout the year and fully remote. Students can expect to work 10-20 hours per week for 8-12 weeks. Gap-year students are also eligible to participate.


4. NSA High School Work Study


Application Deadline: October 15

Duration: September – August


This program allows high school students to participate in a school-sponsored work experience by fulfilling office roles at the National Security Agency. The position is open to high school juniors who are at least 16 years old. Participants must also have a background or interest in business, engineering, computer science, applied arts, graphic arts, or manufacturing. If selected, interns undergo security clearance testing as part of their employment.


5. Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP)


Application Deadline: November 15

Duration: Eight weeks


This paid engineering internship targets high schoolers interested in conducting research over the summer. This is a competitive program and interns are selected based on their academic achievement, personal statements, recommendations, and career and research interests. Opportunities are available at 38 Department of Navy laboratories spread across the country.


The opportunity is open to rising 10th through 12th graders who will be 16 years old at the time of the internship.


6. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory


Application Deadline: March 1

Duration: Eight – ten weeks


High school seniors living in the Princeton area have a chance to participate in a project-based internship at the Plasma Physics Laboratory! This summer internship lasts between eight to ten weeks with the typical schedule being Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, for a total of 40 hours a week.


Students must be at least 16 years old and a graduating senior to participate in the internship.


7. Idaho National Laboratory (INL)


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Six weeks


Interns in this program are paid to work directly with a mentor at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the Department of Energy’s national leader in nuclear energy. INL also contributes to other research areas such as national security and environmental science. Interns must be rising juniors or seniors, possess a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be at least 16 years old to apply.


8. Spark Summer Program


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Six weeks


The Spark Summer Program, open to Seattle area high schoolers in grades 9 through 12, isn’t an internship program per se—rather, it’s a mentorship program that connects motivated and high-achieving high schoolers with industry experts and educators. Participants gain experience working in a professional environment and prepare for academic and career challenges.


9. Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program


Application Deadline: January 16

Duration: Eight weeks


Students more interested in science than engineering will want to check out this summer internship/mentoring experience. This program is available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. Interns work alongside professionals to see firsthand what science is like in the field and receive a $3,000 stipend plus an all-expenses paid trip to the Hutton Scholars Summit.


The program is open to rising high school juniors, rising high school seniors, and rising college freshmen at the time of the summer internship.


10. Werner H. Kirsten (WHK) Student Intern Program


Application Deadline: January 12

Duration: One year


Get an inside look at healthcare research with an internship at the National Cancer Institute. Interns develop the foundational skills needed to complete biomedical research and have a designated mentor who can share educational and professional experiences.


The program is open to high school seniors who will be at least 17 years old by the start of the program in June with a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0. Interns are required to work eight consecutive weeks (40 hours per week) over the summer and receive a stipend for their participation.


11. Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM)


Application Deadline: March 17

Duration: Six weeks (June 14 – July 26)


While not a traditional internship, this is a six-week paid summer intensive designed for economically disadvantaged high school sophomores and juniors. Participants in the program develop skills in advanced scientific topics like microbiology, biochemistry, and biofuels as they work on a research project alongside JBEI researchers and undergrads.


This opportunity is open to California sophomores and juniors living in Alameda, Contra Costa, or San Francisco Counties who have a 2.5 GPA or higher and have passed Algebra 1 and Biology. Students will receive a $3,000 stipend for completing the program.


12. Maine Space Grant Consortium


Application Deadline: January 31

Duration: Six weeks


If you’re a junior who lives in Maine, you’re eligible for this six-week paid STEM internship. Internships are offered by numerous host organizations in the State of Maine—internship specifics vary depending on the host organization.


Candidates need a high GPA to qualify—such as a weighted GPA of 4.0 or higher—and demonstrated interest in STEM. They’ll also need to commit to a Monday through Friday work schedule for the duration of the six-week internship.


13. Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program


Application Deadline: April 1

Duration: Year round/Multi year


This program is aimed at San Francisco high schoolers from groups underrepresented in STEM fields. CiS Interns work at the California Academy of Sciences facility in Golden Gate Park helping scientists conduct field studies, teaching the public about science, and receiving professional development through workshops and conferences.


To be eligible, students must be in 9th or 10th grade, enrolled in an SFUSD school, have and maintain a 2.5 GPA, and earn Cs or higher in their math and science classes. They’ll also need an interest in learning, teaching, and science. This internship is a significant time commitment, and interns must be comfortable dedicating two or three years to the experience.


14. Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program (ASSIP)


Application Deadline: February 11

Duration: Eight weeks (June 18 – August 9)


Provided by George Mason University, interns in this summer program work on research projects alongside university faculty across a variety of scientific disciplines, either in-person, remotely, or a blend of the two. While this is an unpaid internship, it offers a fantastic opportunity to get hands-on experience and build a portfolio of research—past participants have had their names published in scientific journals and their work presented at scientific conferences.


Participants need to demonstrate an interest in STEM and be 15 years or older by the internship start date for work in the computer labs and 16 years or older for work in wet labs.


15. National Institute of Standards and Technology


Application Deadline: February 9

Duration: Eight weeks (June 17 – August 9)


Students interested in scientific research can receive an unparalleled experience with NIST. This eight-week unpaid internship helps high schoolers gain the skills needed for a successful STEM career. Rising juniors and seniors are eligible for this research-focused internship.


Participants are required to provide their own housing and transportation, making it ideally suited for students who live near either the Gaithersburg, Maryland, facility or the Boulder, Colorado, facility.


16. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Summer Internship


Application Deadline: January 28

Duration: 12 weeks (May 20 – August 9)


Students who’ve dreamed of working at a zoo won’t want to miss this paid internship opportunity. Interns discover what it’s like to work at a zoo as they learn how to care for the zoo animals and plants, along with teaching zoo guests about the importance of conservation. Program participants receive a $5,000 stipend, paid out in three installments.


17. Los Alamos National Laboratory High School Internship Program


Application Deadline:

  • Summer: April 11
  • Fall/Spring: December 31

Duration: N/A


The High School Internship Program (HSIP) allows qualified northern New Mexico high school seniors to gain job experience while learning skills and exposing them to various career fields. There are two application periods: one for the summer season and one for the fall/spring season. Internships in STEM and other career areas are available (for example, administrative, business, operations support, etc.).


Students must satisfy the following conditions to enroll in HSIP: have senior standing and be at least 16 years old when the internship begins, have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and pass a new employment drug test.


18. Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility: J-Lab High School Summer Honors Program


Application Deadline: March 15

Duration: Six weeks (June 24 – August 2)


The Summer Honors Program at Jefferson Lab—a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory, located in Newport News, Virginia—invites local high school students to get hands-on experience in scientific or technical fields for six weeks.


To be eligible to participate in the JSA/Jefferson Lab High School Summer Honors Program, participants must attend a local high school (within 60 miles of Jefferson Lab), be at least 16 years old by the program start date, be in good academic standing, and maintain at least a 3.5 GPA. Applicants are chosen based on skill and merit.


19. J. Craig Venter Institute Internship Program


Application Deadline: Rolling

Duration: 10 – 15 weeks (May – August)


The JCVI internship program is a highly coveted opportunity that aims to mentor and inspire future generations of exceptional scientists. The typical program is held over the summer and consists of a dedicated mentor, collaborating and networking with world-class scientists, hands-on involvement in research projects suited to their academic experience, access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and a judged poster presentation for enthusiastic high school (16 or older), undergraduate, and graduate students.


20. Broad Summer Scholars Program (BSSP)


Application Deadline: January 10

Duration: Six weeks (June 3 – August 2)


If you’re a highly motivated Massachusetts high school student with a passion for science, you’ll want to look into the Broad Summer Scholars Program. The program matches you with cutting-edge research projects in fields such as cancer biology, psychiatric disease, chemical biology, computational biology, and infectious disease through which you’ll conduct research and explore careers in science.


The program is open to rising seniors, with a B average or better in science and math classes, who live within commuting distance. At the completion of the program, participants receive a $3,600 stipend and partial reimbursement for travel expenses.


21. Henry Hall Fellowship


Application Deadline: September 22

Duration: June – July (summer session)


The Henry Hall Fellowship is for high school students interested in urban conservation and environmental justice. Selected students take part in educational sessions and field experiences while also exploring a variety of careers and becoming advocates for environmental change. Participants receive a small stipend based on attendance.


The program is open to students in grades 10 through 12 from Baltimore City and Baltimore County.


22. Microsoft Discovery Program


Application Deadline: Rolling

Duration: Four weeks (July 8 – August 2)


If you live within 50 miles of either Redmond, Washington, or Atlanta, Georgia, and have an interest in programming, this internship is for you. The Microsoft Discovery Program will teach you the fundamentals of programming and build valuable career skills while providing mentoring from Microsoft employees.


To participate in this program, you must be a rising senior who is at least 16 years old and has completed a pre-calculus program. Participants in the Microsoft Discovery Program must be available to work full-time during the program and are paid.


