Click here to learn about Academy events, publications and initiatives around COVID-19.

We are experiencing intermittent technical difficulties. At this time, you may not be able to log in, register for an event, or make a donation via the website. We appreciate your patience, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Our site is under planned maintenance. At this time, you will not be able to log in, register for an event, or make a donation via the website. We appreciate your patience, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Support The World's Smartest Network

Help the New York Academy of Sciences bring late-breaking scientific information about the COVID-19 pandemic to global audiences. Please make a tax-deductible gift today.

This site uses cookies.
Learn more.


This website uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate while others offer you a better browsing experience. You give us your permission to use cookies, by continuing to use our website after you have received the cookie notification. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to change your cookie settings, see our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

We encourage you to learn more about cookies on our site in our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

Summer STEM Career Lab

Key Dates

Sign-Up Closes

July 22nd, 2020


July 24th, 2020

Program Dates

July 27th - August 17th, 2020

Design Challenge Presentation

August 17th

Explore New Career Paths

Queens Public Library, in collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences and CIV:LAB, will be hosting the virtual Summer STEM Career Lab. From July 27th to August 17th, youths in New York City neighborhoods are invited to learn about the changing career landscape in light of COVID-19 through the Ignite Talk Series and the Virtual Internship.

The Summer STEM Career Lab aims to provide youths with personalized career guidance and diverse career perspectives. Through the interactions with mentors and experts, youths are encouraged to explore career opportunities they might not have considered before and to develop interests in potential new career paths.

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a one-year membership to the Academy, an Academy digital badge, and a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

The Ignite Talk Series

Each week, the Ignite Talk Series invites 3 professionals from The Grid representing a multitude of backgrounds into the virtual space to share their careers and experiences with the participants. During the weekly 45-minute webinar, participants will get an inside look at different career paths and begin to think about potential career goals.

The Virtual Internship

In partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences, the Summer STEM Career Lab offers a unique Virtual Internship opportunity, in which participants are paired with mentors to gain insight into their work and to receive personalized advice and guidance in shaping future career paths. Following each meeting with their mentors, participants will create a journal entry on Launchpad and share their experiences with other participants during weekly peer discussion. The peer discussion provides space for participants to reflect on what they have learned, exchange valuable advice from their mentors, and support each other’s career interests.


The Summer STEM Career Lab connects students, mentors, and experts through Launchpad, the Academy’s proprietary virtual collaboration platform. All participants will be invited to join Launchpad upon completion of the signup form. On Launchpad, participants will be able to create a personal profile and group projects, make journal entries, engage in discussions with other program participants, and more.

Learn more about Launchpad here.

Summer STEM Career Lab

The Summer STEM Career Lab features the Ignite Talk Series and the Virtual Internship. Student’s effort and engagement will be observed through:

  • Journal Entries: Participants will document each meeting with their mentor in the virtual journal and follow the prompts to write a reflection.
  • Design Challenge: Participants will work in groups to design a prototype that addresses the impact of COVID-19 on a selected topic area and that can be used to improve the quality of life in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Program Dates

July 27th to August 17th, 2020


July 24th, 2020 The orientation will be hosted by Queens Library. Details will be sent to individuals that complete the signup form.

Time Commitment

  • Ignite Talk Series: 45 minutes each week
  • Virtual Internship: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours each week
  • Journal Entry: at least twice a week
  • Design Challenge: 1 to 2 hours each week


  • Maintain punctuality and professionalism
  • Attend and actively participate in the weekly Ignite Talk
  • Contribute and engage in group project for the Design Challenge
  • Schedule to meet with mentors 3 times a week, 30 minutes each time
  • Complete journal entry after each mentor meeting session
  • Prepare to present and update progress every Friday during peer discussion

Launchpad Community Guideline

Participants are required to follow the Code of Conduct as a member of the Launchpad community. Help us foster a safe and encouraging online space by reading and understanding the Code of Conduct, and submit any concerns using the form attached.

Summer STEM Career Lab


What are the age requirements?

You must be between the ages of 13 and 18 when the Program begins on July 27th, 2020 to be eligible to participate.

Do I need permission from my parents to participate?

Yes! Parents are required to acknowledge your participation by signing the Parental Consent Form, which will be sent to them via email after you complete the signup form.

Does participation cost anything?

No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to participate in the program.

Do I need to travel anywhere to participate in the Challenge?

No travel is necessary to participate. The Program takes place virtually and all communication can be done through Launchpad or email.


How do I create an account on Launchpad?

Individuals who sign up for the Program will receive an email invitation to join Launchpad within 1-2 business day(s). If you haven’t done so yet, sign up for the Program now!

What can I do on Launchpad?

Once you create a Launchpad account, you will be able to create your own profile, post and comment on the discussion board, create projects, and message other Launchpad users. You can learn more about Launchpad’s functionality in its Resources section.

I have more questions about the program, who can I contact?

For more information about the Challenge, please email us at