For high school students with a passion for aerospace engineering, there are several pre-college programs and internships available that offer valuable hands-on experience and exposure to the field. Here are some notable opportunities:
1. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Scholars Program: This program allows upper-level high school students to work alongside AFRL scientists and engineers during the summer. Participants engage in research areas such as aerospace/mechanical design and electromagnetic structures. The program is highly competitive and requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, U.S. citizenship, and at least 16 years of age.
2. Sally Ride Science Academy: Named after the famous astronaut, this academy offers workshops for students in grades 3-12, including the “Space Out” workshop, which focuses on aerospace topics.
3. Summer High School Intensive in Next-Generation Engineering (SHINE): Offered by USC Viterbi, SHINE invites students to join a seven-week research team exploring real-world problems, including those in aerospace engineering.
4. The University of Arizona Summer Engineering Academy: This program provides rising 10th through 12th graders with hands-on engineering experience, including aerospace engineering projects.
5. NASA High School Internships: NASA OSTEM offers paid internships across the United States, where high school students can gain experience in aerospace engineering-related subjects.
6. UIUC Illinois Aerospace Institute: The Engineering Summer Camps at the University of Illinois offer sessions on aerospace engineering topics like flight mechanics and rocket propulsion for high school students.
7. NASA and UT Austin’s SEES High School Summer Intern Program: A nationally competitive STEM program where students assist NASA experts in Earth and space research, including aerospace engineering components.
8. MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute: This institute provides virtual project-based courses for high school students, including topics like Autonomous Air Vehicle Racing and Remote Sensing for Disaster Response.
9. North Carolina State University Look Up! Way Up! Program: This program offers classes on airfoil and aircraft performance, and students get to build and fly a model airplane.
10. Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University Summer Camps: Embry-Riddle offers various camps for those interested in aerospace engineering and aviation, covering topics from space flight to aviation maintenance.
These programs often require a strong interest in STEM, good academic standing, and sometimes U.S. citizenship. They vary in selectivity, cost, and specific eligibility requirements. For more detailed information and application deadlines, students should visit the respective program websites or contact the organizers directly.