Genetics: Nature or Nurture? (Grades 8-9) | Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Genetics: Nature or Nurture? (Grades 8-9)


Genetics has become a cutting-edge science, not only in the field of biology, but also because of the enormous social and medical reach of its discoveries. In this program students will explore the environment’s role in gene expression. Are traits controlled by inherited genes or by a combination of genes and the environment? Can certain diseases be cured through gene-editing? Students will experiment with Drosophila (fruit flies), a widely used model organism in real-world genetics investigations. Students will also practice doing or modeling genetic techniques such as DNA isolation, Gene-editing, PCR, , etc. and will use statistical analyses to quantify research outcomes.

This program is for students entering Grades 8-9 in fall 2018. Students must turn 13 by September 1, 2018, to be eligible for this program.

Date:          July 22-27, 2018*
Location:    Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, 1500 Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL
Cost:           $938

*These programs begin with check-in Sunday evening and conclude with student departure on Friday afternoon following a 2 pm presentation for parents. Students will live in the IMSA residence halls, eat meals in our cafeteria, and enjoy free time and organized activities in the evening.
This program is currently full, and the waitlist has reached capacity. We are no longer accepting waitlist registrations.


Registration deadline: May 31, 2018   Scholarship application deadline:  April 1, 2018
Need-based scholarships* are available!   Online scholarship applications open February 13, 2018.  This year scholarships for Residential Programs will be offered on a rolling basis, so it is to your benefit to complete your scholarship application as early as possible. Residential scholarships will range from partial to full scholarships, depending on a family’s financial situation.  During the scholarship application process you will be asked to submit proof of family income.  Scholarship recipients will be responsible for a $30 administrative fee no matter what amount of aid they receive.
*Applying for a scholarship does not guarantee an award or registration into the summer program. To qualify and apply for a scholarship, the student is required to submit proof of eligibility: 2016 or 2017 federal or state tax return showing your adjusted gross income and number of dependents. WATCH YOUR EMAIL and CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER! Award recipients will be notified via email and must reply to scholarship offer within time period indicated in email. NOTE: You may choose to either pay for program registration OR apply for a scholarship and await award notification.  Scholarship applications will not be accepted along with a paid registration.
Refund Policy
Please choose your programs carefully. For residential programs, full refunds (less a $30 processing fee) will be given for requests received by March 31, 2018. After this date through April 30, 2018, a partial refund (50%) will be provided for residential programs. No refund requests for residential programs received after April 30, 2018 will be honored. For day programs, full refunds (less a $30 processing fee) will be provided for requests received through April 30.  After this date through May 31, 2018, a partial refund (50%) will be provided. No refund requests for day programs received after May 31 will be honored. ALL requests for refunds must be made in writing. You can direct requests by email to Please include the program name and date, your child’s name, and your name. Phone call requests for refunds will not be accepted.

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