98 Passion Project Ideas for High School Students

July 31, 2023

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase passion projects before, but you aren’t sure what it means. Or, maybe you’re looking for a list of passion project ideas to inspire you toward your new venture. Look no further! This article will not only help you better define what passion projects are but also will provide 100 passion project ideas for high school students to choose from.

What is a Passion Project?

So, you might be wondering: what is a passion project? In short, passion projects are independent projects separate from any academic or employment requirements. Often, they take multiple forms. When someone first thinks of a passion project, they may think of a creative avenue. However, passion projects can also include community outreach and involvement, research, fundraisers, and more.

Put simply, passion projects allow you to explore a specialized interest in greater detail. With passion projects, you can refine a particular skill, talent, or trade. Not only are these activities enjoyable ways to spend your time, but also, in some (but certainly not all cases) they may make you a more desirable candidate for college admissions boards. Let’s pause to touch on that important subject for a moment…

Do I need a Passion Project to get into an Elite College?


We do not recommend spending your precious free hours in high school on a passion project unless:

  1. It is something you truly wish to do with your time because you are, you know, passionate about it.
  2. Your project directly relates to your areas of academic and/or career interest, in which case it may actually have admissions-related value.

What is a Passion Project? – Continued

Passion projects can prove to be a significant undertaking. From planning, organization, and time commitments, passion projects require motivation, innovation, intellectual curiosity, and dedication. These qualities will make you more appealing to any admissions board looking at prospective students. Plus, you’ll bring a unique skill set to the table from your experiences. You’ll be able to tell an admissions board more about your interests in a way transcripts can’t always demonstrate.

And the good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. While passion projects can be individual undertakings, group passion projects are also worthwhile ways to spend your time. You can build meaningful connections and relationships while also pursuing your interests. Overall, passion projects are beneficial not only for personal growth but also for giving your application a competitive edge.

So, you’re itching to begin a new project but aren’t sure where to start. This list of passion project ideas is sure to help you find what interests you!

Put Personal Interests First!

While looking for passion project ideas, it’s always a good idea to think about your personal interests first. For example, if you aren’t a person who enjoys working outdoors, it wouldn’t be the best idea to start a project requiring a lot of time in nature.

If you are looking to get an admissions-related benefit, the most worthwhile area is likely going to involve a research project based on your prospective major. Think about how your passion projects will set you on the path to future success. Maybe the skills you learn during your free time will translate well into what you want to study.

Finally, it’s important to remember that you may want to try many passion project ideas. You don’t have to stick to just one!

Passion Project Ideas for High School Students 

Below is a curated list of 98 passion project ideas for your inspiration! So you can easily find a project aligning with your interests, I’ve separated the list by category.

Community-Based Passion Project Ideas for High School Students 

1) Starting a community garden to help grow produce or even for beautification.

2) Organize a food drive to aid local food pantries.

3) Similarly, you can also host a book drive to help make literature more accessible. If you haven’t heard of Free Little Library, they are easy to create in your neighborhood and fun to organize!

4) Learn a new language to better communicate with others.

5) Organize a neighborhood garage sale for repurposing.

6) Start a letter-writing campaign to help influence political change.

7) Also, you could volunteer for a telemarketing campaign.

8) Lead tutoring sessions to help underclassmen learn new subjects.

9) Host community service events in your area to gain local involvement in relevant causes.

10) Volunteer at your local animal shelter.

11) Create campaigns to help fundraise for your desired nonprofit.

12) Host youth mentoring programs to help support and guide younger students.

13) Join a rally or protest for a cause you feel strongly about.

14) Find a pen pal to communicate with.

15) Learn ASL (American Sign Language).

16) Walk for a cause to raise awareness.

For more ideas on community service projects, check out this curated list of 100 community service project ideas.

Tech-Based Passion Project Ideas for High School Students 

17) Designing an app to help solve a problem you’ve recently noticed.

18) Learning to build and design websites for yourself or others.

19) Start a blog on a topic that feels important to you.

20) Filming a video or documentary on a social cause.

21) Once you’ve filmed, you can learn how to use editing software.

22) Create a podcast to help bring information to others.

23) Design your own video game.

24) Learn a new programming language.

25) Create a virtual tour of an area that you feel needs more attention.

26) Help lead workshops to help make technology more accessible.

27) Start your own social media campaign to raise awareness about a social cause.

28) If you’re interested in a more advanced project, you can learn the basics of 3D printing.

29) Research more about a topic of interest and curate a research paper or project about your findings.

30) Set up a digital planner to help keep you organized and share the outline with others.

31) Learn how the basics of mechanics work by deconstructing and rebuilding technologies like old computers and TVs.

32) Take a look at the stars and learn the basics of astronomy.

