High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP): 12 Reasons Why You Should Do It

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Male student typing in front of a Computer.

High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP): 12 Reasons Why You Should Do It

Participating in this program is a step toward a summer filled with learning and exploring STEM fields. If interested in STEM, the High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program is an opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills.

Working under the mentorship of university researchers and alongside peers with similar interests, you will gain practical insights and experiences that traditional classrooms often cannot provide.

As you consider your future academic and career paths, Michigan State University’s HSHSP offers valuable experiences that can strengthen your college applications and prepare you for advanced STEM studies.

If you’re ready to take on this challenge, our blog provides detailed information about the program. Discover the application process and expectations and the reasons why you should participate.

Read our guide to the High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program to learn how this opportunity can enrich your summer and pave the way for your future in STEM.

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12 Reasons Why You Should Participate in the HSHSP

Participating in the High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP) offers an unparalleled opportunity for high school students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

In this program, students have the unique opportunity to conduct in-depth investigations into complex issues and engage with various aspects of the research process—experiences that are seldom available in traditional school settings.

This prestigious program is designed to challenge and inspire the next generation of innovators and thinkers. Here are 12 compelling reasons why joining the HSHSP could be a transformative experience for ambitious students.

1. Advanced Learning Opportunities

The High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP) takes education to the next level by offering college-like courses and challenges. This approach pushes students beyond the usual high school subjects, introducing them to deeper and more complex topics.

The program’s rigorous nature prepares students for college, teaching them critical thinking and problem-solving skills. By tackling advanced problems and engaging in in-depth studies, HSHSP participants become better equipped for future academic and professional endeavors.

2. Exposure to Cutting-Edge Research

Students in the High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP) explore real-world research guided by experts. This hands-on experience exposes them to the latest questions and technologies in science and engineering.

They learn to conduct experiments, analyze data, and contribute to groundbreaking work. This enhances their understanding of scientific methods and sparks interest in innovation and discovery.

3. Mentorship from Leading Scientists and Engineers

in the HSHSP connects students with top professionals in STEM fields. These mentors provide insights into the STEM industry, share experiences, and offer guidance on academic and career paths.

This relationship helps students better understand their future in science and engineering, offering support and advice that can influence their educational and career decisions.

Through these interactions, HSHSP participants gain valuable knowledge and inspiration, setting a strong foundation for their ambitions in STEM.

4. College Preparation

The High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP) excellently prepares students for college’s academic and personal challenges. It simulates a college environment, teaching vital self-discipline and study skills for university success.

Students learn to manage their time, balance responsibilities, and manage academic demands independently, mirroring the college experience.

This preparation readies them for the intellectual challenges of higher education and builds the confidence and adaptability essential for thriving in any university setting.

5. Scholarship and Internship Opportunities

Participating in the HSHSP provides access to exclusive scholarships and internships that support students’ educational and career goals. These opportunities are designed for STEM students, offering financial support and practical experience in their fields of interest.

The program helps students stand out as top candidates for these awards and positions, guiding them through application processes with workshops and expert advice.

This advantage aids students in securing resources for college and gaining early professional experiences, setting a strong foundation for their future careers.

6. Networking with Like-Minded Peers

The HSHSP creates a supportive community of ambitious students, fostering deep connections and lifelong friendships. This network is invaluable, offering a space for collaboration, shared learning, and mutual support.

These relationships extend beyond the program, providing a lasting professional network that can open doors, offer guidance, and assist in career development. The sense of community and the bonds formed among participants are among the program’s most significant benefits, contributing greatly to their personal and professional growth.

Group of students talking while looking at a laptop on a table.

7. Development of Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

The High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP) challenges students with projects and discussions that demand critical thinking and the ability to solve complex issues.

In the HSHSP, students use what they learn in real situations, like applying math to solve environmental problems. This method encourages students to think deeply, question what they know, and develop solutions from different angles. Learning to tackle problems this way prepares students for future roles where they must innovate and adapt quickly.

8. Enhanced College Applications

Being part of the High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP) makes a student’s college application stand out. It shows colleges that students are committed to their STEM education and have tackled college-level work and research.

The teamwork and projects completed during the HSHSP demonstrate a student’s ability to contribute to college life both academically and in extracurricular activities.

This experience adds value to their application and gears them up for the rigors of college STEM courses.

9. Cultivation of Leadership and Teamwork Skills

In the High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP), students work on projects together, which is great for building leadership and teamwork skills. Working in teams teaches students to communicate effectively, respect different viewpoints, and pull together to reach a common goal.

Leading a team might involve organizing discussions, assigning tasks, and motivating everyone. These experiences are invaluable, teaching students to work well with others and lead—a skill set essential for success in any career path.

10. Exposure to Diverse STEM Fields

The High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP) opens up the vast world of STEM, covering everything from biology and chemistry to physics and engineering. This wide exposure helps students find what they truly love and might want to pursue further.

It’s an invaluable chance to explore topics they know and discover entirely new areas they haven’t seen before.

Through meetings with experts and leaders in various fields, students learn about the latest trends and opportunities, broadening their perspectives and helping them make informed decisions about their futures.

