9 Summer Internships for High Schoolers

So you’re already thinking about colleges, maybe even submitting applications, getting recommendations, and dealing with all the other craziness high school throws at you! The question is, what are you going to do this coming summer? Stellar news: there are so many totally fantastic internships out there that can help you gain experience, knowledge, and a very nice résumé bump even while you’re still a pre-collegiette!

1. New York Historical Society

Location: New York, New York
Unpaid/Paid: Unpaid
Deadline: May 17, 2013
Requirements: Must be a sophomore, junior, or senior in a tri-state area high school.
Application Materials: An application form and a recommendation form (both found here!) should be emailed to [email protected].

Fun fact: the New York Historical Society is the oldest museum in New York! This beautiful institution doesn’t just possess a snazzy title; it is also “dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and [leading] public programs” that illustrate just how important history and culture were and are to society, according to its website.

Live in the tri-state area and want to feel like you’re contributing to an important piece of living history? Check out the New York Historical Society’s High School Internship program. The internship offers so many opportunities: diving into research, visiting other New York-area museums, helping facilitate discussion amongst visitors, talking to museum experts, and contributing to the Student Historian blog.

2. NASA Goddard

Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Unpaid/Paid: Depends on program (the National Space Club Scholars Program has a stipend)
Deadline: March 15, 2013
Requirements: At least 16 years old; minimum 3.0 GPA (unweighted); knowledge of computer applications is essential (may vary from program to program)
Application Materials: Register with NASA’s OSSI internship database to fill out the application.

What kid didn’t want to be an astronaut during elementary school? Make your childhood dreams come true as a high school student and apply for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center High School Internship Program or the National Space Club Scholars Program this summer! You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the infinite number of applications the STEM fields have, not mention you’ll have a splendid time meeting other space- and STEM-minded students.

NASA also offers a slew of other high school summer internships all across the U.S. that you should definitely have a look at! One example? The Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio offers a paid eight-week internship where students partner with a mentor to learn about research, presentation skills, and possible STEM careers.

Overall, how do you know you’ll have a unique summer at NASA? Vault Internships put NASA on their list of Most Unusual Internship Experiences in 2011.

3. DoSomething

Location: New York, New York
Unpaid/Paid: Unpaid
Deadline: April 19, 2013
Requirements: Ability to commute to the New York office; ability to work well alone and with others; passionate about youth changing the world.
Application Materials: Check out the high school internships available and fill out the information accordingly.

DoSomething, the country’s largest non-profit specifically geared towards youth-driven social change, is a great opportunity no matter what field you want to pursue. Another great summer internship find, the Do Something High School Internship combines a “super fun and positive work environment” (dosomething.org) with stellar non-profit creds. It’ll not only add to your résumé, but also help you think more about giving back to the rest of the community and the world. Another plus: the Do Something team loves a good bake-off (interns versus full-time staff, of course).

4. Brainscape

Location: Virtual
Unpaid/Paid: Unpaid
Deadline: Rolling
Requirements: None.
Application Materials: Send your name, school, location, year, and a brief statement about why you want to be a Brainscape Student Intern to [email protected].

The Brainscape’s website boasts that the company is an “adaptive web and mobile education platform designed to help you learn faster.” Through its virtual high school internship program (woohoo, working in your PJs!), you not only learn how to improve your own memory and learning techniques but also gain extremely valuable professional experience. Don’t be fooled by the idea of “virtual interning”; this internship gives you a whole range of opportunities: blogging, emailing with professionals and experts, working with social media, and networking.

5. Adler Planetarium

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Unpaid/Paid: Paid ($8.25/hr, 25 hrs/wk)
Deadline: April 5, 2013
Requirements: Must be able to put in 25 hours per week for 8 weeks during the summer.
Application Materials: Fill out the application here.

Live in the Chicago area and looking for a more unconventional STEM-related internship? The Adler Planetarium High School Internship Program may be right up your alley! This program combines professional skills (working with digital media, networking, and meeting with different groups) with every part of the museum from Show Design to Public Programs. Interns also come together to plan the Community Bash to showcase their work to friends, family, and the entire Chicago community. Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s PAID?

Lily is a member of Wesleyan University's class of 2016, where she double majored in government and sociology. She's a writer, editor, and social media manager, as well as co-founder of The Prospect (www.theprospect.net), the world’s largest student-run college access organization. In addition to her work with Her Campus, she also serves in editorial roles at HelloFlo and The Muse.

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