High Schooler’s Guide to a Science Major

From information from “What High Schools Don’t Tell You” by Elizabeth Wissner-Gross

Note: Since this article is from the notes taken while reading the book, feel free to ask questions in the comment box below for elaboration.)
1. Find activities that your targeted college values (ex. If the college has a good football team, that college probably value
football players)
2. Get a job related to your major
3. Do an internship that relates to your major and enter a science competition using the research from that internship (Internships: The Research Science Institute (MIT)(Free), The PreCollege Research Abroad Program(In Russia, Although Application is due March, Finish application before January), The Simons Program (free), The Garcia Program (has fee), Michigan Sate High school Honors Science-Math Engineering Program)(has fee)(Contests: Intel Science Talent Search (it is extremely important to do well on the application, deadline: Mid-November), Siemens (have to be a senior to submit a project Individually, judges solely on the project, and not really on the application, Research Paper due beginning of October), Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Less competitive than Intel Science Talent Search), Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (Science Oriented, not about philosophy), First Robotics Competition, National Gallery for America’s Young Inventors)
4. Do science Olympiads (ex. biology, chemistry, physics, computer)(*Important)
5. Participate in Talent Searches
       Include: John Hopkin’s Center for Talented Youth, Duke’s Talent Identification Program, Northwestern’s Center for Talented Development, University of Denver’s Rocky Mountain Talent Search, Stanford’s Education Program for Gifted Youth
6. Create a Blog about the major you are interested in, publish articles on Teen Ink and Harvard Book
7. Publish an Article into a Professional Journal (Hard, but possible)
8. Create a Patent (hard, but possible)
9. Many colleges believe in varying experiences at different campuses (ex. For this reason, your undergraduate school might not accept you into its medical school since it wants to vary your campuses)
10. Complete science scholarships.
11. Colleges now days prefer “lopsided” students over well-rounded ones
12. Look at John Hopkin’s magazine “Imagine”
13. Scholarships: Presidential Scholars (based on SAT and ACT scores), National Merit Scholar (based on PSAT scores), AP Scholars (based on AP tests), Toyota Community Scholars Program (based on community service)
14. U.S. Congressional Award Program (join whether or not your interested in politics, looks impressive to colleges)
15. Start your resume to keep track of accomplishments (create 2 resumes, a current one and a dream one)
16. Colleges expect you to take the most rigorous course offered by your high school (if your high school does not have as many APs as the other high schools in the district, take other APs at a local community college)
17. Summer’s are VERY important.  Be sure to fill them with activities that pertain to your major and that stand out.
18. Join a club pertaining to your major or start one if there is no such club at your school
19. Develop a four year plan
20. Use a calendar for activity and testing dates
21. Get nominated into the All-USA First Academic Team
Note: If you become strong in a science Olympiad or place in a high leveled science competition, you have very high chances of going to a prestigious college.
Note: Not all the activities above have to be completed.  It is advised to pick a few to become strong in.
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