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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

10 Engineering Internships for High School Students

Why do internships in high school?

Before we jump into a long list of engineering internships for high school students, it is important to understand why these opportunities could matter for your future. According to PRISM, a consultancy, 70% of students attending a US News top 50 University have completed at least one internship while in high school. These opportunities serve as a way to distinguish yourself in the admissions process by showing that you have gone out and verified your future goals through experience. Doing internships will help you enter college with a clearer idea of the professional environments you enjoy or don’t enjoy, which will make it easier for you to recruit into a job you love after graduation. Students who have done at least one internship in high school also typically have an easier time recruiting into college internships and pre-professional organizations such as finance or pre-law clubs.

How to Find Engineering Internships for High School Students

The best way to find engineering internships for high school students is through online search tools and lists. The StandOutSearch database provides the largest free resource that lists almost every internship program for the high school age group and allows you to search by interest area. MIT Admissions also provides a helpful list of High School Internships

However, official programs tend to be very competitive, so if you are serious about finding a summer internship in high school, you should also prepare a cold outreach strategy. You can read more about how to form a cold outreach strategy to find a high school internship at the end of this article. We also include email templates to make finding an internship or research position through cold outreach less daunting.

10 Engineering Internships for High School Students

Most of the engineering internships for high school students below have an acceptance rate of 20% or lower, given that there are many more high school students looking for internships relative to official programs that provide them. We recommend choosing at least five opportunities to apply to. If you see an opportunity that excites you, take a moment to write the deadline on your calendar!

  • Ages: 15-19

  • Location: Virtual 

  • Timeline: Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter

  • Deadline: Various Deadlines

StandOut Connect is a program created thanks to investment from UChicago’s Polsky Center for Innovation that matches high school students with internships in their interest area. Students interview with potential mentors who are leaders and innovators within their area of interest until they are hired for a two-month internship. Many students then receive optional return offers to continue with their internship for as long as they would like.

  • Ages: Juniors 

  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: TBD

Each summer, 100 of the world's most accomplished high school students gather at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the Research Science Institute (RSI). RSI is the first cost-free summer science & engineering program to combine on-campus coursework in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research. Participants experience the entire research cycle from start to finish. They read the most current literature in their field, execute a detailed research plan, and deliver conference-style oral and written reports on their findings. RSI scholars first participate in a week of intensive STEM classes with accomplished professors.


  • Ages: 16 - 18

  • Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: May 1

Rising seniors will work in University of Minnesota’s laboratories for a 6 week internship. The first two weeks will be an introductory module; then they will spend 4 weeks working in an assigned lab for 20 hours a week, 4 days a week.

  • Ages: Rising Seniors

  • Location: Durham, New Hampshire

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: End of February

Interns will work in the University of New Hampshire’s computer lab with dedicated mentors who will guide them through an exciting summer, working on a team to create a solution for an assigned project. Interns will get to work with the latest technologies in software and hardware projects that are used in well-known companies such as Apple, Dell, and Cisco. Interns will have the opportunity to research solutions, make new friends from around the country, and contribute to a tech project that will be used for years.

  • Ages: 16 or older

  • Location: Washington, DC

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: TBD

The Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) places high school students in Department of Navy (DoN) laboratories, where they take part in real Naval research for eight weeks during the summer. SEAP gives academically talented sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in STEM the opportunity to learn about Naval research and technology while receiving first-class mentoring by top scientists and engineers. SEAP is a competitive program with around 300 placements in more than 38 laboratories around the country, and many participants go on to careers within the DoN. Interns are selected based upon academic achievement, personal statements, recommendations, and career and research interests.


  • Ages: Sophomore - Senior

  • Location: Batavia, Illinois

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: End of January

QuarkNet offers summer research opportunities in science and technology for students who have demonstrated a strong interest in and aptitude for science and mathematics. Students work with scientists for seven weeks on projects related to the Fermilab research program.

  • Ages: 14 - 17

  • Location: Salt Lake City, UT

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: January

Participants will learn how to conduct academic research, discover different types of engineering, and have the chance to create a project for the Utah Science & Engineering Fair. Students will also participate in workshops focused on subjects like ethics in research, how to write for science, conversations with alumni, and many other interesting topics.

