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10 Summer Programs for High School Students in Washington

Do you live in the great state of Washington? Need something fun and educational to do this summer? If you have academic interests in medicine, the environment, politics, engineering, or any subject in between, we have programs on this list you might be interested in. These programs range from highly competitive to more inclusive, so give them a read and see if anything sparks your fancy!

Are you having difficulty identifying excellent summer research opportunities in Washington that are available to high school students? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with this list of 10 summer programs that focus on immersive learning and provide valuable academic enrichment.

These programs range from highly competitive to more inclusive, with some requiring a fee and others offering a stipend. Regardless of your background or interests, there’s a diverse range of programs on this list.

You can also check out our research program Lumiere – which had 2100 students apply this past year!

1. Seattle Children’s Hospital’s (Science Education Department) Research Training Program for High School Students

The Research Training Program (RTP) is an initiative spearheaded by PhD-level scientists that is tailored to high school students who wish to expand their knowledge of biomedical research.

Through this program, you will gain valuable insights into the workings of a research laboratory and be introduced to a diverse array of topics, including biochemistry, immunotherapy, gene editing, and infectious diseases. You will have the opportunity to attend lectures and participate in hands-on lab activities that explore themes such as biochemistry, immunology, and global and public health. Additionally, you will benefit from workshops that focus on college preparedness and career development.

It is worth noting that the Research Training Program is specifically designed for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in the biomedical and health sciences.

Location: Seattle Children’s Research Institute, WA

Cost: Free

Application deadline: April 2, 2023

Program dates: July 10, 2023 – July 28, 2023

Eligibility: 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade students who live or have housing within a two-hour commute of downtown Seattle

2. Systems Education Experiences (SEE) and Institute for Systems Biology’s (ISB) 8-Week Summer Internship for Rising Seniors

ISB's formal summer internship is an 8-week (~300 hours) paid opportunity available to high school students who are interested in working at the Baliga Lab or other ISB Labs.

All projects are aligned with an ongoing ISB initiative and are supervised by a mentor. You will receive instruction in systems biology and apply your knowledge to a research project. Depending on the project, you may also develop your scientific, engineering, mathematical, coding, and other professional and computer-based skills. Additionally, as an intern, you will have the opportunity to: a) interview ISB professionals to learn about various career paths, b) create a website detailing their internship experience and project, and c) contribute to the development of school-based curricula where applicable.

This year's internship topics include but are not limited to computational biology, microbial interactions, complex system resilience and collapse, the microbiome, microbial evolution, cancer research, systems medicine, and bioengineering using algae.

Location: Seattle, WA

Stipend: $5000

Application deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close in early March each year.

Program dates: July 5, 2023 – August 25, 2023 (tentative)

Eligibility: Current 11th Grade students

This program is an in-person, outdoor environmental STEM research experience for high school students in the Seattle area.

You will meet at a field location 2-3 times a week, where you must work to define a local environmental system, analyze its health, conduct research, and explore results from an environmental stewardship perspective. You will have the opportunity to investigate several environmental science issues, such as climate change, fungal invasion, microbial community interactions, and nitrogen and microplastic pollution. The program will conclude with a project showcase.

Location: Seattle, WA

Stipend: Undecided

Application deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close in early March each year.

Program dates: The exact time and schedule will be co-designed with student participants at the beginning of the summer.

Eligibility: Current 10th and 11th Grade students

The University of Washington's Center for Neurotechnology (CNT) offers a five-day summer program called YSP-REACH for high school students on its Seattle Campus. YSP-REACH is ideal for students interested in pursuing a STEM career, particularly in neural engineering and neuroscience.

The program introduces neuroscience, neural engineering, neuroethics, and scientific communication, as well as updates on the latest developments in brain-computer interfaces. You can visit partner labs in various departments, including Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. The program aims to expose you to the field of neural engineering and provide you with basic preparation for college studies in STEM subjects and future careers in STEM.

Location: Seattle, WA

Cost: Free

Application deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close in early March each year.

Program dates: July 10, 2023 – July 14, 2023

Eligibility: All high school students

5. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s High School Internships

PNNL provides internships to high school students in STEM and business fields to gain hands-on experience in a laboratory or office setting in Washington. The program aims to enhance your knowledge, research abilities, and business skills while building relationships with PNNL experts.

