Do any of you folks know anything about doing a summer high school internship? I've heard it's a good way to learn something interesting, get experience, meet people, make cash, and as a bonus, colleges like it.
Microsoft has a high-school program, but it seems aimed at minorities.
Get started NOW looking for one. If you're really serious you should start in Ocotober.
Every summer in high school I tried getting an internship at some engineering firm. Didn't get a single one. The only real way to pull something like this off is to know someone (everyone I know who has gotten one got it through a family friend, or something like that). The shape of the economy surely doesnt help. You should even try looking at non-paying interships (my sister did this for our US representative, and had a good time).
College internships are a different story, and I'm having much better luck this year. Even if you don't get an intership, the experience and skills you learn while simply looking for an intership is helpful.
I say go for it, they are great experience and you'll probably get better pay than if you went with the usual job (*cough*fastfood*cough*). I got in on Argonne National Laboratorie's Precollege Internship and did research on Photonic Crystals. Learned a lot about how government research facilities work and about the topic (very interesting). I would definitely search them out and apply, but like said before, they are very competitive, a lot of kids I knew applied to that internship and only two of us got in (the second one was the valedictorian). I didn't know anybody at Argonne, but I had good grades, experience as a lab aide, and I'm confident that my teachers had good things to say in the recs.