If you’re a high school student interested in the engineering field, applying for an engineering internship is a realistic approach to getting a taste of what the field and its related work entail. Doing an internship in high school is bound to give you a competitive advantage in college and your future profession. Since most students don’t know where to start looking, keep reading as we consider the best engineering internships for high school students.
Different Types of Engineering Internships
Engineering is a broad industry boasting various divisions and skills. And, of course, engineering and STEM internships for high school students are no different. You can opt for the following options:
- Field Internships: This type of engineering internship provides students with the chance to develop skills by recording, interpreting, and observing data. You’ll get to put everything you’ve learned in the classroom to practical use, offering first-hand exposure to your industry of interest.
- Cooperative Internships and Education: As the most common among engineering internships, cooperative education and internships typically apply to electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering undergraduate students. Some organizations also cater to engineering students of other disciples. This option allows you to combine your academic studies with credited work experience, which is great because most employers and colleges endorse cooperative education.
- Engineering Practicum: Practicum refers to the task of applying your academic experience to real-world projects, requiring students to work individually or in teams under the supervision of an academic adviser or employer.
Top 15 Engineering Internships for High School Students
Now that you know the different types of engineering internships, let’s take a look at some stellar opportunities you should apply for:
National Institute of Health
As one of the best biomedical engineering internships for high school students, you’ll have the opportunity to work with clinicians and scientists for around two months at NIH. They also offer various subprograms, such as HiSTEP, for the financially underprivileged in Maryland, Washington D.C, and Virginia to provide leadership training and exposure to technical fields.
In contrast, Step 2.0 is an alternative for both high school students and HiSTEP graduates in the Bethesda area. You have to be 17 years old by the middle of June of the year you’re applying and reside close to an NIH facility to be eligible for this internship.
Spark Summer Internship Program
The Spark Summer Internship is a nonprofit program based in Seattle enriching students through STEM opportunities and internships with various partner programs. These partner organizations are particularly excellent for computer science students, with positions in mobile application development, software design, and internet application.
While every partner program has its own requirements, there is only one application. The application deadline is 15th April, allowing you to apply for a maximum of three online groups.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
To intern at NASA and work on cutting-edge science under actual NASA personnel mentors is a dream come true for most STEM students. However, the internship procedure is highly competitive, and you must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered. Additionally, you must be at least 16 years old and provide a great recommendation letter that verifies your achievements and goals.
Internships are typically conducted in the summer, fall, or spring, with only a few centers onboarding high school interns. If you have top-notch grades and a good portfolio, you might just get in to avail this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab
Calling all high school seniors living in the Princeton area! This one’s for you if you wish to enroll in a more project-based internship at the university’s Plasma Physics Lab. You’ll have to work with your school and make a plan that enables the institution to accommodate your internship project requirements and mark credit.
Since this is a semester-long project, you must be a senior in the semester you apply and at least 16 years of age. Spring internships are to be completed by 30th November, while fall ones have an April 30th deadline.
National Cancer Institute
Are you interested in an inside look into healthcare research? At the National Cancer Institute, you’ll acquire the necessary skills to conduct biological research as a STEM intern while being mentored by someone who can share their employment and academic expertise with you.
You should be a high school junior and at least 17 years old before the program starts in June to apply. Hepatitis B vaccinations and a 3.0 unweighted GPA are also necessary. We recommend creating an NCI account and beginning your application once it opens in October.
Idaho National Lab
If you want to enhance your valuable professional and personal experience, look no further than the Idaho National Laboratory internship. Students supervised by INL specialists tackle real-world problems, learning and applying STEM concepts to individual fields throughout the two-month program.
Not only can you confirm and complement what you’ve learned in high school, but your understanding and technical concepts are also broadened. Students leave this internship with elevated self-esteem and exposure to fields they may want to pursue in university.
NSA High School Work-Study
Admitted high school students get to work at the National Security Agency, earning money straight into the school year. Perhaps you possess computer programming skills. In that case, you may get allocated to the Computer Aide position, where you’ll learn all the cutting-edge data processing facilities used by NSA.
To be eligible for this program, you need to be a high school junior with a 2.6 unweighted GPA or higher. A passion or history in technology, business, or computer science will give you a significant edge over your competitors.
Careers in Science Intern Program
You should consider becoming a paid CIS intern if you’re from a community in San Francisco that is underserved in STEM. Work on a Golden Gate Park site as an intern at the California Academy of Sciences and assist researchers with field-work. Additionally, you can obtain career development through seminars and meetings while educating the public about science.
Students in the 10th or 9th grade holding a 2.5 GPA or above are welcome to apply. The application process is open from February to April, requiring an interview and a considerable time investment if you get in.
Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program
For those with a passion for science, this internship program is offered in places with the American Fisheries Society’s active members and is paid. These members act as members and allow you to get first-hand experience in what research includes in practical life applications.
As one of the best summer internships for high school students, the application opens on 17th December and closes on 15th February for seniors or juniors in high school. If you get in, you’re likely to be assigned to an easily commutable location.
ICLEM isn’t just a regular internship; it is held at the Joint BioEnergy Institute and teaches rigorous STEM skills in biochemistry, biofuels, and microbiology. Any financially deprived high school juniors or seniors can apply for this 8-week paid internship and enjoy working on a research topic with JBEI undergraduates and researchers.
This is an excellent opportunity for students in California in the Contra Costa, San Francisco and Alameda counties who have completed Biology and Algebra 1. You can apply on January 24th, and remember to submit all materials by the March 21st deadline.
Penn State’s Engineering Summer Academy
ESAP at Penn State is open to all high school students and is a 3-week long program. It enables exceptional high school students to delve into college-level science and math courses while gaining hands-on practical experience.
If you get in, you can enroll in one of six courses, namely computer graphics, complex networks, biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology, or computer science. Since grad students and the Penn State faculty teach these courses, you’ll have to live on campus and will earn college credit once you complete the summer program.
Available at various locations, the Office of Naval Research’s Science and Engineering Apprentice Program is an 8-week paid internship for rising seniors, juniors, and sophomores. Roughly 300 students are placed at about 30 Navy labs nationwide every summer, learning about Naval research under top engineers and scientists. Although housing isn’t provident, you earn $4000 for the internship.
When it comes to mechanical engineering internships and other specific engineering projects, BlueStamp Engineering is the way to go. With the mentorship and help of current tech leaders and engineers, you’ll get the chance to work on a project you’re passionate about without having to worry about taking classes or completing homework.
You can either opt to work at the Palo Alto location in California for six weeks or remotely for three weeks. The program is highly self-driven and independent. You’re in charge of the direction you want your project to go and can ask experts for assistance at any point.
MIT Think Scholars Program
A four-month program open to all high school students, the MIT think scholars program is free and even awards participants a $1000 stipend. If you have a STEM project in mind that you’ve already done significant research for, we recommend applying for this internship.
Students apply in the fall or early winter, learning about acceptance at the beginning of February.
You’ll have to work with at least one MIT researcher on their project, and you can also make an all-expensive paid, four-day trip to the university’s campus. Here, you can meet other THINK participants and MIT professors while also touring the school’s top-notch and advanced labs.
Idaho National Laboratory Internships
Any student that is 16 years or older and interested in renewable energy, nuclear energy, or national security should apply to the INL six-week internship in Idaho Falls, ID. As one of America’s leading nuclear energy labs, it’s a prestigious place to intern.
Students who get accepted will learn how to apply STEM concepts to specific concepts and solve real-world problems under the guidance of INL professionals. And while housing isn’t provided, students get paid $3500 for working six weeks, and if you choose to intern again, you make $4000.
Tips for a Successful Engineering Internship Experience
Here’s what you should do to ensure you stand out and have a successful engineering internship experience:
- Stay motivated and keep a positive attitude
- Be open to learning
- Ask a lot of questions
- Follow directions
- Participate in meetings
- Don’t hesitate to showcase your problem-solving skills
- Get comfortable with not having all the answers and pushing forward to figure out how to get them
- Be open to receiving feedback
- Apply the technical skills and engineering knowledge you’ve learned in school
- Put in the effort; don’t procrastinate and be a go-getter instead
- Track your accomplishments
How Important are High School Internships in College Application
When you begin the college application process, you’ll realize the advantages of having a strong high school portfolio and how an internship in the activities section will enhance it. You’ll have 150 characters of space to fill and describe your meaningful internship experience.
Tackling an internship in high school shows college admissions teams that you have the necessary knowledge to decide upon the major and university best suited to your personality and needs. Along with the real-world experience it provides, an internship demonstrates that you’re a dedicated student who cares about their education- an asset to any university or college! It may also play a considerable role in getting you accepted at your dream school.
Wrapping Things Up: 15 Best Engineering Internships for High School Students
One great way of gaining experience outside the classroom and applying your knowledge to the practical field is by interning. Whether you’re looking for civil engineering internships for high school students or other particular industries, the possibilities are endless. You just need to know where to look.
And fear not, because our guide above is a good place to start discovering some of the best engineering internships for high school students. We’ve also provided some tips on how to have a successful internship experience and addressed why it’s important for college applications.