The High School Business Intern program allows you to work with experienced business professionals, while the High School Research Intern program provides you with mentorship from PNNL scientists and engineers. PNNL also offers elective credits for these internships. The Summer Research Apprenticeship and Young Women in Science summer programs give you a 10-week opportunity to conduct laboratory research with PNNL mentors, along with leadership development activities, field trips, and workshops.

You must be at least 18 years old to work in PNNL laboratory spaces and some fieldwork settings.

The location, stipend, and dates will vary by program.

Microsoft’s High School Discovery Program allows high school students to get hands-on learning and explore technology opportunities at Microsoft.

‘Discoverers’ will participate in a curriculum designed to learn programming fundamentals and develop career readiness skills while gaining mentorship from Microsoft employees. You will discover how your passions can evolve into a career in tech at Microsoft and beyond.

Location: Redmond, WA

Cost or stipend: Unspecified

Application deadline: March 21, 2023

Program dates: July 10, 2023 – August 4, 2023

Eligibility: Microsoft High School Discovery Program is open to rising first-year students of a bachelor’s degree program (graduating high school seniors) that live within 50 miles of Redmond, Washington. Students must be at least 16 years old and have a legal right to work in the U.S. for the duration of the program.

For over three decades, the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) has had exceptional high school students participate in its engaging and dynamic summer programs.

Through these sessions, the NSLC offers you a chance to develop vital leadership abilities and gain exposure to potential career paths through hands-on simulations, field trips, and interactive discussions with prominent professionals in their selected fields.

The NSLC offers courses in fields like architecture, national security, diplomacy, law, politics, and public policy.

Location: Georgetown University, WA

Cost: Tuition fees vary by program

Application deadline: Admissions are considered on a rolling basis (though with limited seats, most of their sessions are full by late March)

Program dates: Dates vary by program

Eligibility: High school students enrolled in grades 9-12

8. Foundation for Private Enterprise Education’s Washington Business Week

Washington Business Week offers students an immersive experience where they assume the roles of industry professionals, launch a company, refine their communication skills, and solve real-world problems. With guidance from a mentor provided by a local business, you will work collaboratively with other students, explore career opportunities, and build networks with professionals and future leaders.

Each day, you get to engage in a real-world business simulation in the career pathway you’ve chosen, making decisions as a team and working on interactive projects with other students’ companies. Throughout the program, business leaders from across the state will offer you insight and guidance. The program culminates with you presenting your business plan to industry professionals, having created a marketing video campaign, and honed your networking skills on social media. You can also earn two transferable college credits from Renton Technical College.

Location: University of Puget Sound or Renton Technical College

Cost: Ranges from $500 to $1500 depending on the program

Application deadline: Admissions are accepted on a rolling basis

Program dates: Check out all the different programs and dates here.

Eligibility: All high school students between the ages of 13-18

9. Providence Regional Medical Center Everett’s High School Summer Program

The program is for students who are interested in healthcare and making a meaningful impact through various hospital service opportunities.

It’s a 10-week commitment that spans from June to September and requires 100 hours of volunteer service. The program involves a hospital volunteer assignment and one week of service at Camp Prov, a day camp in Everett catering to children with special needs.

Location: Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, WA

Cost: Free

Application deadline: April 16, 2023

Program dates: June 18, 2023 - August 31, 2023

Eligibility: Current high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors

10. Talaria Summer Institute, WA chapter

ATHENA By Women In STEM (ABWS), a non-profit organization, offers a month-long research mentorship program for female and genderqueer students called the Talaria Summer Institute (TSI). In this program, you will have the opportunity to work with a mentor on a one-on-one basis and complete a formal scientific research paper on a topic of your choice. TSI provides mentorship to students through professors, postdoctoral researchers, or Ph.D. candidates who have expertise in the research field that aligns with the interests of the mentee.

At the end of the program, you will showcase your research at the Talaria conference, receive a certificate, and may even have your work published in the Talaria journal. This program provides a unique opportunity to develop your research skills, gain valuable experience, and network with professionals in your field.

Location: Chapters available in several different cities, including some in Washington

Fee: Free

Application deadline: April 15, 2023

Program dates: July 1, 2023 – July 31, 2023, Talaria Conference in mid-August

Eligibility: Open to all female or genderqueer high school students


11. Veritas AI - AI Fellowship

Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship. These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 

The AI Fellowship program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects here

Location: Virtual


  • $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

  • $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

  • $4,700 for both

  • Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply here

Application deadline: On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates: Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest. 

One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are passionate about research then you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.

Image source: Stock image



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