Polygence blog / Research Opportunities and Ideas

12 Data Science Research Opportunities for High School Students

7 minute read

Data science is a rapidly expanding and exciting field with the potential to solve some of the world's most pressing problems. If you're a high school student passionate about using data to make a difference, exploring research opportunities in data science is a great way to see if this field is a good fit for you.

These programs offer a variety of experiences, from intensive research projects to introductory courses. Some programs are designed for students with no prior experience in data science, while others are more competitive and require students to have a strong foundation in math, computer science, and statistics.

A proven college admissions edge

Polygence alumni had a 90% admissions rate to R1 universities in 2023. Polygence provides high schoolers a personalized, flexible research experience proven to boost your admission odds. Get matched to a mentor now!"

In this article, we'll explore some of the top data science research opportunities for high school students, including summer programs, internships, and independent research projects. Without further to do, let's dive into the programs!

Top Data Science Research Opportunities

#1 Research Science Institute at MIT

  • Age: High school juniors only

  • Location: Cambridge, MA

  • Length of Program: 5-6 Weeks

  • Application Due: December 13, 2023, 11:59pm E.T

The Research Science Institute (RSI) is a summer program for high school students interested in pursuing careers in science and engineering. RSI students work on research projects under the guidance of experienced scientists and engineers. RSI also allows students to attend lectures and workshops at MIT on various scientific topics.

#2 Polygence

  • Age: 12+

  • Location: Remote

  • Length of Program: Varies

  • Application Due: Ongoing

Hey! It's us!

The Polygence Data Science Summer Research Program is a program for high school students who are passionate about data science. The program empowers students to work on cutting-edge research projects under the guidance of experienced mentors. Some examples of previous projects include predicting the value of a car based on images, improving basketball stats with ML, and using AI to help folks build the perfect wardrobe.

#3 Inspirit AI Scholars

  • Age: High School Students from Grades 9 to 12

  • Location: Remote

  • Length of Program: 10 session (25-hour)

  • Application Due: 

    • Winter 2023: December 15, 2023

    • Spring 2024: December 31, 2023

  • Program Fee: USD $1100

The Inspirit AI Scholars program is a summer program designed for high school students interested in Artificial Intelligence (AI). The program is entirely online and offers students the chance to enroll in AI courses taught by faculty and researchers from Stanford and MIT. Moreover, the program enables students to work collaboratively on research projects related to AI with these experts.

#4 Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes: Data Science

  • Age: High School Students from Grades 9 to 12

  • Location: Remote

  • Length of Program: 2 Weeks

  • Application Due: TBD

The Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes program is an intensive summer program for high school students interested in a single topic. The program offers students single-subject intensive study and benefits from small class sizes and academically motivated peers.

#5 DSI Summer Lab at The University of Chicago

  • Age: High School Students and Undergraduate

  • Location: Chicago, IL

  • Length of Program: 8 Weeks

  • Application Due: January 16, 2024 at 11:59pm CT

  • Program Fee: USD $4800

The DSI Summer Lab is a summer research opportunity for high school and undergraduate students focusing on rigorous, applied, interdisciplinary data science research rooted in a cohort community. The Data Science Institute Summer Lab program is an immersive 8-week paid summer research program at the University of Chicago. In the program, undergraduate students (and Chicago-area high school students) are paired with a data science mentor in various domains, including data science.

#6 AI4ALL/UW at the University of Washington

  • Age: High School Juniors, Seniors, or College Freshmen

  • Location: Seattle, WA

  • Length of Program: 20 Week

  • Application Due: TBD

  • Program Fee: Free

The program is for rising high school juniors, seniors, or first-year college students from traditionally underrepresented groups. The program is a free, 20-week data science introductory workshop. At the workshop, students will learn how to understand, analyze, interpret, and discuss real-world applications of data science and machine learning with the ultimate goal of understanding impactful technology decisions.

#7 Google Summer of Code

  • Age: 18+

  • Location: Remote

  • Length of Program: 12 Weeks

  • Application Due: January 22, 2024 - February 6, 2024

Google Summer of Code is a global, online program focused on bringing new contributors into open-source software development. GSoC Contributors work with an open-source organization on a 12+ week programming project under the guidance of mentors. GSoC also allows students to attend lectures and workshops on various open-source software topics, including data science.

#8 Veritas AI

  • Age: High School Students from Grades 9 to 12

  • Location: Remote

  • Length of Program: 10 Weeks

  • Application Due: 

    • Spring: January 14. 2024

    • Summer: April 14, 2024

Veritas AI is an AI program for high school students founded and run by Harvard graduates. The AI Scholars program teaches students the fundamentals of AI from researchers and practitioners and gives students the opportunity to build a real-world project with a group of fellow students. 

