Program Profile

The New York Academy of Sciences

The Junior Academy

  • High School/Grades 9-12

The New York Academy of Sciences’ Junior Academy is a virtual exchange program bringing together a passionate community of problem solvers made up of talented students, STEM experts, and organizations around the world dedicated to designing innovative solutions to global challenges.

Students from the U.S. and MENA region are guided by mentors and have access to world-class STEM learning resources as they work in teams on Launchpad – the Academy’s virtual collaboration platform. Through challenge-based learning, they build their scientific research and critical 21st century skills, as well as form dynamic networks to support their journeys to become the next generation of STEM leaders.


Students work in self-formed U.S. and MENA teams to develop solutions to a health and nutrition challenge. Throughout the project, they communicate virtually, either synchronously (live) or asynchronously, as they deepen their topic-area knowledge, work through the scientific process to test and develop their ideas and prototypes, receive mentorship and advice from STEM experts on the platform, and create thorough presentations of their final solutions. The winning teams are awarded travel scholarships to attend a 2.5 day summit in New York City to meet with mentors, hear from industry leaders, and forge strong bonds with STEM-passionate peers. Through the Junior Academy experience, students establish a global network of like-minded peers, have a real-world experience to put on their school applications, and deepen their appreciation for talent that exists outside of their own countries.

Program Details
  • Number of Participants: 3,000
  • Participant Age Group: High School/Grades 9-12
  • Partners in the Middle East and North Africa: Jordan – The Royal Health Awareness Society; Egypt, Lebanon, and the UAE – The Royal Health Awareness Society and their partner Mentor Arabia
  • Project Duration: April 2021July 2023

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Junior Academy is implemented by The New York Academy of Sciences and is supported by the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative (JCSVEI). JCSVEI is a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program administered by the Aspen Institute.