11. Access to State-of-the-Art Facilities

A key benefit of the HSHSP is the access to modern labs and equipment. Students get to work in professional settings, using tools and technology that are usually only available in top research institutions.

This hands-on experience is crucial for understanding current scientific methods and prepares students for real-world scientific work. It teaches them the importance of safety, accuracy, and ethical conduct in research, setting a solid foundation for their future careers in STEM.

12. Personal Growth and Confidence Building

The program’s challenging environment encourages students to step out of their comfort zones, tackle difficult problems, and work well with others. These experiences build essential life skills such as time management, clear communication, and teamwork.

Achieving goals and overcoming challenges in the program boosts students’ confidence, giving them the belief in their abilities to succeed in higher education and beyond.

This newfound confidence and skill set equip them for the demands of future challenges, fostering a resilient and proactive approach to their ambitions.

How to Apply for the HSHSP

Applying for the High School Honors Science Program (HSHSP) is an exciting opportunity for high school juniors passionate about scientific research.

The process is straightforward, but attention to detail and timely submission are crucial. Here’s what you need to know to ensure a successful application:

Two students talking in front of a laptop.

Eligibility and Deadline

The HSHSP is open to any high school junior. The deadline for applications and all supporting materials is March 1, 2024. It’s important to start preparing your application well in advance to meet this deadline.

Application Process

The application must be submitted online. The only exception is the participant fee check, which needs to be mailed. The fee for the 2024 program is $4,000, covering room, board, and some instructional costs.

This investment into your future scientific career covers essential aspects of the program, ensuring a comprehensive learning and research experience.

Recommendation Letters

You will need two recommendation letters, one of which must be from a recent science teacher. These recommendations should highlight your strengths beyond academic achievements, focusing on qualities like motivation, independence, and maturity.

They are a chance for the selection committee to understand your character and potential fit for the program. Promptly ask your chosen recommenders and provide them with the link to submit their recommendations online.


Your application must include two essays. The first, a personal essay of 400-600 words, should convey your interest in scientific research, your motivation to attend the HSHSP, and how this experience could impact your life.

Avoid listing awards and honors; instead, share a compelling story about your passion for science. The second essay should discuss the impact of a significant book on your life, offering insight into your personal growth or thought process.

Additional Requirements

You will also need to upload your current transcript, standardized test scores (if available), and a list of current courses. If applying for financial aid, complete the relevant section in the online application.

Final Steps

After ensuring all parts of your application are complete, including the application fee check, submit everything by the March 1 deadline. Remember, this program is not just an educational opportunity; it’s a chance to immerse yourself in full-time research, away from familiar surroundings, making a meaningful difference in your academic and personal development.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to potentially joining the HSHSP. This program promises an enriching summer of exploration and discovery in the field of science.

What to Expect During the Program

The Michigan State University High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program offers an enriching seven-week summer experience for 12th-grade students passionate about science, engineering, and mathematics.

This program is celebrated for its intensive research opportunities and its ability to bring together students from diverse backgrounds with a shared enthusiasm for scientific exploration.

In-depth Research Experience

Established in 1958, the HSHSP has a storied history of evolving from a local science enrichment initiative to a selective, prestigious national residential program. It provides students with hands-on apprenticeships in a wide array of scientific disciplines, including life sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

Participants will explore rigorous research guided by the university’s resources and faculty expertise, fostering a practical understanding of scientific inquiry.

Diverse Community Engagement

The program is a melting pot of aspiring scientists and mathematicians from across the nation. This diversity enhances the learning experience and offers a unique opportunity to view scientific challenges from multiple perspectives.

The environment encourages collaboration and the exchange of ideas, paving the way for meaningful relationships that often extend beyond the program’s duration.

University Campus Life

Living on the campus of a major research-intensive university, participants get a preview of college life, accessing state-of-the-art facilities and engaging with the academic community.

This immersive experience aims to simulate the lifestyle and work ethic of a researcher, balancing academic rigor with the excitement of discovering new knowledge.

students on a campus
Free time of a students, bachelor`s campus life rhythm. Five friendly students are walking after they passed test outside the college building and discuss the project, smiling, enjoying, carefree

Focus on Enrichment over Competition

Although many participants have achieved accolades for their projects, the program’s core goal is to deepen participants’ understanding of science and mathematics.

It emphasizes the importance of intellectual growth and the development of lasting friendships over winning awards. Aspiring participants are invited to apply for the upcoming sixty-third annual session of the HSHSP at Michigan State University.

The program promises a summer of intensive research, an opportunity for personal growth, and the beginning of enduring friendships among young scientists and mathematicians.


Participating in the High School Honors Science, Math, and Engineering Program (HSHSP) offers more than just an academic edge; it’s an opportunity to grow, explore, and connect in ways that shape future careers and foster personal development. For students passionate about STEM and looking for a challenge that will prepare them for the future, the HSHSP is an invaluable experience.

Whether it’s through advanced learning opportunities, exposure to research, or the development of critical soft skills, the benefits of the HSHSP are boundless.

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