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How to Make Your Junior Academy Application Shine

Published April 11, 2019

How to Make Your Junior Academy Application Shine

The New York Academy of Sciences is looking for bright high school students interested in STEM to join The Junior Academy. Through this program, you’ll develop research, innovation, and collaboration skills. You'll then leverage those skills to compete in innovation challenges sponsored by industry-leading companies, where you’ll work under the guidance of a STEM professional. (Hear about the experience from past Junior Academy participants.)

All you need to participate is access to a computer, a reliable internet connection, and proficiency in English (all programming is in English).

Interested? Great! There's only one catch: The Junior Academy only accepts about 10 percent of applicants. That means it’s essential to make your application shine. Here’s how:


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.


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.


Show us that 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.


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?


Tap into your favorite teacher for
a recommendation.

Explain to your teacher what The Junior Academy is and why you want to participate. Let them know the application deadline so they can send the recommendation on time. At least two days before the deadline, politely ask your teacher if they sent it, to give them a little more time in case they haven’t sent it yet.


Apply today for your chance to participate in The Junior Academy. The application deadline is July 31st.