  • Ages: 16-17

  • Location: Missouri

  • Timeline: All year

  • Deadline: Contact for Deadline

The Missouri Innovation Campus program is an applied, hands-on program. During their time in The MIC program, students complete a three-year, paid internship with one of The MIC’s industry leading corporate partners, and work with professional mentors to gain job ready skills. By completing these internships alongside a curriculum developed in part by MIC’s corporate partners, MIC students are positioned to enter the workplace with the necessary skills and experience to excel in their chosen careers.

  • Ages: 16 - 18

  • Location: Various Locations

  • Timeline: All year

  • Deadline: Various Deadlines

NASA Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM) paid internships allow high school and college-level students to contribute to agency projects under the guidance of a NASA mentor.

  • Ages: 15 - 18

  • Location: Southern California

  • Timeline: All year

  • Deadline: April 14

The Discovery Cube offers a Teen Volunteer Program in both Orange County and Los Angeles for high school students interested in STEM fields. Participants will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, develop leadership skills, and engage with the museum's visitors through interactive exhibits and educational programs.

Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships 

If the opportunities listed above don’t turn out to be a fit, the next step to finding engineering internships for high school students is to launch a cold outreach strategy. This may seem intimidating at first, but the guide below should make it much more simple. As an added note, please exercise caution when reaching out to professionals you don’t know. It is always safest to interview or meet virtually. 

How to Find Companies to Reach Out to for a High School Internship 

Use LinkedIn to find small companies where you can help with skills such as social media, coding, content/grant writing, or graphic design. Smaller companies that need more hands on deck will be the most likely to hire high-school-aged students. Try to find personal connections with the professionals you reach out to, such as being from the same state originally or liking the same sports team. 

How to Find Professors to Reach Out to for a High School Research Position 

You can use online university staff directories to find professors to reach out to for research positions. Note that if you are looking for a remote research position with a professor, you should be aware that these opportunities tend to be harder to come by. Professors typically have high school students help with more manual laboratory tasks such as washing beakers or running equipment and usually do not have very much use for interns at a high school education level within a remote setting. The exception is if you are doing computational research, which generally requires introductory knowledge of Python or R to parse large datasets. You should be able to learn Python or R on your own for free within a few months using resources such as Coursera’s R Programming Course or Python for Everybody.

How to Structure and Send Outreach Emails 

For a successful cold-outreach strategy, aim to send at least 50 emails to potential internship providers. Be sure to include a link to your resume, which should be no more than one page while you are in high school. UChicago provides a helpful free resume template and guide. We recommend including your resume as a Google Drive link because including it as a PDF will sometimes negatively impact the deliverability of your email. However, be sure to check that the sharing settings on the document allow anyone with the link to view its contents. It can also be a good idea to include work samples in your resume, such as the link to a website you designed, a social media account you manage, or your GitHub profile. 

Email Template for Finding a High School Internship 

If you are unsure how to structure your outreach emails to potential internship providers, here are some basic templates you can customize to your needs. 

Template for Finding an Internship

Subject: Student Reaching Out

Dear Mr./Ms.____,

I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I read about your company on LinkedIn and found the concept quite interesting. For context, [briefly state how the company relates to your interests or experience]. 

I was wondering if you might be looking for interns. I know I would have a great deal to learn from working with you, and I would love to contribute in any way I can. I have included my resume here. Thanks so much!


[Your name]

Template for Finding a Research Position

Subject: Student Reaching Out

Dear Professor/Dr. ____,

I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I recently read your paper on [restate the abstract] in [name of publication] and was quite intrigued by [part you found interesting]. I was wondering if I might be able to intern for you over this summer. [Elaborate on your relevant skills and experience and why you are passionate about the field]. 

I have included my resume here. Thanks so much! 


[Your name]

Engineering Internships for High School Students
Engineering Internships for High School Students


Whether you are applying to established programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the name of the game when looking for a high school internship or research position is perseverance. These opportunities can be extremely difficult to secure, but most high school students find it worth it in the end to get a head start on building their careers. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to save it for later or share it with a friend. Good luck on your internship search journey!


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