Junior ILP

Program overview

The Junior ILP program is based upon our ILP program for older students, but with age appropriate modifications for younger participants. It is our belief that the earlier students begin to adopt a proactive, self-driven approach to learning, the better prepared they’ll be for future challenges. The Junior ILP program is structured around predefined topics to provide students with a specific scope for independent study and research. The approach combines in-class curriculum and exercises / tasks that students work on outside of scheduled class times. At the end of each cohort, all participants present their work to an audience of peers and parents.

Eligibility and Guidelines

The Junior ILP program includes in-person class time and is currently only offered to students in the Austin area. Applicants must be at least 7 years old to be considered. Please note that this is NOT a drop-off class. Since our class members are so young, we ask that parents remain on-site.

Hear from parents of students

My son Ryan has been taking courses through STEMed Labs for about a year now and I can not express how wonderfully educational and fun these classes are. The very first course he took was a Genetics course, in which we explored DNA. My son and I, for that matter, will never forget the very first experiment performed in the class. It involved the extraction of DNA from strawberries!! It was absolutely incredible to see the DNA coming out of the strawberries in the form of this long, stringy, noodle-like, white material. Ryan was absolutely amazed, and since then, we have replicated this experiment several times at home using different fruits. I think after that very first class we were hooked to this program.

Katherine and Amanda are the instructors, and I must say they are phenomenal. Katherine presents the material, which could be considered quite complex, and breaks it down in a way in which the children understand and are able to grasp the concepts. They collaborate to come up with interesting and fun hands on experiments, which further reinforce the material covered. To see the joy and excitement on the students faces is truly priceless. Ryan has participated in other STEMed Labs programs, such as an Architecture and a Polymer course. Because it is such an exceptional science program, we will continue to take any STEMed Labs course offered and I would recommend to anyone who has a child interested in science. Amanda Smith

Junior ILP parent

Summer 2019: Microbiology


We are offering an exciting Junior ILP series for students this summer. Over the course of five sessions, participants will learn about tools and methods microbiologists use to solve real world problems. We will be hosting the class in conjunction with Dr. Kim’s lab at UT Austin. Specific avenues of exploration and activities include:

  • Determine numbers and types of bacterial colonies that live on your skin
  • Extract DNA from bacteria and visualize it utilizing ultraviolet light
  • Employ pGLO to make bacteria luminesce

All participants must have prior lab experience and the maturity to handle working in a professional environment. Please note that only students will be allowed in the laboratory, but parents and siblings are welcome to remain on campus for the duration of the class/lab time.


    Location and Schedule

    Neural and Molecular Science Building (NMS 4.246) on the University of Texas at Austin campus (2506 Speedway, Austin, TX 78712) from 10:30 am to noon, daily from July 8-12.

    Parking on campus is not covered by program fees, but the closest garage to the NMS building is the 27th Street garage. Other options for visitors can be found here


    Costs and Application Dates

    • Program cost: $50 / student (partial scholarships available based on financial need)
    • Applications open: May 17
    • Application deadline: June 17
    • Notification deadline: June 24
    • Classes begin: July 8

    Join the cohort

    Space is limited, so we encourage interested students to signup as soon as possible!

    Previous Junior ILP topics

    Biology – Conservation Biology

    Spring 2019

    Materials Science – Polymers

    Spring 2018

    Physics – Astrophysics

    Fall 2018

    Anatomy – The Brain

    Summer 2018

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