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9 Summer STEM Internships for High School Students

For high school students keen on exploring STEM beyond their academics, summer internships are a solid way to gain exposure outside the classroom, and build a solid network. These internships offer practical experience and insights into different STEM professions, such as research, engineering, and technology.

Early involvement in STEM can greatly enhance your college applications by showcasing your proactive engagement, enthusiasm, passion, and genuine interest in a STEM career. Engaging in STEM internships during high school allows you to develop essential skills, acquire real-world experience, and explore various career paths within STEM—attributes highly regarded by college admissions committees.

Here is a curated list of 10 summer STEM internships specially tailored for high school students.

Ladder Internships is a selective internship program for ambitious high school students. With this program, you will be paired with a startup or nonprofit anywhere in the world for a virtual internship role. Ladder’s partner organizations that you can intern with function across a range of industries, and you can take your pick! Choices include technology, engineering, media, sustainability, media, visual communication, journalism, artificial intelligence, health tech and more. As an intern, you will work closely with a manager from the startup or nonprofit on a real-world project, contributing to the organization’s larger goal. You will also be paired with a Ladder coach, who will serve as a second mentor, guiding you during the program. Interns are offered one-on-one training in communication, time management, and other valuable skills. They will also have the opportunity to attend group training sessions with other interns in their cohort. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.

Location: Virtual

Dates: The summer 2024 cohort starts on June 3 and runs till August. Multiple cohorts throughout the year, including fall and spring.

Cost/Stipend:  Starts at $1990. Financial aid is offered.

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students!

Deadline:  Summer cohort (regular admission 1): April 14, 2024 | Summer cohort (regular admission 2): May 12, 2024

The Stanford Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine and Imaging offers a 2-week virtual internship focused on the technical and clinical aspects of AI in healthcare. The program features lectures, mentoring, social activities, group research projects, and virtual Career Lunch and Learns with guest speakers. Students can also choose an extended independent research internship.

Aiming to advance AI research in medicine for public benefit, the program is ideal for those interested in health and technology. It is highly competitive, accepting only about 20 students each year.

Location: Virtual

Dates: June 17 - 28, 2024

Stipend: This is an unpaid internship. Students will receive a certificate upon completion and the potential to extend their internship.

Eligibility: U.S. high school students over 14 years old with strong math and/or computer programming skills and/or experience with a healthcare project

Deadline: March 31, 2024

NASA's Office of STEM Engagement offers high school students paid internships. Participants receive mentoring, training, and career development guidance throughout their internship experience.

At NASA's centers, students engage in hands-on research using cutting-edge facilities and technology. Their research areas span across space exploration, aerospace engineering, robotics, satellites, and related fields, providing them with valuable practical experience in STEM disciplines.

Location: Various NASA centers throughout the country.

Stipend: A stipend is paid based on academic level and session duration.

Application Deadline: Spring 2025: Aug. 23, 2024

Summer 2025 – Early Decision: Oct. 25, 2024; Final, Feb. 28, 2025; Fall 2025: May 16, 2025

Program Dates: Typically May-August, but check specific dates for postings.

Eligibility: Any high school student with a 3.0 GPA. 

U.S. citizens who are at least 16 years old at the time of the application.

Primarily a research program, this program will pair you with a mentor from George Mason University to work on a specific project. A wide range of research areas are available, including Earth Science, Molecular Medicine, Cyber Security, Finance, Astronomy, Math, Forensic Science and more. The format of the program differs with each project. Through ASSIP, you will use sophisticated technology and equipment, develop scientific writing, explore STEM careers, and exercise creativity and innovation.

Location: Remote, in-person and hybrid options available

Cost: $25 application fee, no stipend. Application fee can be waived depending on need. 

Application Deadline: February 11th 2024

Program Dates: June 18th-Aug. 9th, 2024

Eligibility: Students must be over the age of 15 for remote and computer lab in-person internships and over the age of 16 for “wet-lab” in-person internships

This program offers high school and community college students early exposure to cutting-edge research and diverse topics in an academic setting. Hosted by Stanford University, this remote internship allows students to explore various subjects. Participants will spend 30-40 hours per week on research, guided by Stanford faculty and industry experts.

