Each summer thousands of high school students across the country get valuable hands-on research experience sponsored by a variety of government, academic, and nonprofit organizations.
Local students may be found working in George Mason’s Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program or in one of the two Science & Engineering Apprenticeship Programs (SEAP’s) sponsored by George Washington University, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Navy. They may also be found at NASA or one of several summer programs offered by the National Institutes of Health.
These internships provide incomparable opportunities to gain knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Students meet and interact with scientists, learn lab skills, conduct research, and possibly publish or patent findings.
Some student researchers will be given the opportunity to present their work at poster sessions or similar scientific forums where they will gain self-confidence, hone writing skills, and potentially earn credentials important to colleges and universities as well as future employers. They also lay the groundwork for admission to post graduate studies in medical schools or PhD programs.
And many students will also be able to turn their summer experiences into competitive science projects and vie for hundreds of thousands in scholarship dollars offered annually by organizations supporting the goals of STEM education:
- Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology. Since 1998, the Siemens Foundation, has provided young scientists with opportunities to win scholarships ranging up to $100,000 for original research in team and individual categories. Registration is now open for the 2013 competition, and the deadline for entries is Monday, September 30, 2013.
- Intel Science Talent Search. The Intel STS invites the nation’s best and brightest young scientists to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists. Open only to high school seniors, 40 finalists are selected to come to Washington DC and compete for the top award of $100,000. This year’s competition is also now open, with all parts of the application due on November 13, 2013.
- National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Individual students compete for scholarships and recognition by presenting the results of their original research before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers. Regional scholarships as well as seven national top awards of up to $12,000 and an all-expense paid trip to London are among the prizes available.
- Davidson Fellows. This prestigious scholarship annually awards up to $50,000 to students, 18 and under, who have completed a “significant” piece of work in one of seven categories including Mathematics, Science, Literature, Music, Technology, Philosophy, and Outside the Box. The Davidson Fellows application material submission link will open sometime during the summer of 2013.
- Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, providing an annual forum for over 1,500 high school students from countries all over the world who compete for over $3 million in awards. Competition begins at the high school level and culminates at the International Science and Engineering Fair which will be held May 11-16, 2014, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
- International BioGENEius Challenge. This competition is designed to recognize outstanding research in biotechnology. Finalists showcase their talent and research before a prestigious panel of expert biotech judges and have the opportunity to win up to $7,500 in cash awards.
- Google Science Fair. Beginning with online submissions, this competition invites young scientists from all over the world to compete for up to $50,000 in scholarships as well as a trip to the Galapagos Islands sponsored by National Geographic. Finalists are invited to Google Headquarters to present their projects before expert judges. Although this year’s competition is over, Google is already putting together a mailing list for Google Science Fair 2014.
- DuPont Challenge. This competition is designed for science students at least 13 years of age who can craft an original 700 to 1000 word science-related essay. Students are judged on their ideas, as well as on writing style, organization, style and creativity, as well as voice.
- ExploraVision. Jointly sponsored by Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), ExploraVision encourages collaboration by restricting the competition to group projects. Although all participants win gifts and discounts, the top four teams receive US Savings Bonds worth $10,000 for each student. All projects must be received by January 30, 2014.
- Proton OnSite. Worth up to $100,000, this scholarship recognizes high school seniors who demonstrate outstanding achievement and have a promising hydrogen-related business idea. All three 2013 winners were current high school students, and only 650 applicants competed last year for $200,000 in scholarships.
The opportunities are pretty amazing for high school students willing to trade time at the pool for time in a lab!