I teach at Evanston Township High School. We are incredibly fortunate to have Northwestern University in town, and there are options for some number of students to work in professional research labs, or at least have professors in any number of fields of research to talk with about project ideas, lab techniques, analysis, and so on.
If you are in a similar situation, but are new to the notion of science research and have no idea about research questions that are doable or are looking to work in a lab, here is a recommendation. Go to the university or institutional page, find the pages for various departments, and then go to the faculty or research staff page. Check out each professor's web site, and they will almost certainly have brief descriptions about what their research group works on. Find your favorite 3 or 4 faculty members (i.e. that are most interesting to you), and have a teacher email them. I recommend a teacher for the first contact attempt simply because they are more likely to get a reply than a high school student - just the way it is.
But this is a good, effective way to quickly narrow a search for research ideas if you are trying to get into a lab!
What is CABS?
This site will help high school students and teachers find original, independent science research topics and questions that can be done without a professional lab...these can be done in a school lab or even in one's basement! The project ideas and research questions being developed and presented here have been vetted and could lead to true discoveries, and not just finding already known results. See our Welcome message. These are the types of projects that could be done and submitted to high school contests such as the Regeneron Science Talent Search or Siemens Science Competition, and be competitive. If you have an idea to share, or a question about one of the project ideas, contact us at email@example.com.
Pages (on the right side of the screen) have lists of ideas for different types of science research projects, and clicking on one of those ideas will take you to posts with details and all sorts of information about that type of project. Get more information about why there is a need for CABS!