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).

Spring 2024: STEM League – Neuroscience

Thanks to modern technology, we can now study the nervous system in ways that would have been unimaginable mere decades ago. All of these recently-gained capabilities have greatly accelerated the expansion of the field of neuroscience, with new discoveries being made every day. This course will provide students with an integrated foundation for understanding the complex functions of the nervous system and, in particular, the brain. Basic principles of neurobiology will be discussed to develop an understanding of how these biological factors are associated with human behaviors.

We will be reading the book The Brain: The Story of You by acclaimed neuroscientist David Eagleman. Through a series of engaging anecdotes and thought-provoking commentary, this book introduces key ideas and explanations on how the human brain develops, how our senses and perceptive abilities develop and can change over time, why we are such social beings, and how environmental influences can influence our actions and decision-making. The book will be supplemented with additional resources (videos, original research, etc.) to help provide further context and perspective for the scientific concepts presented in the book.

The estimated time commitment for this program 2-3 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. 

(*Parental Advisory:  Please note that The Brain: The Story of You contains some PG-13 topics such as genocide/rape and sexual attraction.)

Please use the links below to register or apply for a scholarship.* The scholarship application closes on January 28th, and paid registration closes on February 4th. 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 8-11IMSA STEM League: Neuroscience2/12/24 - 4/14/24Wednesdays 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$250WAITLIST ONLYCLOSED

*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.