top of page
Post: Blog2_Post

SHTEM (Summer Internships for High Schoolers at Stanford University) - 10 Reasons Why It's Worth It

As a high schooler, you know the importance of building an academic profile. However, it’s not just about tests and high scores. You can and should build your profile through truly unique experiences that make you step outside your comfort zone and reach newer heights. One way of doing this is by attending pre-college programs that expose you to college-level coursework and offer hands-on experiences.

Such programs act as a stamp of accomplishment on your profile and can significantly impact your college applications. In this article, we will look at the SHTEM: Summer Internships for High Schoolers at Stanford University, and we will discuss its structure, evaluate its prestige, and give you 10 reasons why you should apply!


What is SHTEM?

The Summer Internships for High Schoolers and Community College Students at Stanford University is an esteemed program designed to provide high school students with the opportunity to engage in research and hands-on projects in the fields of science, humanities, technology, engineering, and mathematics (SHTEM)

Organized by the Stanford Compression Forum, this internship provides early exposure to research and explores the overlap between various humanities and STEM disciplines. Through the program, you will work on a research project from start to finish under the guidance of Stanford mentors.

What are some basic details of the program?

Here are some general details about the SHTEM internship: 

Location: The 2024 program will be entirely virtual.


  • Current high school juniors and seniors.

  • Must be at least 14 years old by the beginning of the program.

  • International students can apply.

Dates and Deadlines:

  • Application deadline: February 23, 2024

  • Program starts: June 17, 2024

  • Program ends: August 9, 2024

Cost & Stipend: Apart from the $50 application fee, there is no cost to participate in the program, and the internship doesn’t offer a stipend either. Limited financial assistance is available for those who face financial burdens.


How is SHTEM structured?

As an intern, you will spend the program’s eight weeks working on a research project. Projects tend to be multifaceted and can involve elements from various disciplines like engineering, linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, technology and so on. Students are mentored by Stanford students and faculty, working in groups of 2-5 students.

You are expected to spend 30-40 hours per week on the internship, doing remote research. If any physical materials are required, they will be sent to you. Previous interns have worked on project topics like the effectiveness of virtual reality in surgeries, exploring the intersection between astronomy and art, and studies on closing the gender gap in engineering.


Is SHTEM Prestigious?

Yes, SHTEM is highly prestigious. Being part of a program hosted by Stanford University inherently carries a level of recognition and respect. 

The high level of research involved makes it even more so. Further, the internship is fairly competitive and accepts only about 60 students across all applications. Even getting into the program counts as an achievement.


10 Reasons Why SHTEM Is Worth It

  1. The academic rigor will challenge and test your caliber. SHTEM’s curriculum definitely goes beyond the stuff taught in high schools, challenging you to expand your knowledge and skills. The advanced level of academics emulates university-level STEM courses and can be a significant advantage when you head to college.

  2. Its multi-disciplinary approach will expand your understanding of STEM.  One of the more compelling and unique aspects of the SHTEM program is its emphasis on multi-disciplinary research that brings an element of the humanities to STEM fields. By studying the intersection of multiple fields, you will expand your overall understanding while also learning to innovate and think creatively.

  3. It allows you to explore different aspects of STEM.  As a young high schooler, narrowing down a specific field of interest for your career can be hard. SHTEM’s unique multidisciplinary approach ensures you get to explore different aspects of humanities as well as STEM, making it a suitable program for most students regardless of their interests.

  4. You gain exposure to cutting-edge research.  As an intern, you will engage in cutting-edge research for your project and be exposed to the latest advancements in STEM fields. This experience can inspire future research interests and academic goals.

  5. You will gain hands-on experience in the field of research. By engaging in real-world projects and research, gaining practical experience that goes beyond theoretical learning. This hands-on approach helps students understand the application of STEM principles in real-world scenarios.

  6. You will benefit from the mentorship opportunities.  You will have the chance to be mentored by Stanford faculty and researchers, which is an invaluable opportunity by itself. Since you will be working in small groups, you can also expect more personalized attention from your mentor and get to spend more time with them.

  7. You will produce a complete research project at the end of your internship.  By the end of this internship, you will have a completed research project on your hands. Generally, the findings are presented through a final presentation. Having a finished project highlights your capabilities on college applications and allows you to submit the project for publication/competition.

  8. There are numerous networking opportunities that you can take advantage of.  SHTEM provides numerous opportunities for you to network with peers, faculty, and industry professionals. Not only will you be exposed to numerous perspectives and insights, but building these connections will benefit you in your future endeavors as well.

  9. This is one method of personal growth.  The challenges and experiences encountered during SHTEM foster personal growth. Students develop problem-solving skills, broaden their perspectives, learn to work in a team, and foster curiosity, all of which are crucial for success in any career path. 

  10. Your participation will enhance your college application.  Due to all of the reasons listed above and the program’s significant prestige, participating in SHTEM can boost your college application. It will demonstrate your dedication to research and innovation while also proving your skills and ability to thrive in a competitive academic environment.

Our Thoughts

All in all, the SHTEM program at Stanford University is an opportunity that offers numerous benefits from academic advancement to personal development. For high school students interested in research or simply in exploring academics beyond school, SHTEM is a worthwhile investment. 

You will get to experience research at a Tier 1 university under esteemed faculty and gain exposure to cutting-edge research, all while producing a final product that you can take further through publication or participating in competition! 

One other option - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re interested in pursuing research in SHTEM fields, you could also consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs for students I 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.


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: SHTEM logo



bottom of page