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).

Fall 2023: STEM League – Ethics

“With great power comes great responsibility” and with each new powerful STEM innovation comes another complex moral question for consideration. As scientists and engineers continue to push the limits on what we’re capable of doing as a species, it becomes all the more important for us to also consider the implications that might come along with the decisions we make in regard to how we use that new advancement.

In this 8-week online program, participants will be challenged to try and answer a few of the top quandaries of 21st century STEM: 1) Should humans try to geoengineer (a.k.a. climate engineer) the Earth?, 2) Is it okay to use animals in scientific research?, and 3) Are the potential benefits of conducting gain-of-function research worth the inherent risks that it comes with? Students will study curated resources (readings, videos, and thought-provoking lectures) to help inform them about the science underlying the topic at hand, so they are able to make an informed opinion on the issue. While most of the coursework can be accomplished asynchronously (i.e. according to the student’s own schedule), there will also be opportunities for weekly discussions/debates with fellow classmates and an IMSA Outreach instructor.

The time commitment is roughly 1.5 – 3 hours per week. Synchronous meetings (optional but encouraged and recorded) will take place every week via Zoom on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30 pm C.S.T., with open/drop-in office hours via Zoom on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 pm C.S.T. or by appointment. There will be no meeting or office hours on Nov. 21 and 22.

Please use the links below to register or apply for a scholarship.* The scholarship application closes on October 8th, and paid registration closes on October 12th. If the program fills before this date, you may opt to sign up for the waitlist by using the same registration link below.

School Year: 2023-2024SessionDatesSynchronous MeetingsCostRegistrationScholarship Application
Grades 7-10IMSA STEM League: Ethics of STEM10/15/23 - 12/9/23Wednesdays via Zoom from 4:30-5:30 PM CST, with open/drop-in office hours via Zoom on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 PM CST$220CLOSEDCLOSED

*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 if you have difficulty with this requirement. Alternatively, a 2021 or 2022 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: Please include the program name and your student’s full name.