Research and Summer Programs in Massachusetts For High School Students

MIT research opportunity

Research Opportunities for High School Students in Massachusetts

The top research programs in Massachusetts for high school students, selected based on prestige, location, and affordability. See research opportunities in other states here.

Institution
Location
Tuition
Event type

Hosting Institution

Polygence

Online/In Person

Online

Location

Online

Cost

Starting at $2695

Application Deadline

Jul 15, 2024

Categories

Neuroscience, Biology, Psychol...

Summary

Polygence is an online research program designed to offer high school students accessible research opportunities, making them more inclusive. The program was created by researchers from Harvard, MIT, and Stanford and provides tailored research projects, allowing students to explore their interests, acquire professional skills, and increase their competitiveness for college admissions.

Summer Science and Engineering Program

See website

Hosting Institution

Smith College

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Northampton (MA)

Cost

$8,082

Application Deadline

Mar 5, 2024

Categories

Engineering

Summary

SSEP's research courses focus on active learning by doing, rather than passive listening and observing. Students have the option to select two-week research courses where they collaborate in small groups with Smith faculty members and undergraduate interns. Through informal lectures both in the lab and in the field, students are encouraged to ask research questions and conduct actual experiments. The majority of the work is carried out through teamwork, but there are also opportunities for individual contributions. By participating in SSEP, students learn about the process of formulating research questions, working with sophisticated scientific instruments, and developing critical thinking and analytical skills.

Secondary School Program

See website

Hosting Institution

Harvard University

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

$3,900-$14,250

Application Deadline

Apr 10, 2024

Categories

Neuroscience

Summary

Harvard Summer School's Secondary School program is a rigorous seven-week academic program intended for highly motivated high school students who aspire to excel in college courses and earn college credits. The program offers a range of courses to choose from, including Neuroinvesting: Neuroscience and Financial Decision Making, Mind and Brain: Themes in the History of Neuroscience, and Becoming a Brain Scientist: Neuroscience and Psychology Research, among others.

Northeastern Young Scholar’s Program (YSP)

See website

Hosting Institution

Northeastern University

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Boston (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

Mar 15, 2024

Categories

Data Science

Summary

The Northeastern University Research Experience for High School Students is a program designed to offer rising senior students from Massachusetts hands-on research opportunities. Participants will collaborate with experienced faculty members from Northeastern University's Colleges of Engineering, Science, and Health Sciences, engaging in various research projects. Although the specific projects for this year are yet to be determined, they may encompass fields such as bioengineering and artificial intelligence. In addition to research experience, the program provides valuable education and career counseling, allowing students to explore college life, partake in field trips, and attend seminars on engineering and career exploration. This comprehensive program aims to inspire and prepare students for future academic and professional pursuits in science and engineering.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Radar Introduction for Student Engineers

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

Mar 6, 2024

Categories

Data Science

Summary

If you have a specific interest in radar systems and want to gain hands-on experience in this field, MIT's Lincoln Laboratory Radar Introduction for Student Engineers (LLRISE) program is a great opportunity for you. This program, held in July, focuses on teaching participants how to build small radar systems, including Doppler and range radar. You will have the chance to work closely with highly talented scientists and engineers who will provide guidance and support throughout the workshop. The program takes place at two locations: the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA and the Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA. By participating in LLRISE, you will gain valuable knowledge and practical skills in radar systems, preparing you for further studies or a career in this specialized area of engineering.

The Research Science Institute (RSI)

See website

Hosting Institution

MIT

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

$30-$65

Application Deadline

Dec 13, 2023

Categories

Data Science

Summary

This unique summer program, held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the first of its kind to be completely free of charge. Students participating in this program have the opportunity to delve into the realms of science and engineering, gaining hands-on experience in the entire research process. Spanning seven weeks, the program includes attending classes led by renowned professors, engaging in a five-week research internship, and culminating in the preparation and delivery of written and oral presentations to showcase their research findings.

Research Science Institute (RSI)

See website

Hosting Institution

RSI

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

McLean (VA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

Dec 13, 2023

Categories

Data Science

Summary

RSI (Research Science Institute) is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and competitive research programs available for high school students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. This exclusive program takes place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and accepts approximately 80 students each year. During their participation in RSI, students have the opportunity to collaborate with accomplished researchers based in Boston on independent research projects. At the conclusion of the program, students showcase their research findings to the wider community in a conference-style setting. This allows them to share their discoveries and insights with peers, mentors, and other interested individuals. The level of competition for admission to RSI is exceptionally high. For instance, in 2019, the program received around 1,600 applications for just 80 available spots, resulting in an acceptance rate of approximately 5%. This competitive acceptance rate underscores the program's selective nature and the caliber of students it attracts.

