Help for original research, EC's?

I'm currently a HS junior just starting the college search process and in need of some guidance regarding doing original research and/or finding some strong/interesting EC's for the summer.</p>

<p>Just some background stats:
I have an A+,A, or A- in every class except a B+ in Spanish II (freshman) and a B+ in AP English Lang (Junior first semester). With regards to the AP English class, its the type of class where everyone except one person made a C+ or below in the first essay, and only 2 or 3 people managed to get an A-...</p>

<p>ACT: 33 first take, imma retake to try and get a 34 or above
PSAT: 222</p>

<p>In terms of course load, I'm a science/math guy, so relevant courses include:</p>

Honors Geometry Seminar

H Algebra II
Math Seminar
H Chemistry
Human Physiology</p>

H Precalculus
Math Seminar
AP Chemistry
H Physics</p>

<p>+Band all four years, Spanish 3 years, History 3 years</p>

<p>I plan to take BC Calc, AP Bio, AP Physics C, and AP English Lit my senior year</p>

<p>-School doesn't offer AP's until Junior year
-School doesn't rank
-GPA: 3.98 UW 4.27 W
-Relevant EC's, ordered in terms of awesomeness: NASA internship summer of 2012, 4 years of advanced math tutelage outside of school, managed a BEST robotics team, numerous state/regional gold medals in Science Olympiad, Philosophy Club president.</p>

<p>So my first question: Tons of people here talk about how they submitted some of their original research to the schools they're applying to.
-What kind of research is this?
-Is it published?
-When do people have time to do this?
-Most importantly, how specifically did they get started doing this?
-I'm interested in biology and physics. What type of topic should I pursue?</p>

<p>My second question: What can I do during the summer to further demonstrate my passion for science?
-What good internships are there?
-Free camps?
-Programs at universities or other institutions?</p>

<p>Additionally, if anyone has any suggestions as to what colleges to look at, any advice is appreciated. My current list is: MIT, Duke, Rice, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Wash U, Vanderbilt, Tufts, Emory, Carnegie Mellon, and Georgia Tech.</p>

<p>I'm interested in majoring in biology with a minor in physics.</p>

<p>I live in a southern city with a research university, a research park, and a military defense and research installation. Unfortunately, few internships are available and I don’t really have any connections. Am I basically screwed?</p>

<p>Not that I know of. Granted, I go to a small private school, so I don’t really know.</p>

<p>I’ve been seriously thinking about a major in biology with a minor in physics, or something of that nature.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot!</p>

<p>Wallrus75 is right–Research has a lot to do with your location and what kind of resources your high school can offer. For schools like MIT, CalTech etc., it may be important to have some research experiences. Most college admission counselors know that most high school students do not possess the ability to do original research and have their papers published on their own. They cannot be too criical. Research experience is a plus to add on to all other credentials, not a necessity. If you attend an elite high school that offers every student the opportunities to do research, you will be compared with your peers at your school. The expectation for your achievement may be higher. If you are from an inner city public school, your high GPA and standard test scores will be impressive enough. </p>

<p>Nowadays a lot of summer camps or summer courses/research in college are designed mainly for students from affluent families who can afford thousands of dollars in exchange of some notable experiences on the student’s resume. </p>

<p>For science research, you need to have access to a lab. Math research basically only requires genuine interest, time commitment, and a mentor (math professors usually are happy to mentor any promising math students). Do not count on a published paper to win you th eadmission to your dream college. It takes a long time for a paper to be reviewed and accepted and published. I know a high school senior who did a research at a prestigious university in the junior year and she did not learn that the research paper was accepted for publication until she had finished all of her college application. Of course she still could update her achievements. It definitely did not help her early decision application.</p>

<p>For math enrichment opportunity, you can consider [PROMYS</a> Homepage | PROMYS: Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists](<a href=“]PROMYS”>PROMYS | Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists – Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists)</p>

<p>For science research opportunity, you can consider the American Cancer Society’s summer high school research program [url=&lt;a href=“]The”&gt;]The</a> Summer High School Research Program<a href=“This%20is%20for%20ACS%20in%20Illinois”>/url</a>. You may want to search for similar opportunities in your area.</p>

<p>There are also some STEM camps for female students.</p>