Teams can work on projects in fields such as biology, neuroscience, psychology, information and communication science, technology, computer science, the arts, and more. At the end of the program, students will present their projects with their teams.

Location: Virtual

Dates: June 17, 2024 - August 9, 2024

Stipend: This is an unpaid internship, but stipends may be provided based on financial need.

Eligibility: The applicants must be current high school juniors or seniors at the time of application and at least 14 years old by June 17.

Deadline: Applications typically close in February every year.

The Johns Hopkins Internship in Brain Science Program is an 8-week, fully funded summer research opportunity for talented high school students from underrepresented communities. You will get to work with top neuroscientists on hands-on projects, attend scientific seminars, and join weekly development sessions. Available both on-campus and virtually, the program accepts 5-6 students, provides an hourly stipend, and covers transportation costs. At the end of the program, students present their research through an oral or poster presentation.

Location: Virtual and in-person options.

Dates: 8 weeks, June 2024 - August 2024 (in-person); 5 weeks, July 2024 - August 2024 (virtual)

Stipend: In-person participants receive an hourly stipend (amount varies), while virtual interns receive a stipend of $500.


  • Juniors and seniors from around the country are eligible to apply to the 5-week, virtual program.

  • Juniors and seniors residing in Baltimore City and the metro area, who have a strong passion and interest in science and medicine, are from underrepresented groups, and have an academically strong background are eligible for the in-person program.

Deadline: March 1, every year.

The Ragon Institute Summer Experience (RISE) is a paid 7-week internship program aimed at increasing interest in medical research among students from underrepresented groups. The program pairs students with mentors for lab projects in immunology and related fields, providing hands-on experience. Participants also take part in coursework, lectures, and workshops. The program targets students from gateway communities in Greater Boston, including Cambridge, Boston, Everett, Revere, Lynn, Brockton, and Chelsea. RISE seeks to foster a diverse scientific community and encourage rising high school seniors and undergraduates to pursue careers in research.

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Dates: The program runs from June 24 to August 9 for high school students and from June 10 to August 9 for undergraduates. 

Cost/Stipend:  High school students are paid $17 per hour, and undergraduates are paid $18.00 per hour. 

Eligibility:  The program is open to high school and undergraduate students from underrepresented communities in the Greater Boston area. High school students must be rising seniors with an interest in STEM, and undergraduates must be interested in learning about immunology and related fields.

Deadline:  March 15, 2024. Final selection to be made by April 19th, 2024. 

The Forsyth Institute Student Scholars Summer Internship Program offers an eight-week STEM research experience for high school students in the Boston metro area. Participants, especially from underrepresented or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, work with scientists on advanced research. They learn lab techniques, conduct projects, and present findings. The program includes weekly presentations and lectures on oral health research, immunology, and microbiology, aiming to inspire and support the next generation of STEM professionals.

Location: Massachusetts, Boston metro area.

Dates: Eight weeks during the summer, exact dates vary each year. 

Cost/Stipend:  Paid Internship. Exact amount NA. 

Eligibility:  The program is open to high school sophomores and juniors in Massachusetts. 

Deadline:  TBA

With an acceptance rate of under 5%, this program offers students the chance to work on a year-long astrophysics project with a scientist from Harvard or the Smithsonian Center. Each year, 10-16 students are selected and divided into 5-8 groups to collaborate on their projects. Interns attend monthly workshops and lectures to enhance their learning. At the end of the program, students present their research at a symposium through posters and presentations.

Location: Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) or virtual 

Cost/Stipend: A stipend is provided courtesy of the City of Cambridge. 

Application Deadline: Applications for the 2024 SRMP Cohort are closed but expected to open in May 2024 for the 2025 SRMP Cohort. 

Program Dates: September - May

Eligibility: Must be a Cambridge Rindge and Latin School student, but they are looking to broaden the scope of their program

One other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re interested in pursuing independent research in STEM, you could also consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. 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: Ragon Institute logo



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