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Even if you are in high school, you can get experience that give you a head start - or - help you decide what kind of career fulfills YOUR INTEREST(s)! Note however, that in most cases, you must be 16 at the start of the program --- an insurance issue for the institution. HOWEVER, a number of institutions do have programs for middle school students.

Universities all over have summer internship programs: Look up the university of your choice and then any of the science departments, and then, even if there isn't anything clearly about science internships for the level of student you are... send an e-mail to the Department Chair with the header: HS (or MS) student interested in summer internship.

Essentially all the programs require letters of recommendation for a teacher or workplace supervisor.  Help your recommender by: (1) writing a draft letter, (2) asking the recommender early on (i.e., weeks in advance) if s/he would recommend you, (3) providing a simple resume that includes the science and math courses you have taken. These are important workplace skills no matter what kind of job or internship you are seeking.

In D.C., several federal laboratories have summer internships for HS students, with deadlines for application submission in January or February each year.
And, find out about careers in general at http://www.careeronestop.org/

Tips for writing your draft letter of recommendation:

Consult these posters/lists along with careeronestop.org for types of careers in:

  • Biology/Biotech
  • Chemistry

  • Bioinformatics

  • Forensics (many are GRADUATE Programs)