Mathroots

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

Mar 1, 2024

Categories

Mathematics

Summary

Mathroots, a 14-day summer program hosted by MIT-PRIMES, is an exceptional opportunity for high school students from underrepresented backgrounds or underserved communities who have a passion for mathematics. This program offers a creative and immersive experience where students can explore various topics in the field. Led by a team of experienced instructors, the program includes classes, group sessions, and lectures that cover both research and competition math. By participating in Mathroots, students can develop their problem-solving skills, expand their mathematical knowledge, and gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Whether you are interested in pursuing advanced math or simply want to explore creative mathematical ideas, Mathroots provides a supportive and engaging environment for growth and exploration.

SEA Summer High School Programs

See website

Hosting Institution

Sea Education Association

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Woods Hole (MA)

Cost

$8,250-$22,875

Application Deadline

Mar 1, 2024

Categories

Biology, Comp Sci, Social Scie...

Summary

SEA offers unique summer high school programs for current high school students as well as graduating seniors. Choose from a shore-based field program on our campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on beautiful Cape Cod, or an at-sea voyage aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer with a focus on oceanographic research under sail. At SEA, there’s an adventure with a purpose waiting for every student interested in exploring the marine environment through hands-on, experiential, and community-based learning!

MIT’s Women’s Technology Program

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Comp Sci

Summary

This program is specifically centered around empowering women. To be eligible, applicants should be high school juniors or seniors. It offers a 4-week immersive summer experience, combining academics and residence, catered to 60 female high school students. The focus of the program is to delve into engineering through interactive classes led by female MIT graduate students, laboratory sessions, and collaborative team projects. Participants can choose to concentrate on either Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) or Mechanical Engineering (ME). The aim is to provide hands-on learning opportunities and foster a supportive environment for young women interested in pursuing engineering disciplines.

MITES Summer

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Mathematics

Summary

MITES Summer is indeed a highly prestigious and competitive program offered by MIT, aimed at promoting diversity in STEM fields. The program provides a unique opportunity for talented high school students to engage in rigorous academic coursework in mathematics, science, and humanities. Participants not only benefit from in-depth learning experiences but also gain exposure to cutting-edge research through lab tours and social events. Additionally, MITES Summer offers valuable college admissions counseling and a chance to immerse oneself in the vibrant campus life of MIT. This program fosters a supportive community of like-minded peers, encouraging networking and collaboration. Students can expect a challenging yet rewarding summer experience that prepares them for future academic and career pursuits in STEM.

MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Data Science

Summary

The MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute is set to provide academically motivated high school students with a range of virtual project-based courses. While these courses cover diverse engineering concepts such as Embedded Security and Hardware Hacking and Serious Game Development with AI, there are specific options available for students interested in aerospace engineering. These include the Autonomous Air Vehicle Racing and Remote Sensing for Disaster Response courses. The program offers a comprehensive experience with classes scheduled from 10 am to 6 pm EDT on weekdays, incorporating a blend of lectures, labs, and office hours. Participating students will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning, collaborate on projects, and deepen their understanding of aerospace engineering concepts. The MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute presents an exciting avenue for high school students to explore their passion for engineering in a dynamic virtual learning environment.

MIT Introduction to Technology, Engineering, and Science (MITES)

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Data Science

Summary

During the 6-week program, high school students will engage in a full day of activities, including classes, workshops, guest speaker sessions, and tours, covering a wide range of subjects in STEM and humanities. Students will have the opportunity to explore elective courses, where they can work on specialized projects such as engineering design or machine learning. These projects allow students to apply their knowledge and skills in a practical setting, fostering creativity and problem-solving abilities. The program culminates in a final symposium, where students present their projects to the broader MIT community, showcasing their achievements and sharing their insights and findings. This immersive experience provides a valuable opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of various disciplines, collaborate with like-minded peers, and gain exposure to the vibrant academic community at MIT.

