Like part-time jobs and internships, research opportunities are a great way to gain skills and experience that will take your resume or college applications to the next level. While most high schoolers think that research is above their skill level, you'd be surprised at the number of high schoolers who participate in research projects every year, typically as research assistants performing low-level lab work. If this is something you're interested in, here are' three ways to find research opportunities as a high schooler.
1. Summer Programs
Summer programs are typically the easiest ways for high school students to gain research experience. Most universities hold some summer research programs for high schoolers that will allow you to work in a real lab alongside your peers. While these programs often have a cost associated with them, many have robust scholarship programs that make them more accessible.
2. Reach out to a local university
While this strategy will require more initiative on your part, searching for research projects at a local university and emailing their lead investigators is another great way to get involved with research. Most students will have to reach out to many investigators before receiving a response; however, showing investigators that you are proactive is an excellent way to prove you are serious about your desire to work with them.
3. Start your own project
While a research project that you design may not be as advanced as what can be done in a full-scale lab, it's still a great strategy to get hands-on experience. Whether you want to partner with friends or take charge by yourself, finding a way to complete a research project on a personal interest is another great way to demonstrate the initiative and passion for which employers and colleges are looking.
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