Scientific research and engineering are taking enormous strides in changing how our societies operate. From healthcare to education, the impact of these fields can be felt in all disciplines. There are many opportunities for students interested in STEM, many of them fully funded, and the scientific rigor, problem-solving abilities and technical skills that you would obtain by attending a science or engineering pre-college program are applicable to almost any field. If you want to deepen your understanding of a specific discipline, get hands-on research experience, you should consider attending one of the following programs, some of which are the most prestigious in the nation and can open many doors in the future.
DEADLINE: rolling LINK: https://www.cee.org/research-science-institute
Eligibility: students who are high school juniors at the time of application; open to international applicants from participating countries
What it is: The Research Science Institute is an intensive six-week residential academic program in scientific research where participants gain first-hand experience with open-ended, scientific inquiry in leading laboratories in the Boston area. It is hosted by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Students attend seminars, read advanced literature and join laboratories where they have the opportunity to conduct original research, in addition to attending an evening lecture series where they have the opportunity to meet face to face with leading science and technology figures
Why you should apply: Other than the fact that RSI is a renowned program that is sure to make a marked difference in your college application, applying to and attending RSI can have other major benefits. To begin with, students who attend make original research contributions to ongoing projects carried out by various academic, government-sponsored and corporate research teams. Often this may lead to entry into science competitions, where RSI students go on to win top awards, or gaining co-authorship credit on journal articles. The program is frequently mentioned as the number one choice of many science-oriented students in College Confidential threads, and its alumni list abounds with names nationally and internationally recognized for their excellence.
DEADLINE: 3/1/2018 LINK: https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/sip
Eligibility: students who are sixteen years of age or older by June 15, 2018; US citizens or permanent residents
What it is: The summer internship program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a program where students have an opportunity to work side-by-side with leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research in various laboratories across the US.
Why you should apply: The NIH summer internship is an intensive, rigorous and time-consuming opportunity – students must commit for a minimum of eight consecutive weeks, with 40 hours of work per week. However, if biomedical research is a field you are considering, or if you would like to gain more insight into what dedicating yourself to research would entail, this is the right opportunity for you. In a video about what past participants had to say about the program, one past participant says that he had no interest in science at all before attending. While past experience in science may increase your chances, the video indicates that it may not be absolutely crucial. You are additionally awarded a stipend for your work – this is a paid opportunity that you should not pass up looking into.
The internship will provide you not only with the necessary technical skills and lab experience, but it will also give you insight into the ins and outs of conducting research under top mentorship in the biomedical science and in state-of-the-art science facilities. The cornerstone of the program is research – as is stated on the NIH website, the program is meant to give participating students a “deeper understanding of how scientific investigation works and what it entails”, with the hope that most of them will decide to include research as an important component of your future career. However, while research is prioritized in the duration of the program, participants are encouraged to participate in other activities, such as career development, networking, and educational activities including lectures featuring distinguished NIH investigators, career/professional development workshops, and Summer Poster Day.
DEADLINE: 2/1/2018 LINK: http://oeop.mit.edu/programs/mites
Eligibility: students who are high school juniors at the time of application; US citizens or permanent residents
What it is: MITES is a six-week residential summer program during which students have the opportunity to experience a demanding academic atmosphere and to begin building the self-confidence necessary for success at America’s top universities. This program also stresses the value and reward of pursuing advanced technical degrees and careers while developing the skills necessary to achieve success in science and engineering.
Why you should apply: It is stated on the MITES website that in recent years, the schools which received the most MITES alumni include MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton and Yale. Attending this program, among many other benefits, is sure to strengthen your college applications. The program is especially appropriate for you if you have an interest in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering or math, as 70 percent of MITES alumni graduate college with a degree in one of these disciplines. The program is interdisciplinary: students take one calculus course (Calculus I or Calculus II), one life sciences course (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry), one physics course (Physics I, Physics II, Physics III), a humanities course and an elective course (Architecture, Digital Design, Electronics, Engineering Design, Genomics). While students of any background are welcome to apply, the program especially encourages applications from students of background underrepresented in science and engineering or from low socioeconomic means.
DEADLINE: 3/3/2017 LINK: https://admission.enrollment.cmu.edu/pages/diversity-sams
Eligibility: students must be at least sixteen years old and have completed their junior year of high school to participate in the program; US citizens or permanent residents
What it is: The Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science is a six-week rigorous residential experience for high school seniors who have a strong interest in computer science, engineering and natural sciences. The summer academy’s goal is to equip students with essential skills necessary for successful completion of STEM majors. The curriculum for students will include non-credit academic offerings designed and taught by members of the Carnegie Mellon faculty, outstanding teachers and graduate students carefully chosen because of their commitment to teaching and their ability to relate to 12th grade students. Courses include: Pre-Calculus, Differential Calculus or Concepts of Mathematics (credit-bearing courses), Physics of another science seminar, Programming Seminar, Engineering, Computer Science or a Science Project, SAT Preparation Course, and Personal and Career Development.
Why you should apply: The Summer Academy for Mathematics and Science is one of the few fully-funded pre-college programs offered by Carnegie Mellon University. Participating in the program will give you an all-around taste of university life, from living in dorms to taking for-credit courses that will advance your knowledge in mathematics, science and engineering. It will not only give you insight into what completing a STEM major will require, but give you the necessary background to do so successfully.