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How to Make Your Junior Academy Application Shine

Each year we seek out passionate STEM-interested students from around the world to join our signature high school research program. Here are four smart tips that will give your application an edge.

Through the Junior Academy of The New York Academy of Sciences, high school students ages 13-17 develop research, innovation, and collaboration skills. They leverage these skills to compete in Innovation Challenges sponsored by industry-leading companies, where they work under the guidance of a STEM professional. In order to participate, students must have access to a computer, phone or tablet, an internet connection, and a global mindset, as Junior Academy teams are composed of a cohort of students from different countries all over the world.

It’s a very unqiue STEM learning experience, and every year, we seek out passionate high school students interested in STEM to join. If you’re a student who wants to apply, keep these tips in mind for how to make your application shine.

Tip #1: Be thoughtful about your answers to the essay questions.

The Junior Academy is looking for what makes you unique. Is there something that makes you stand out in school or extracurricular activities?

When writing your responses, be clear and concise. You only have 500 words to complete each question; but if you can get your point across in fewer words, don’t feel like you have to use all the space. Proofread your answers carefully. Ask a friend or family member to read your answers before you submit the application—they may spot an error you missed.

Tip #2: Talk about the personal challenges you’ve overcome.

When you’re part of the Junior Academy, you’ll be using creative problem-solving skills. That means overcoming obstacles in your path. We’ve all faced obstacles in our lives, so tell us about a tricky situation you faced and how you handled it. For example, did you ever have a report, a test, and a project all due in the same week? If so, how did you complete them all to the best of your ability? Or, have you ever made the team after previously having been rejected? How did you regroup and succeed the second time around? Stories of perseverance and resilience are what we want to hear.

Tip #3: Show us you’re a team player.

When you work on an innovation challenge, you will collaborate on a team of two to six people. Share a time that you’ve worked with a team towards a common goal. Did you have a particular skill that you brought to the table? Let us know what it is.

Tip #4: Explain how you’ll be able to meet the time commitment.

You’ll need work with your team three to four hours a week on your challenge solution. How will you balance this with your academics, other extracurricular activities, and personal life?

Learn more about the Junior Academy.

Read about some of our past Junior Academy winning teams here and here.


Academy Staff
This article was written by a member of the Academy staff.

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