A community of exceptional students
solving the world's greatest challenges
The Junior Academy is an elite group of problem solvers made up of talented students, STEM experts, and companies around the world dedicated to designing innovative solutions to global challenges.
Each year, we invite students ages 13–19 to join The Junior Academy. Successful applicants gain lifelong access to exclusive educational opportunities and a remarkable global STEM network through Launchpad, a virtual collaboration platform.
Students develop advanced research, innovation, and collaboration skills with best-in-class learning resources and leverage these skills to compete in challenges sponsored by industry-leading companies.
We are currently accepting 500 students for 2016
Featured Projects 2015-2016
Provide underserved people with access to clean water.
Reduce fruit and vegetable spoilage due to over-ripening.
Improve infant health through wearables and data
The Junior Academy strives to achieve the goal of a sustainable and bountiful future for all by working in the following areas
Nutrition, Agriculture, and Food Systems
Public Health and Well-being
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
Sustainability and Climate Change
Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
Security and Resilience
Twice a year (in September and January), Junior Academy members are invited to participate in a set of innovation challenges. Each challenge is preceded by a bootcamp designed to arm students with skills needed to effectively develop research-driven solutions to global problems with peers around the world. Members are required to participate in at least one challenge during their first year in the community. Bootcamp participation is recommended, but optional.
Build Skills During Bootcamps
In preparation for challenges, members gain access to best-in-class learning resources to develop relevant skills in areas such as research methods, design thinking, and data analysis.
Work With Experts
Teams gain access to STEM professionals with expertise in relevant subject areas, and may choose to work with a dedicated mentor throughout the challenge process.
Solving Real-world Problems
During the challenge, students work to develop solutions to real-world problems that can have an immediate impact.
A challenge statement is release at the beginning of every challenge highlighting the problem, potential areas to investigate, success criteria, and information on the company and judges.
Define a Problem
Define the problem your team wants to solve, learn as much as you can about factors that contribute to it, work together to brainstorm solutions, and design a concept to test.
Build a Prototype
Create a prototype or model of your solution, test it, and analyze the results.
Present Your Solution
Modify your solution based on what you learned, test it again and make any last refinements, and create a presentation to share your solution.
All Junior Academy members will be invited to gather at The New York Academy of Sciences headquarters in New York City for the second annual Global STEM Alliance Summit. Challenge finalists will receive all-expense-paid trips to attend the summit, as well as special recognition at the event and other prizes. The summit will take place over two days and include a variety of New York City cultural experiences, as well as opportunities to connect with mentors and other leading STEM professionals.
Earn certificate of completion
Gain access to global network of exceptional students and STEM professionals
Build personal profile to showcase skills and accomplishments
Upcoming 2016 Challenges
4-week bootcamps start September 2016
10-week challenges start October 2016
and Food Systems
Enrollment for The Junior Academy class of 2016 is closed. Enter your email address to receive a notification when we begin enrollment for the class of 2017.
The ideal student is an enthusiastic learner and problem solver with a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). He or she has a desire to learn more about the universe, and aspires to help address the world’s most pressing challenges through research and collaboration.
Students must be 13–19 years old.
The program is virtual and open to students anywhere in the world. All participants must have access to a computer and a reliable internet connection.
All program content and communication is in English, and a strong level of English proficiency is required. Students’ English proficiency will be assessed before they are accepted into The Junior Academy.
Students must receive a positive endorsement from an educator to participate.
Students are expected to dedicate approximately two hours per week to The Junior Academy during challenge periods.
It’s free! All costs are covered by our funders.