By Caleb Taran
As a high school student interested in STEM, there are many ways to get involved in this growing and exciting field. Mathematics competitions, coding programs, extracurricular activities, you name it. But despite your logic-loving brain, knowing where to start, where to go, and how to navigate the big world of science, technology, engineering, and math can be very confusing. That’s why investing time into a mentorship program is essential. Made up of people who know the field and can help you understand it, the top five STEM mentorship programs for high school students are here.
This impressively wide-ranged NYC Science Research and Mentoring Consortium program, covered on the BBC and other major news outlets, is a partnership between various math and science-related institutions dedicated to giving high school students interested in STEM various unforgettable educational opportunities. Many teachers and students from New York City are involved. If you live around that area, this may be an opportunity you’d like to pursue. Interested students who contact the program can be connected with alums to learn more.
Organized by the Sea Research Foundation (a nonprofit dedicated to environmental conservation and youth education), this STEM mentorship experience aims to develop academic and social development in students from grade 6 to grade 10. Students will take part in hands-on activities and weekly group mentoring sessions. The mentorship program is available in over twenty states (plus Puerto Rico) to be available to as many inquisitive young minds as possible. Check the map on their website to see if they’re near you.
HOPP (Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program) is a summer program for high schoolers interested in the study of tumors and the practical applications of such studies. HOPP is a chance to gain direct experience in laboratory work, go on tours of the labs, and build valuable knowledge about the medical field. While applications for the summer 2023 session are now closed, there are always future summers to look forward to. At the end of the program, students will get something valuable to add to their resume and a financial stipend.
Set at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this program is specifically for women entering their senior year of high school. It is described as perfect for students who excel at math and science but have yet to gain experience in engineering. While it’s free to apply and attend, it is exclusively in person at MIT, so you must be nearby. This is a great way to get your foot in the door to the world of mechanical engineering, and it will look great on college applications the following year.
The Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program (SIMR for short) is an exciting summer internship for rising juniors and seniors at Stanford University. Throughout the summer, students will come into contact with, work alongside, and learn from postdoctoral fellows and Stanford University faculty. Together you will gain exposure to the practices of academia and the field of biomedical sciences. At the end of the session, small teams of students will present their research findings on a poster board, fostering the social ties necessary for scientific growth.
Another way to find top STEM mentorship programs for high school students is by looking into the National STEM Honor Society, an organization dedicated to fostering a lifelong love of science, technology, engineering, and math in students of all ages. Through NSTEM, you can discover even more mentorship programs and opportunities that will help you in your educational journey. Consider joining or starting an NSTEM chapter at your school if one already doesn’t exist.
Do you want more resources on the topic of STEM mentorship programs for high school students? NSTEM’s vast resources database provides thousands of searchable STEM resources by category, school level, and state. This comprehensive library includes info on enrichment activities, curricula, internships, scholarships, and more. Check out a free sampling here. Or get an NSTEM membership today to unlock the complete list.
Project-based learning enrichment provides high school students with college and career readiness. It gives them real-world relevance, transforming students into collaborators and imaginative problem solvers. They will gain the upper hand in a global landscape, stemming from enhanced confidence and grit. NSTEM provides these young STEM enthusiasts with a close community of like-minded fellow students and educators. To start your 9-12 Chapter of the National STEM Honor Society, click here.