Regardless of their future career interests, high school students who are curious and enjoy discovering answers to questions should consider adding research to their resume. Doing research in high school isn’t restricted to students interested in the STEM field; there are countless questions in every field that need to be answered.
Research can be a life-changing experience for a high school student. Participating in a high school research project can also give students a competitive edge when applying to college. This is especially true for candidates of BS/MD programs, where medical-focused activities are expected.
How To Pursue Research In High School
While many students want to secure a research position, it isn’t always easy to know how to get started and make progress. Here are a few different methods students can pursue a high school research project.
Look For Local Research Projects
Depending on where you live, you might be able to find local labs at universities, hospitals or companies where you can get research experience in high school. Start local first to see what types of positions might be available to students.
When reaching out, add a cover letter that is tailored to each specific organization. You should introduce yourself in a way that demonstrates your academic background, your interest in their research and how you would like to contribute on a voluntary basis. The email should also include your CV or resume so that they can see any relevant coursework or experiences you may have.
Join A Summer Camp Or Structured Research Program
A structured high school research program can be the most beneficial experience for students because there is often a clear plan in place: students are expected to show up for a set number of hours per week and have clearly established deliverables on what will be accomplished during that time.
Camps like Rising Researchers, which are open to high school students of all ages, even give students college credit and help the students get their research published at the end of the camp. Nicole Cooksey, one of the instructors at Rising Researchers, says, “Rising Researchers helps students go beyond static learning—the hands-on camp means students acquire new skills and the ability to write a research paper.”
Start An Independent Research Project in High School
Pursuing independent research is another option, but it is not a good fit for every student because it requires long-term commitment and dedication in order to make progress. Students who undertake this task should be prepared to spend at least a year from start to finish researching, writing their paper and submitting it for publication. The review and publication step can often take the longest, sometimes more than one year. For high school seniors, this could mean their paper might not be published before college application season kicks off.
To read more about how to pursue research, check out our latest article on Forbes.