NYU Shanghai students conducting research in a lab.

Gaining hands-on experience is one of the best ways to discover whether or not you enjoy a career field or area of study. And seeking out actual research opportunities with professionals in the field is one of the best ways to understand if it might be right for you! As you progress through your high school career, you’ll want to learn more about high-level research. Why not try working in a research lab during the summer?

Immerse Yourself in Research

Imagine researching chemistry or biology with one of the top faculty in those fields. Or picture yourself working one-on-one with faculty as part of their cutting-edge research. Through NYU GSTEM, an intensive six-week summer program for high school students who have a high aptitude in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), you can turn your research dreams into reality. GSTEM offers students an inclusive and supportive learning environment. For example, throughout the week, participants attend workshops, lectures, and field trips across the city all while working one-on-one with a mentor on their chosen research projects.

At GSTEM, you also get the opportunity to meet students from all over the country. When offered on campus, you stay in residence halls and participate in summer activities with other students. This allows you to forge bonds not only with your faculty mentor but also your fellow participants. And, and the end of the summer, you get the chance to present your hard-earned knowledge to your peers and faculty at a symposium. You’ll also receive a transcript and grade for your work to show just how much you’ve learned.

A technician working on the laser cutter at NYUʼs MakerSpace.
Discover New Passions

For those who are interested in STEM and live in the New York City area, look no further than our Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE) program. This highly selective, free program gives students the opportunity to conduct research with faculty in over 30 labs across campus. As many as 60 students are selected to explore fields like biomedical engineering, anthropology, and civil engineering. Through ARISE, students have the chance to enrich their talents, skills, and passion as they participate in hands-on programming.

ARISE offers students mentorship from a graduate or postdoctoral student and the chance to participate in a STEM-focused cohort. You’ll spend five weeks doing research and two weeks attending workshops. Some workshops include presentations on college readiness and the application process. Also, you’ll get the chance to present the research you completed over the summer at the concluding colloquium.

Understanding How to Find Your Future

As you start to think about all the different ways to explore your passions, remember that working with mentors can help shape this vision. Are you wondering if a subject is everything you think it might be? Working side by side some of the best researchers in their associated fields is the best way to find out. Remember, the opportunity to conduct hands-on research in a field your passionate about is priceless. Do all of this and more when you pursue your research interests at NYU this summer.

Andrew LaVenia is Associate Director of Operations for University Programs. When he’s not introducing middle and high school students to summer programs at NYU, he’s writing short stories or on the field as a part of the NYC Ramblers, the country’s oldest LGBTQ soccer league. He earned his BA in Psychology from Boston College and completed an MA in Higher Education & Student Affairs from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at NYU.