MIT Introduction to Technology, Engineering, and Science (MITES) Summer

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Data Science

Summary

MITES (Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science) is indeed an exceptional program designed to provide students from minority communities with exposure to STEM fields and a taste of college life at MIT. The program's six-week duration allows participants to engage in a rigorous academic curriculum encompassing subjects such as math, life sciences, physics, and humanities, providing a well-rounded education. Additionally, students have the opportunity to choose an elective course based on their interests. MITES goes beyond academics by offering insights into various STEM professions, fostering social interactions through organized events, and providing a firsthand experience of the vibrant campus community at MIT. As the program concludes, participants receive valuable written evaluations from their instructors, offering feedback and recognizing their achievements. For students interested in exploring other summer programs at MIT, the provided link offers a comprehensive list of available opportunities.

MIT Think Scholars Program

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Data Science

Summary

THINK is a unique program designed for students who have a passion for research and are in the early stages of developing a project. Unlike other programs that require a completed research project, THINK welcomes applicants who have extensively researched the background of a potential project and are seeking additional guidance to further their work. The program is organized by a group of undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), known for their expertise in various fields. Through THINK, students have the opportunity to receive mentorship, guidance, and resources to refine their research ideas and gain valuable insights into the research process. It provides a supportive environment for students to explore their academic interests and develop their research skills under the guidance of experienced mentors from MIT.

MIT's Beaver Works Institute

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

$5,000

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Engineering

Summary

The Beaver Works Institute at MIT offers a highly rigorous and renowned STEM program that encompasses a range of courses, including the exciting mechanical engineering-focused course, "Build a Cubesat." This four-week program immerses students in the process of designing, building, testing, and flying a Cubesat, a small satellite used for space missions. Through a combination of online sessions and hands-on work in the lab, students will engage in design trades, assembly, and testing of the space system. The course provides a unique opportunity to gain practical experience in developing systems for space, allowing students to apply their mechanical engineering skills in a real-world context. By participating in "Build a Cubesat," students will not only enhance their technical knowledge but also develop invaluable problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking abilities necessary for success in the field of space engineering.

MIT's Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES)

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Engineering

Summary

MITES Summer is an exceptional six-week program hosted by MIT, specifically designed for rising high school seniors who possess a keen interest in science or engineering. The program is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity in STEM fields, prioritizing students from underrepresented backgrounds. Throughout MITES, students engage in a transformative learning experience that includes rigorous coursework, hands-on lab experiments, and the exploration of various career paths in science and engineering. Additionally, participants benefit from college admissions counseling, equipping them with invaluable guidance as they navigate the application process. To deepen their understanding of mechanical engineering, students have the opportunity to work on exciting projects involving robotics, thermodynamics, and design thinking. Furthermore, at the conclusion of the program, each student receives a comprehensive written evaluation from their instructor, which can serve as a valuable supplemental material for college applications. MITES Summer empowers students, fosters their passion for STEM, and prepares them for future academic and professional success in the field of science and engineering.

MIT’s THINK Scholar Program

See website

Hosting Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Online/In Person

In Person

Location

Cambridge (MA)

Cost

Free

Application Deadline

No deadline

Categories

Engineering

Summary

THINK, organized by a group of undergraduates at MIT, offers a unique opportunity for high school students who have extensively researched a potential project but seek additional guidance in its early stages. Unlike programs that require completed research projects, THINK focuses on providing support and mentorship to students as they develop their research proposals. The program welcomes proposals in various fields, including science, technology, engineering, green technologies, and practical software applications. If you have prior experience in research and are seeking a program that can further enhance your project and provide valuable guidance, THINK is an excellent fit. This program empowers students to refine their research skills, receive mentorship from experienced undergraduates, and make progress on their projects in a supportive environment.

Are there many Research Opportunities for High School Students in the state of Massachusetts?

Consistently ranked at or near the top of U.S. News & World Report's Best States list, Massachusetts is home to some of the world's leading hospitals, educational institutions and one of the strongest economies in the nation, giving residents an exceptionally high quality of life. While a number of the top universities in Massachusetts have the advantage of being located in or close to the thriving city of Boston, a few are found further out in smaller cities. The state’s two top universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, are both located in the city of Cambridge, just a short drive from Boston.

What other research opportunities are available?

For a full set of research opportunity listings, see our guide to research opportunities for high school students.

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