• The Junior Academy The Junior Academy


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Mission Statement

The New York Academy of Sciences drives positive change through collective action in science and technology.


The Junior Academy is a virtual community of problem solvers made up of talented students aged 13-19 and STEM experts dedicated to designing innovative solutions to global challenges. With support from graduate students, postdocs, and professionals working in STEM fields, Junior Academy members compete in innovation challenges sponsored by industry-leading companies. Through Launchpad, an online collaboration platform, students develop advanced research and innovation skills with best-in-class learning resources, and apply those skills during 10-week challenge periods. Apply today to become a mentor for The Junior Academy

Getting Involved:

--STEM experts can engage with The Junior Academy community in a number of ways. Ten-week challenges begin in October and February, and are preceded by four-week bootcamps. Bootcamps provide opportunities for students to build relevant skills in advance of a challenge. During this time, STEM experts may choose to help lead learning activities, including lectures on challenge-related topics, lessons on research methods and design thinking, and team-building exercises. During challenge periods, STEM experts can choose to engage in two ways. First, experts can become mentors by working with one or more teams for the duration of the challenge, guiding them through the process, and providing in-depth feedback and support. Second, experts can make themselves available to all challenge participants by answering questions and providing expert feedback upon request. ⦆ Apply ⦆ to join The Junior Academy today.⦆

What are the goals of the program?

--Excite and inspire exceptional students to pursue STEM careers by showcasing real-world applications⦆

--Connect STEM-interested students with a network of peers and professional role models around the world⦆

Qualified mentors for The Junior Academy are:⦆

--Graduate students, postdocs, or professionals working in a STEM-related field

--Experienced in conducting original scientific research (e.g., graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, university professors, or STEM professionals with direct research experience)

--Able to access at least one communication device with internet capabilities

--Passionate about engaging and inspiring the next generation of STEM innovators⦆

How are students selected?

--Student participants are referred to The Junior Academy through a network of educational and nonprofit organizations around the world, and can apply directly at www.thejunioracademy.org⦆

How much time is involved?

--All mentors will be asked to complete a 1-2 hour training workshop. Once challenges begin, mentors should generally expect to spend 1-2 hours per week answering student questions and providing input on student projects. The timing of this is flexible based on your schedule. Mentors who are assigned to teams should expect to dedicate up to 4 hours per week. The scheduling of this may be less flexible depending on the availability of your team. Throughout the year, we may ask mentors to participate in focus groups and surveys. These are optional, and can range from a few minutes to a couple of hours. All mentors are required to attend a final debrief session at the end of a challenge.⦆

Recruitment & Program Timelines:

--June: Applications accepted for mentors⦆

--July 15: Application deadline

--July: Interviews conducted

--August: Training and onboarding

--September 12: Bootcamps begin

--October 10: Challenges begin

--December 18: Challenges end⦆

Apply today to become a mentor for The Junior Academy

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