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High School Internships

  1. Jun 7, 2012 #1
    Anything that you know of about the chances of getting a high school internship, their worth, whether or not you do anything actually beneficial, whether or not an undergraduate program would like to see that on an application or not, I want to hear. So far, an hour of googling has led me virtually nowhere.

    Just some background information: I'm taking both AP Physics B and C as a junior this upcoming year, and am thinking about an internship over next summer. I currently have a 3.77 GPA after my sophomore year. This is just to help give you a better idea as to where I stand, in case you need that information to tell me my odds of getting an internship.

    My dad's mentor, of some sorts, (this is the internet, I'm going to be vague) is the Director of the MBA program at the state school of the state in which I currently reside in.

    I've already spoken to him about my interest in Physics (yes.... I know I haven't taken AP Physics yet, but just believe me that I've read several Intro to Physics books, checked out the PhD comic, read threads on this forum all the time, and have an idea of what I'm getting into, and just know that it still interests me), and he is surprisingly knowledgeable of the Physics Department there, and strongly recommends that I go there because the Physics Department (despite the school not being that difficult to get into) is exceptional for an undergraduate program. He's a Vietnam veteran, and an awesome guy to talk to, and as far as I know, he seems to like me. I feel like I could use this connection to potentially get an internship at the state school, possibly doing simple and straightforward tasks related to research in the Physics department.

    Now, let's assume that I get all A's in Physics next year, get 5's on the AP exams.... what would the odds of me getting an internship be in the situation that I would be in? Would it help out with college admissions? What would I even do, and would it benefit me in ways other than just potentially looking nice on a college application?

    While I have stated that I've spoken to him several times before, he's good friends with my dad, not me. I can't just call him up out of the blue and ask him hypothetical questions regarding a class that I haven't even taken yet. I have spoken to my dad about this, and he thinks that I should at least wait until I take the class before I talk to him about getting an internship there, seeing as how they would have nothing to go off of in regards to my abilities in physics.

    That's why I'm hoping to use the knowledge of the forum users here. I'm confident in my capabilities, and know that I'll be putting off the time to study for the class and the exams, so for this particular situation, assume that I will have gotten A's and two 5's in the class and on the AP exams when answering my question about the likelihood of getting an internship.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thank you in the future even more if you have some answers to my questions. I apologize if this is a little lengthy, but from what I've seen in threads before, there's almost always a post responding to it saying that they need more information in order to confidently assess that person's situation, so I'm hoping to eliminate any need for a post like that.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2012 #2
    You might want to check this out if it is offered in the future, which it should be unless funding issues occur: http://www.physics.isu.edu/internships/intenship.html

    You would work in a research lab there helping out with whatever you are capable of doing. Which as a high school student might not be much, but you would learn a lot about research in physics. I can't imagine anything more beneficial.

    It would look fantastic on college applications. The pay is incredible considering they also provide you food and housing for free.
  4. Jun 8, 2012 #3
    Check out http://see.orau.org/ also
  5. Jun 9, 2012 #4


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    It's not too likely that a college professor would take you on as an intern unless the school specifically has a program for high school students. Their own students have higher priority, the professor can get paid to work with them (but not with you), and those students have a much stronger physics and math background (although interns are rarely useful - it takes far longer to train them to do something than it takes just to do it yourself). So you'd be asking someone to give up a great deal of their time for pretty much no gain from their point of view.

    There are a few established research programs for high school students, so you should look into those first. MIT and NASA have summer programs you can start with. They're very competitive.
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