Guide to STEM High School Internships in Massachusetts

Internships are not just for college students anymore. High school internships allow students to explore their areas of interest, build skills, get prepared for college, and gain real-world work experience in a professional environment. And STEM fields are well worth exploring: STEM jobs are expected to account for 25% of the total employment growth in the Commonwealth over the next ten years. Doing an internship can help a student validate and deepen a career interest, discover new possibilities, or eliminate one from their list, all of which are valuable experiences.

We are fortunate to have access to a wide variety of established STEM internship programs for high school students in Massachusetts, many offered during the summer. Some are paid or come with stipends, while others are unpaid, and in some cases, placement may incur a fee. Be sure to look into the details carefully by reading their websites and contacting them for additional information.

science student working in a lab

What’s available?

The following list includes many well-known programs in medical and healthcare, biotech, research, lab training, IT, and other areas of science and engineering. This is not an exhaustive list, so if you have an interest or a geographical preference that isn’t represented here, use the resources at the end of this article to research and discover other internships. 

A note on internship eligibility

Not surprisingly, most internship programs have some criteria for inclusion, and most have an application you will need to complete. You should first make sure you’re eligible and then demonstrate your eligibility in the application. Understanding the eligibility criteria for each program is important! Be sure to read them carefully. You’ll save yourself time by making sure you’re eligible, so you don’t apply to programs that you’re not eligible for. And you may have a better chance of obtaining an internship if you have special eligibility characteristics.

Massachusetts STEM internship and research programs

OrganizationProgramLocationFocusTime Frame
Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP)AEOP High School ApprenticeshipVarious locationsScience and engineering researchSummer
BioBuilderHigh School Apprentice ChallengeBostonLaboratory training and life sciencesSchool year
Boston Private Industry Council (PIC)Tech ApprenticeBoston Information Technology (IT)Summer
Boston UniversityGreater Boston Area Research Opportunities for Young Women (GROW)BostonLab researchSummer
Boston UniversityRISE Internship/PracticumBostonHands-on research in science and engineeringSummer
Brigham and Women’s HospitalResearch OpportunitiesBostonHealthcare, science and medicineSummer or school year
Broad InstituteBroad Summer Scholars ProgramCambridgeCutting-edge science researchSummer
Center for Excellence in EducationResearch Science InstituteCambridgeScience, engineering and researchSummer
Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center CUREBoston Cancer researchSummer and school year
ADA Forsyth Student Scholars Summer Internship ProgramSomervilleLab techniques and scientific researchSummer
The Jackson LaboratorySummer Student ProgramBar Harbor, Maine & Farmington, CTGenetics and genomic researchSummer
LEAH Knox ScholarsLEAH Knox Scholars Program
CambridgeBiomedical research and lab scienceSummer
Massachusetts Life Sciences CenterHigh School Apprenticeship ChallengeMALife sciences and lab trainingSummer and school year
MIT Lincoln LaboratorySummer High School Internship ProgramLexingtonSTEM career explorationSummer
Museum of ScienceSummer Youth Internship ProgramBostonScience and educationSummer
New England AquariumSummer Teen InternshipsBostonMarine and climate scienceSummer
Northeastern UniversityYoung Scholars' Program (YSP)BostonEngineering, science and researchSummer
Ragon InstituteRagon Institute Summer Experience (RISE)CambridgeMedical research and immunologySummer
Tufts University Tufts University Biomedical Engineering Research Scholars (TUBERS)MedfordBiomedical research and engineeringSummer
UMass Chan Medical SchoolHigh School Health Careers Program (HSHCP)WorcesterBiomedical research, biotechnology and health professionsSummer

Finding the right match

If you are interested in pursuing a STEM internship in high school, you’ll want to find one that is a good fit for your interests, skills, and personality. I recommend using a mix of teachers and school guidance counselors, personal contacts, targeted web searches, and internship-specific websites to explore and find opportunities.

Additionally, there are Massachusetts organizations that can assist high school students in finding STEM internships. Some are free of charge, while others charge a fee. Here are my top picks: ​

  • Collaborative for Educational Services is a public, nonprofit educational service agency that runs the Paid STEM Internship Program. This program places students in high-quality STEM internships lasting 100-240 total hours, depending on the placement. Students are paid the state minimum wage or better. Only students served by school districts in Hampshire and Hampden counties in western Massachusetts are eligible for this program.
  • STEM@Work is a state government-funded program that connects youth with internships and ensures that they are paid for a 100-hour experience. 
  • YouthWorks is a state-funded youth employment program that includes both a 6-8-week summer program and a school-year program.
  • The Education Cooperative (TEC) Internship Program offers high school junior and seniors (and college students) unpaid internships in science, technology, and engineering corporations and the public sector. This program is highly competitive and does charge a fee.

Although it may seem early, grade 9 is not too early to start thinking about an internship. You’ll want to first think about what interests or intrigues you, and then leave plenty of time to find the internships you want, complete the applications, and go through the interview process. The good news? With so many terrific STEM high school internship programs available in Massachusetts and all the online resources, you have many options for discovering and exploring opportunities.

Comments on “Guide to STEM High School Internships in Massachusetts”

      1. There’s another STEM summer program (mostly health orientated) that’s open to people out of the state of New Hampshire where it’s located. It doesn’t say on the site if they accept people from out of the country of US, so if you are interested, you may want to contact them. It’s held at Dartmouth, so it’s pretty highly regarded if you are interested in pursuing a medical career. The program is called Health Careers Institute at Dartmouth. However, the deadline for applications is April 11th, which is soon. I included the link as well. Hope this helps!

  1. The craze for STEM Learning has now significantly increased in young students. The universities are coming up with various STEM Learning Programs in collaboration with other institutions & researchers.

    The STEM Learning Ecosystems have a vast potential to teach the young students in masses. Every year students are applying for these programs in a big number because of the real-time practice and to represent their talents.

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