STEM League (Grades 7-11)

STEM Leagues are mostly asynchronous courses designed around a hot topic in STEM and may include a book read, documentaries/TED Talks, case studies, and other sources of research material, with a culminating chat with an author or expert in the field.

IMSA STEM League received the 2020 Innovative Student Program of the year award from the National Consortium Secondary STEM Schools (NCSSS).

(NEW!) Neuroscience (Grades 8-11) – Starts January 23

Thanks to modern technology, we can now study the nervous system in ways that would have been unimaginable mere decades ago. All of these newly-gained capabilities have greatly accelerated the expansion of the field of neuroscience, with new discoveries being made every day. This course will provide students with an integrated foundation for understanding the complex functions of the nervous system and, in particular, the brain. Basic principles of neurobiology will be discussed to develop an understanding of how these biological factors are associated with human behaviors

We will be reading the book The Brain: The Story of You by acclaimed neuroscientist David Eagleman. Through a series of engaging anecdotes and thought-provoking commentary, this book introduces key ideas and explanations on how the human brain develops, how our senses and perceptive abilities develop and can change over time, why we are such social beings, and how environmental influences can influence our actions and decision-making. The book will be supplemented with additional resources (videos, original research, etc.) to help provide further context and perspective for the scientific concepts in the neuroscience field.

The mostly asynchronous online format will include discussion forums, assessments, and several synchronous virtual meetings, and will conclude with a live, online chat with an author or expert in the field. The estimated time commitment for this program is 3-4 hours per week. (Please note that The Brain: The Story of You does contain some PG-13 topics such as genocide/rape and sexual attraction).

School Year: 2022-2023SessionDatesSynchronous MeetingsCostRegistrationScholarship Application
Grades 8-11IMSA STEM League: Neuroscience 1/23/23 - 3/23/23Thursdays, 4:30 -5:30 PM CST$250Register NowApply Now

Genetics (Grades 8-11) – Starts September 19

This 12- week, mostly asynchronous course is intended for motivated, independent learners who are interested in taking a closer look at the recent developments in the field of genetics, with a special emphasis on gene therapy and gene editing. The ethical considerations of these powerful tools will also be considered. A variety of media sources such as readings, videos, and online tools will be explored, evaluated, and discussed. Over the course of this program, we will read The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It, a narrative nonfiction book by Dr. Ricki Lewis, a geneticist, science writer, and educator. There will be a culminating event during the week of December 12th. The time commitment is roughly 4-5 hours per week.

School Year: 2022-2023SessionDatesSynchronous MeetingsCostRegistrationScholarship Application
Grades 8-11IMSA STEM League: Genetics9/19/22 - 12/11/22 (with a culminating event during the week of 12/12/22)Thursdays, 4:30 -5:30 PM CST$250Register NowApply Now (supplemental materials due on September 5th, 2022)

*Applying and qualifying for a scholarship does not guarantee an award or registration into the program. If you qualify for SNAP or Free/Reduced Lunch, you qualify, but we need you to submit proof of eligibility. Please contact us at studentenrichment@imsa.edu if you have difficulty with this requirement. Alternatively, a 2020 or 2021 federal tax return showing proof of family income may be submitted. WATCH YOUR EMAIL and CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER! Award recipients will be notified via email and must reply to the scholarship offer within the time period indicated in the email. NOTE: You may choose to either pay for program registration OR apply for a scholarship and await award notification. Your scholarship application will not be considered if you also complete a paid registration. Scholarship awardees for this program will be responsible for a $25 scholarship fee.

No requests for a registration cancellation/refund will be accommodated if they are received less than 5 business days before a program begins. Requests must be made in writing via an email to: studentenrichment@imsa.edu. Please include the program name and your student’s full name.