Internship Advice

Best STEM Internships for high school students

Want to intern with other high school students this summer? Keep reading to learn about some of the most exciting STEM summer internships for high schoolers!

Michael Yan
Published: (Updated: ) - 4 min read
Michael Yan is the co-founder & CEO of Simplify. Previously a software engineer at Meta, Michael dropped out of Stanford to found Simplify. He is a part-time career coach & Y Combinator alum.

Photo by Sam Balye / Unsplash

One of the best things you can do as a high school student to bolster your resume for college is to find an internship at a company. Not only are high school internships fun, you'll often get to meet other students with similar interests, learn valuable skills, and get paid!

We made a list of some of the best summer internships for high-school students –keep reading to learn about some of the best STEM-focused opportunities for high schoolers!

Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) at Google

Google CSSI is an online, four-week introduction to computer science (CS) for high school seniors (rising college freshmen) with a passion for technology — with a focus on students who identify with groups that have been historically marginalized in CS. The goal of CSSI is to inspire future tech leaders and innovators, and help them build skills, confidence, and leadership. Students will learn the fundamentals of computer science, participate in workshops to promote identity, career, and skill development, and build community with peers and industry professionals.

According to Google, the program aims to connect historically excluded students with the skills, confidence, and agency to thrive in the tech industry.

CSSI facilitates authentic learning experiences that support the development of STEM identities through "a project-based curriculum designed to prepare students for their first year of college pursuing CS or a related major, and developmental workshops each week to promote self-care, identity, career, and skill development."

Interested in studying computer science in college? Check out our list of the top universities for CS here!

Microsoft High School Discover Internship

Few people know that Microsoft offers an internship for high school student. Possibly because the program only accepts applicants that live within 50 miles of Microsoft HQ. However, if you do qualify to apply, the program is incredible!

Discoverers will participate in a curriculum designed to learn programming fundamentals and develop career readiness skills while gaining mentorship with Microsoft employees. Discover how your passions and interest in technology/STEM can evolve into a career in tech at Microsoft and beyond.  This paid, 4-week summer program offers an exciting opportunity to get valuable experience prior to starting college.

Through the discover program, participants will learn programming fundamentals and apply learning through project-based application under the guidance of Microsoft employees, and will gain an understanding of Microsoft’s history, culture, and technologies.

In addition to being a great starting point for technically-inclined students, the program helps develop career readiness skills through mentorship with Microsoft employees!

NASA High School Internship

NASA internships, fellowships and scholarships leverage NASA’s unique missions and programs to enhance and increase the capability, diversity and size of the nation’s future STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce.

During the internship, NASA students are paired with a mentor who guides them through research and experiential learning programs. Mentorship is at the heart of NASA’s High School Internship program, made possible by the volunteer scientists, engineers, researchers, and other administrative personnel. These experts in their fields create an exciting work environment, impart new technical and professional skills, and bring along the next generation of thinkers dedicated to space travel.

Interested in space? Check out jobs at companies like SpaceX here :)

Meta Summer Academy

Did you know that Facebook (now Meta) has an internship programs for high schoolers? Meta's Summer Academy is geared towards giving students exposure to the high-paced environment of the Meta offices. From their website:

Externs of Meta Summer Academy (formerly known as Facebook Summer Academy) will have the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day operations of one of the world’s leading social media networks by being part of a dynamic workforce.
Externs will work closely with Meta Summer Academy Mentors in their respective capacities to gain real-world work experience and on-the-job skills that will help propel them into successful careers. Our goal is to inspire and motivate young people to achieve economic success, stability, and mobility through skills development and early career exploration in the tech industry.

However, there's a catch—similar to the Microsoft internship, applicant to the Meta Summer Academy must be full-year residents of East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, North Fair Oaks, or Redwood City.

Not a high schooler, but still looking for jobs at Meta? Find them on Meta's company page!

YC Work at a Startup

Y Combinator is the startup accelerator that backs some of the most recognizable startups today—think Airbnb, DoorDash, Coinbase, Instacart, and Simplify :)

YC often backs companies at their earliest stages—so early that many are hiring their first interns or employees ever! You can discover these companies on YC's Work at a Startup page. Many roles you'll find here will be open to everyone, including high school students! It's important to note, however, that these roles are not watered-down versions of work you may find elsewhere. The roles that YC companies hire for push interns into the fire doing real, meaningful work!

Simplify hires high school interns, too! To apply, make an account here, upload your resume, and we'll reach out about open roles!

Next Steps

Landing an internship in high school is undoubtedly harder than most other jobs, and it might be demoralizing to hear "no." However, there's ways you can get ahead of this! Building out a strong track record of personal projects, resume's and cover letters can greatly increase your chances of landing your dream role!

We've written a few guides to help you along, including a guide to behavioral interviews, and some advice on how many internships you should apply to!