#9 Girls Who Code

  • Age: High School Students from Grades 9 to 12

  • Location: Remote

  • Length of Program: 2 or 6 Weeks (Depending on the program)

  • Application Due: Late March

Girls Who Code offers an intensive summer program where students can gain the computer science skills they need to make an impact and prepare for careers in data science. The free virtual program gives students exposure to tech jobs and meet leaders in tech careers. 

#10 NIST summer research program

  • Age: High School Juniors and Seniors

  • Location: Boulder, Co or Gaithersburg, MD

  • Length of Program: 8 Weeks

  • Application Due: February 9, 2024

NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, offers a summer high school intern program across 6 of its divisions, which can include data science opportunities. 

#11 Watron Data Science Academy

  • Age: High School Students from Grades 9 to 12

  • Location: Philadelphia, USA

  • Length of Program: 4 Weeks

  • Application Due: April 3, 2024

The Wharton Data Science Academy brings state-of-the-art machine learning and data science tools to high school students. It aims to stimulate curiosity in the fast-moving field of machine learning through this rigorous yet approachable program. Building up statistical foundations together with empirical and critical thinking skills is the central theme throughout. Students will work in teams to complete a final project. 

#12 Code connects at Columbia University

  • Age: Incoming 10th - 12th graders and college freshmen

  • Location: Remote

  • Length of Program: 5 Weeks

  • Application Due: TBD

  • Program Fee: USD $3995

This 5-week program allows students to develop data science skills and conduct research with top university faculty. Students are paired with PhD candidate mentors and have the opportunity to work on current research at Columbia.

Data Science Internships & Skill Building Opportunities

Data Science Summer Programs

Data science internships during the summer are exciting opportunities for students entirely new to the data science field. They include educational programs to introduce students to the fundamentals of data science and get them up and running quickly. Many of these experiences are offered by some of the best schools in data science and done online, making it easy to access no matter where you are located.

#1 Summer Springboard

This in-person program from the University of California, Berkeley allows students the opportunity to do a deep dive into a specific subject area with creative, dynamic instructors. Students will spend two weeks immersed on campus in a subject area, or academic track, of their choice.

  • Location: Berkeley, California 

  • Application, cost & eligibility information can be found by request.

#2 Introduction to Data Science for High School Students

This online program from Stanford University teaches students about the fundamentals of data science, including data wrangling, data visualization, and machine learning. Students will learn new skills such as preparing and wrangling datasets from both the natural and social sciences. 

  • Location: online

  • Application information and cost: linked here

  • Eligibility & selectivity: completed AP Stats and honors precalculus 

#3 GIX Tech Exploration

This exciting program at the University of Washington is unfortunately not offered this year, but is planning to make a return soon. GIX Tech Exploration is an immersive four-week summer program to explore a new area of technology in a collaborative environment. The program is perfect for the data science intern interested in technologies shaping our future. You can choose a track that is remote or in-person to best suit your needs and passions. 

  • Location: Seattle Washington

  • Application information: not held in 2024, check the website linked for future sessions

#4 Codecademy

Has flexible online tools to help students get started in data science. Taking the data science foundations course with Codecademy is very beginner-friendly and will help you learn the foundations before jumping into to an applied research program. Learn to clean, analyze, and visualize data with their online classes. 

  • Location: online

  • Application information and cost: found here

  • Eligibility & selectivity: open to anyone

#5 Data Science for High School Students from Udemy

This online program from Udemy is specifically designed for high school students to teach the fundamentals of data science, including Python, R, and machine learning. It's a great, and flexible, way to get started in data science!

  • Location: online

  • Application information and cost: linked here

  • Eligibility & selectivity: open for all

#6 Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SUMaC)

This program at Stanford welcomes high school students from around the world for intensive study in advanced mathematics. Students will be led through lectures, guided research, and group problem-solving.

Polygence Scholars Are Also Passionate About

Applying for Data Science Research Opportunities & Internships

Here are some tips for applying to data science research opportunities and internships:

  • Start your research early. Many programs have deadlines in the fall or winter, so it is crucial to start planning early.

  • Write a solid personal statement. Your personal statement should highlight your academic achievements, research interests, and career goals.

  • Get letters of recommendation from your teachers or mentors. Letters of recommendation help you stand out from other applicants.

  • Practice your interviewing skills. Many programs require applicants to interview with faculty members or researchers.

Research opportunities can be a great way to explore your interest in data science, gain valuable experience, and network with professionals in the field. If you are a high school student passionate about data science, I encourage you to apply to one of the many research opportunities available.

Related Content:

Research Focused on Your Passions

Get paired with an expert mentor and work on a research project fully customized to your interests!