23. Meta Summer Academy


Application Deadline: March 1

Duration: Six weeks (June 17 – July 26)


Meta Summer Academy (formerly known as Facebook Summer Academy) is a great opportunity for California high schoolers—from East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, North Fair Oaks, or Redwood City—to learn about the tech industry, gain real-world job experience, and get an up-close look at day-to-day operations at one of the world’s best-known social media networks.


The opportunity is open to high school sophomores with a minimum 2.0 GPA.


24. KP Launch


Application Deadline: January 2

Duration: Seven weeks (June 17 – August 2)


The KP Launch program offers a number of internship opportunities across a wide variety of fields at Kaiser Permanente headquarters and offices throughout Northern California. The program is aimed at underrepresented and low-income students and is intended to expose them to careers in health care. Participants are paid for their time, earning $15.50 to $18 an hour.


Participants must live within a Northern California Kaiser Permanente designated service area, be current high school students between the ages of 16 and 19, and be available to work full-time (Monday through Friday) for the course of the program. Priority is given to juniors and seniors.


25. Boyce Thompson Institute High School Internship


Application Deadline: March 31

Duration: Six weeks (June 25 – August 9)


The Boyce Thompson Institute, a life sciences research institution located on the Cornell University campus, offers internship opportunities to students within a reasonable daily commute. Positions are available to students with an interest in plant science research and computational biology and no prior lab experience is required. Interns will have at least one research mentor, participate in training, and go on field trips.


Applicants cannot be graduating seniors and must be at least 16 years old. Selected students receive a $4,200 stipend.


26. Stanford SHTEM


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Eight weeks (June 17 – August 9)


This fully virtual, unpaid internship shows participants how the humanities are interwoven into STEM research. Students will pursue research projects and explore a variety of engineering fields while diving into topics including communication, the arts, linguistics, psychology, biology, computer science, and design.


To be eligible, participants must be current juniors or seniors and at least age 14 by the start of the internship.


27. Scripps Student Research Internship


Application Deadline: March 30

Duration: 10 weeks (June 3 – August 9 or June 17 – August 23)


Students in this internship program are introduced to cutting-edge research focused on personalized health care while growing their interest in health science, statistics, and computer science. Participants are paired with a mentor who will guide them through the program and provide insight into future academic and career goals.


The program is open to high school students, undergraduates, graduates, and professional students. High school students must be at least 16 years old before the start of the internship to participate.


28. Fred Hutch Cancer Center Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP)


Application Deadline: March 31

Duration: Eight weeks (June 24 – August 16)


Students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical science with a strong interest in science and impressive academics will want to look into this program at the Fred Hutch Cancer Center. Interns receive hands-on training in lab techniques, pursue mentored activities, participate in research seminars, and attend professional development workshops.


The program is open to high school seniors and participants receive a financial award upon successful completion of the program. Housing is not provided, making this internship ideally suited to students from the greater Seattle area.


29. Lincoln Laboratory Radar Introduction for Student Engineers (LLRISE)


Application Deadline: March 7

Duration: Two weeks (July 14 – 27)


While not an internship per se, this free workshop for high schoolers completing their junior year should be on the bucket list for any student interested in STEM. During the two-week program, students learn how to build small radar systems while studying at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in Cambridge and the Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington.


30. Simons Summer Research Program


Application Deadline: February 7

Duration: Six weeks (July 1 – August 9)


Students in this program become members of a research team, learning about lab techniques and working with like-minded peers and distinguished faculty. In addition to research, program participants get to listen to talks, take part in workshops, go on tours, and attend special events. They also live and learn on the campus of Stony Brook University, providing them with a college-like experience.


Although not called an internship, students in this program engage in hands-on research in science, math, or engineering and receive a stipend for successfully completing the program.


How Do Internships Impact Your College Chances?


Once you clear the academic threshold at selective colleges, your extracurriculars can be just as important as your grades. This is because there are so many academically qualified candidates that admissions officers turn to activities and essays to see which students stand out and may be the best fit.


Admissions officers rate a student’s extracurriculars based on their impressiveness and uniqueness. Each activity generally falls into one of four tiers, with Tier 1 being the most outstanding (i.e. a national award). An internship may fall into Tiers 1-3, depending on how selective it is. For example, earning a super-competitive NASA internship qualifies as a Tier 1 activity while earning a regional internship, like a spot in the Los Alamos National Laboratory High School Internship Program, is likely a Tier 2 extracurricular.


To see how your activities stack up, use our free chancing engine. It’ll help you classify your extracurriculars into tiers, and show you which aspects of your profile need improvement. You’ll be able to go into college admissions much more prepared as a result!


Disclaimer: This post includes content sponsored by Lumiere Education.

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.