33) Or, learn more about astrology.

34) You can also learn the basics of meteorology.

If research is your favorite, and you enjoy learning more about technology, this list of technology research ideas would also be a good resource to help get you started.

Creative Passion Projects

35) Write short stories or poems, for yourself or for publication.

36) Likewise, you can create your own comic book or graphic novels.

37) Learn how to shoot professional photography.

38) Become a reviewer of literature or film.

39) Host a book club to share your opinions and connect with friends.

40) Record and produce your own music.

41) Similarly, you can learn how to play a new instrument.

42) Audition for local theater and hone your acting skills.

43) Teach an art class for a medium that you enjoy.

Passion Project Ideas for High School Students (Continued)

44) Learn more about interior design and redecorate your space.

45) Learn how to knit or sew to create your own unique designs.

46) Write a weekly newsletter to help spread the word on topics you care about.

47) Take an art class in a medium you’ve never tried before, like pottery or painting.

48) Sharpen your cooking skills by learning new recipes.

49) Similarly, you can indulge your sweet tooth and start baking your own desserts.

50) Once those desserts are out of the oven, you can learn how to decorate cakes and cookies.

51) Learn how to repurpose your clothing and upcycle your look.

52) Locate interesting pieces, like charms or beads, to create your own jewelry.

53) Practice the art of calligraphy and write letters to friends and family.

54) Create and design your own board game.

55) Curate your own collection of unique items you enjoy: like rocks, vintage clothing, stamps, and more!

56) Design your own wall art or mural installation to help beautify your neighborhood or to spread awareness for a social cause.

57) Try your hand at woodworking and create some unique designs.

58) Take vocal lessons to exercise your singing voice.

59) Interview your family to learn more about your family history.

60) Then, you can take a DNA test and trace your genealogy.

61) Experiment with different types of makeup to create your own unique looks.

62) When you’ve found your new look, you can add an outfit for a specialized cosplay design.

Activity-Based Projects

63) Find new bike trails to ride in your neighborhood.

64) Train for a 5K or other long-distance races. Check out this curated running race finder that organizes by state!

65) Locate the best places to spend the weekend camping.

66) Or, set the goal to camp at every National Park.

67) Plan a hiking trip to spend more time in nature and travel to new and interesting destinations.

68) Learn a new water-based sport, like surfing or diving.

69) Join your local recreational center and get involved in their offered programs.

70) Create a club sports team with your friends.

71) Take lessons for a new sport you enjoy but have never played before.

72) As well, you could lead fitness classes for activities like yoga.

73) Plan to visit every major league stadium for your favorite sport, like baseball or basketball.

74) Try out new methods of exercise, like skateboarding or rollerblading.

75) Exercise your spatial awareness by making and assembling puzzles.

Passion Project Ideas for High School Students (Continued)

76) Similarly, taking up chess could be a good way to test your strategy skills.

77) Take up daily journaling to track your thoughts.

78) Visit your local museums, like the history and art museums, to learn about your area.

79) Look up where you can compete in adventure racing, a multidisciplinary team sport involving navigating outdoor courses.

80) Try your hand at geocaching.

81) Visit new local eateries in your area to broaden your palette.

82) If you’re feeling more adventurous, seek out opportunities for zip lining.

83) Or, even white-water rafting.

84) Reach new heights at your local climbing gym.

85) Attend live music events in your area to find new bands and artists.

86) Seek out your local Comic-Con or other conventions in your area that target your interests.

87) Get into magic or sleight-of-hand and show off your new tricks.

Environmental Projects

88) Initiate a neighborhood recycling program if one is not currently available.

89) Create a cleanup initiative to help remove litter from roadways.

90) Plant trees and other native botanicals to help produce cleaner air.

91) Set up your own rain barrel to reuse water for gardening.

92) Build birdhouses for safe shelter and to better identify local wildlife.

93) Install solar panels to help reduce your home’s energy usage.

94) Initiate a water bottle campaign for reusable bottles instead of plastic ones.

95) Get involved in removing invasive species, like kudzu.

96) Establish your own hives for backyard beekeeping.

97) Grow your own food, like fresh vegetables and fruits.

98) Then, you can preserve your produce by canning

Maybe you’re interested in both technology and the environment. If you’re looking for ideas on environmental research topics, we’ve got you covered. Click here for a curated list.

In Review

Hopefully, this list has helped you answer the question: what is a passion project? With so many passion project ideas to choose from, you’ll be sure to find something that resonates with your interests. Whether it’s getting outside and exploring nature or staying home with a paper and pencil, any passion project you choose will have its benefits. Plus, you’ll be able to learn some new skills along the way. As long as you’re doing what you enjoy, any project will be a great way to spend your time.