What is Young Innovators?
The mission of Young Innovators is to engage and excite young men and women in science, technology, engineering, and math experiences that facilitate critical thinking, apply project-based learning, and utilize adult mentors in an effort to solve real-world global problems.
Young Innovators is a program for young men and women of middle or high school age that encourages creative thinking and real world application of S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles. Groups of 8-10 students are registered as an Innovation Team and work on a S.T.E.M. project that will solve a real-world challenge throughout the school year. At the end of the school year, Innovation Teams will compete against each other in the Innovation Competition.
Young Innovators utilizes the Exploring program and its emphasis on career exposure to young people.
Who Can Participate?
The program is designed for young men and women in middle or high school grades. Participants will register for the program by completing an application to join Exploring, a program under the umbrella of the Boy Scouts of America. Exploring has no specific joining criteria other than being the appropriate age.
Is Young Innovators a Year-Round Program?
The core of the Young Innovators program follows the standard school year, September through May. During that time, Innovation Teams will design and develop their projects, visit with S.T.E.M. experts at their team’s host location, and compete against other teams.
In future phases, there will be opportunities during the summer months for Innovation Teams to see S.T.E.M. careers in action by visiting various S.T.E.M.-related businesses and facilities. At these locations, participants will be exposed to various science and math career fields like biochemistry, engineering, aviation, agriculture, etc.
Who Leads the Program?
The program is led in multiple ways. There are adults that oversee the teams and make sure that they stay safe and keep within the parameters of the program. There are also leadership roles that the youth participants take on. There are youth leadership roles such as Chief Researcher, Safety Manager, etc. The adult positions are appointed by the leadership of the sponsoring school and the youth leaders are elected by their peers.
How Do I Join?
To join as an adult leader or youth participant, an application must be completed and submitted along with the $24 annual registration fee. Adults must also complete Youth Protection training. Scholarships for the registration fee are available to those youth who demonstrate financial hardship. To see a list of active teams, visit Innovation Teams.