High School Engineering Summer Internship


Draper’s High School Internship Program provides high school students the opportunity to apply their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math to real-world problems having open-ended components, design constraints, and specified deliverables. The program is a six-week, paid summer research internship for rising juniors and seniors (students must be 16 years of age or older) in July and August. Teams of three to four students work on defined projects under the supervision of a Draper engineer or scientist. Upon completion of the internship, the teams present their results to members of their engineering group, fellow students, and other invited guests from within Draper.

Although the program focuses on laboratory work, students have the opportunity to attend Draper scientific seminars and presentations. Students tour a number of different labs within the organization over the summer.



Guidance for autonomous parachutes. This project supported a guided airdrop system for troop resupply using autonomous guided parachutes that communicate with each other during flight. The students worked to develop guidance algorithms to incorporate the locations of neighboring parachutes into their own flight paths, such as but not limited to a single leader to multiple followers strategy or multiple leaders with the goal of landing closer together.

Advanced structures for flight. Inspired by how different birds have diffferent wingtypes (e.g., birds of prey, waterfowl, songbirds), this project aims to develop wingtypes that can morph from one type to another. Students developed prototypes of origami and kirigami structures that enable specific, tunable structural characteristics as well as motion degrees of freedom. Students worked with both Draper staff and Harvard faculty.

Network Security Models. Students created innovative network designs for threat models within an environment that was determined by the group, employing an open source network simulation tool.

Airdrop payload release point computation. Students developed an Android GUI Mission Planner Application that computed the aerial release point for an airdrop payload, integrating weather information, payload weight, airplane type, and parachute characteristics. They also developed an Android Application for Ground Station, which displayed telemetry data, configured a device with mission variables, and uploaded and downloaded firmware files.

Enabling deep sea exploration by underwater autonomous vehicles. This project supported a research program in underwater implosions in confined areas. Students created a user interface providing detailed visualizations of information in a database of pressure profiles created by underwater implosions. This project enabled engineers to quickly choose and analyze design decisions for underwater autonomous vehicles.

Phage Hunting for Better Bacterial Diagnostics. Students hunted for new bacteriophages (viruses that only infect specific species of bacteria ) that infected clinically relevant bacterial strains from a variety of natural sources including raw sewage and farms. Once isolated, these new bacteriophages were subjected to genetic mapping using molecular biology techniques for identification. The DNA from these newly isolated bacteriophages was then prepared for genome sequence analysis to enable DNA engineering. The students were successful in identifying multiple phages for three distinct species of bacteria representing broad host ranges for each species. This work was in support of medical device development.



The program will be announced in late winter - check back regularly on this web site for updates. The application period is in March/April, with selection in late April/May. Projects will be announced prior to the application due date, and applicants must rank the projects in order of interest as part of the application.

Applications are only accepted through the web submission portal during the application period. Applications include a resume, a transcript, a Letter of Recommendation, and four short answer questions. Finalists will be interviewed prior to an offer being made.

This program is limited to US Citizens only.



Please contact hs_program@draper.com. Please do not send application materials to this address. Applications will only be accepted during the application period through the web submission portal.