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7 Best Engineering Research Opportunities for High Schoolers

5 minute read

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Engineering research opportunities for high schoolers provide a unique chance to explore hands-on scientific investigations within the field of engineering. By participating in engineering research, high school students can collaborate with experienced professionals, conduct experiments, analyze data, and develop innovative solutions to real-world challenges. These programs also allow high schoolers to gain valuable insights about their passions and what they’re interested in.

In this blog post, we dive into some of the best engineering research opportunities and internships for high schoolers!


Hosting institution: Columbia University

Location: New York, NY

Deadline: Application for Summer 2024 opens on December 15th

Cost: $4,900

In this program, students choose a subject and participate in a college-level engineering course. These topics range from electrical engineering and biomedical engineering to autonomous driving and advanced computer science. The program offers a great variety of options during its 3-week session and is also a great opportunity to explore New York City. Columbia University students assist with the program.

2. Engineering Summer Academy at Penn (ESAP)

Hosting institution: UPenn Engineering

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Deadline: April 7th 

Cost: $8,085

The program is designed to help motivated high school students explore Engineering at the college level. Participants enroll in one of 6 classes: Biotechnology, Complex Networks, Computer Graphics, Computer Science, Nanotechnology, and Robotics.

ESAP is explicitly advertised as a very selective program, and the application requirements are quite demanding, including letters of recommendation, short essays, and transcripts. There is also certainly a high price tag for the program, but it’s well suited for high school students who are extremely excited about engineering. If that’s you, then definitely apply!

3. My Introduction to Engineering (MITE)

Hosting institution: University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering

Location: Austin, Texas

Deadline: Summer 2024 opens in early March 2024

Cost: $80

A much more affordable option, the MITE program is a five day camp for current high school juniors. Students learn engineering through an engineering team project and by interacting with staff and current engineering students. The opportunity to interact with experts in the engineering field as well as current students is definitely a great plus of the program. Eligibility for the program includes transcript details as well as specific standardized testing scores.

4. Laboratory Learning Program

Hosting institution: Princeton University

Location: Princeton, NJ

Deadline: Application open from February 15th - March 15th

Cost: Free

The Laboratory Learning Program is a full-time research experience where students are included in ongoing research that are supervised by Princeton faculty. Each research project will have its own schedule but typically the projects last 5-6 weeks.

The downside of the program is that housing and transportation is not included, but the opportunity to work on ongoing Princeton research is definitely exciting!

Develop your own engineering project through research

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5. HighTech Bound

Hosting institution: University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory

Location: Durham, NH

Deadline: Open January 1st - February 28th

Cost: Free (paid internship)

For high school students entering their senior year, this program offers students the opportunity to learn about network technologies. Students work in a computer laboratory and learn about the latest technologies and software, such as smart cars and internet connected devices. HighTech Bound also offers potential employment opportunities after the program, which is a great perk that isn’t found in many of these engineering opportunities for high schoolers.

6. Summer STEM

Hosting institution: The Cooper Union, Albert Nerken School of Engineering

Location: New York, NY

Deadline: N/A

Cost: 3 week class: $1,950; 6 week class: $3,995

This program offers introductory and advanced design and engineering classes for high school freshmen and above. Whether it’s a student’s first exposure to engineering or something they want to dive deeper into, this is a great learning opportunity. The classes are equivalent to what Cooper Union college students take in their first and second year, you’ll be getting a true college course experience as a high schooler.

7. In Person Program

Hosting institution: BlueStamp Engineering

Location: San Jose, CA or remote (via Zoom)

Deadline: Applications open from December to May

Cost: $4,900 for in-person; $2,200 for remote

In contrast to most of the opportunities in this list, BlueStamp Engineering’s programs are independent of a university or large corporation. The In Person Program offers hands-on engineering experience where students get to create tech projects from scratch, such as hovercrafts and self-driving cars. During the program, students also keep track of their engineering project journey through documentation and milestone videos. This allows students to build a unique online portfolio.

The program is well-recognized and offers high school students a great opportunity to produce something that they might have always wanted to build.

Making the Most of Your Engineering Research

Once you’ve participated in any of these valuable programs, you’ll want to think about what you gained from the experience and the skills you developed. Learn more about the  importance of showcasing your research on college applications.

Middle and high school students can also create their own engineering research project opportunity. Polygence has many engineering research mentors who are available to provide students with guidance and support along the way.

Do Your Own Research Through Polygence

Your passion can be your college admissions edge! Polygence provides high schoolers a personalized, flexible research experience proven to boost your admission odds. Get matched to a mentor now!"

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