stem After school program - registration - 2019/2020



Students from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.  Our Program welcomes a diverse cross-section of learners including racial and ethnic minorities, and people from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

General Information:

This NHAS is offering an after school scientific research program for students in grades 6-12 as well as graduating seniors in the new lab facility located on the first floor of the brown barn of the Crossroads Academy upper campus parking lot. Although we are located on the Crossroad Academy campus, we are a separate entity and all inquiries should be made through the NHAS.

The program will run on Mondays and Thursdays from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM.  We may offer additional afternoons if demand exceeds capacity. 

The program has two sessions:

  • Session 1 runs from September 23, 2019 through December 19, 2019

  • Session 2 runs from January 13, 2020 through April 30, 2020

Students can choose to participate 1 day/week - either Mondays or Thursdays or 2 days/week - Mondays and Thursdays.

The after school program is administered and operated by NHAS scientists and is NOT a program of Crossroads Academy.  The NHAS instructors are accomplished science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals who will mentor students through the entire scientific process of background literature research, design and execution of a long-term investigation, and ultimately presenting or publishing their work in a variety of regional and national STEM venues.

The goal of the after school science program is to provide students who are interested in STEM a chance to experience performing authentic research in our facility under the guidance of accomplished STEM professionals.

In the first week of the program, there will be extensive instrument orientation and safety training followed by a careful review of each individual’s interests and expectations from the program.  We will do our best to ensure everyone has a detailed plan by mid-October regarding what they wish to study. Once a project has been chosen and the background literature research is completed, careful planning of experiments will take place and be reviewed by at least one advising scientist. Students may work individually or in groups of 2 to 3.

Our STEM lab is equipped to perform in-depth investigations in physical sciences, life sciences, and engineering.  Students can choose to work with the following:

-Life science research using plant tissue culture using model organisms
-Machine learning and computer science
-Engineering projects with our advanced Lulzbot TAZ 3-D printer using Fusion 360 as the CAD
-Advanced digital imaging

As in any authentic STEM investigation, it will take motivation, commitment, and tenacity.  The single most important outcome for any participant is learning the intellectual processes, skills, and manual techniques that scientists and engineers use to make the world a better place for all life on Earth.

Pricing per session:

1 day/week - Monday or Thursday - $600
2 days/week - Monday and Thursday - $1200

Pricing for both sessions:

1 day/week - Monday or Thursday - $1200
2 days/week - Monday and Thursday - $2400

Enrollment is on a “first come, first served” basis with a limit of 15 students for each day of a session. In the event that we fill a session, we have a waiting list and if there is enough demand we may offer an additional day.

Key Information:

  • The after school science research program is administered by the NHAS, a not-for-profit charitable corporation originally established in 1919 and incorporated as a charitable organization in 2014. Donations are always welcome.

  • The program is designed for students who are committed to performing original research and mature enough to work independently.

  • By the fall of 2019, prospective participants must be in grades 6-12.

  • The program has two sessions (Session 1 runs from September 23 - December 19 and Session 2 runs from January 13 - April 30).

  • The cost is $600 for 1 session or $1200 for both sessions if you wish to participate 1 day per week.

  • The cost is $1,200 for 1 session or $2400 for both sessions if you wish to participate 2 days per week.

  • Payment is for a complete session(s) and any absences by participants in a session are not reimbursable. A participant can exit the program within the first 2 weeks of any session and will be reimbursed on a pro-rated basis.

  • After the first 2 weeks of any session, tuition is only refundable under extenuating circumstances, such as for health reasons.

  • An additional lab cost might be necessary for those rare cases where a participant needs unusual equipment or excessive amounts of consumable items.

  • If the lab is closed for weather or other logistical reasons, we will offer make-up times.

  • NHAS scientists will work with students to set appropriate individualized goals and experimental designs based on the number of sessions, which sessions they attend, and how many days per week they participate.

  • Financial aid is available on our website.

  • If space is available, late entries will be charged on a pro-rated basis (inquire for details).

  • The NHAS lab located on the Crossroads campus is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with a wide array of advanced scientific instruments that support research across the STEM disciplines. If you have not yet visited the lab, please inquire for a tour. The lab is designed and operated for middle and secondary school students to experience what it is to work towards solving real STEM problems in an authentic research environment alongside STEM professionals.

  • The NHAS is an affiliate of the National Association of Academies of Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


To enable participants to perform novel investigations in life sciences, our lab utilizes various model organisms, including the free-living roundworm C. elegans and the aquatic crustacean Daphnia magna. These organisms make powerful investigative models, they are safe and easy to manipulate, applicable to a wide variety of environmental and human health issues, and able to yield reliable data rapidly. Participants will also have the option to design their studies utilizing sterile plant and animal tissue culture systems.

To enable students to perform novel investigations in physical sciences, engineerings and computer science, our lab is equipped with an advanced 3-D printer that prints in about 30 materials and uses Fusion 360 for its CAD software. We also have a modern optics/engineering isolation table to design and build advanced optical instruments; this often is combined with 3-D printing. We also have powerful iMac computers to perform machine learning to develop image recognition software of organisms we use in life-science research. Students can use movies and still images they have captured in the field by flying our advanced drone over remote forested areas.

Regardless of the organism or model system, our laboratory is well equipped to utilize a wide array of molecular biology techniques including: polymerase chain reaction (PCR), gel electrophoresis, DNA/RNA/Protein isolation and analysis, western blot (immunoblotting), DNA sequencing, reverse transcription/real-time PCR, and DNA cloning into bacteria. Some of the instrumentation available to enable this work includes: advanced microscopes (stereo, inverted, fluorescent, and dark field), a sterile room with a Class 2 clean bench, refrigerated and non-refrigerated centrifuges, and a variety of thermal cyclers (including a RT-PCR thermal cycler). For an optimal learning experience, informational videos and reading materials will be provided prior to the start of program.


The primary outcome for all participants is directly executing the entire scientific or engineering method.  This ambitious outcome is attainable by those students who are motivated to understand nature, committed to excellence, undaunted by failure, and mature enough to work independently.

All participants will conclude the session with an oral presentation of their investigation to regional STEM professionals and guests.

Students will also be given the opportunity to submit their research in paper form to the NHAS for electronic publication on our website.  This is a peer-reviewed process and carries considerable weight as a full research publication.

We encourage participants to submit research papers that meet a minimum bar of data acquisition and analysis, so that they may attend the annual meeting of the American Junior Academy of Science (AJAS). This does not in any way guarantee a participant will make it through the necessary peer-review process.  To find out more about how a participant meets the requirements to attend the AJAS, please contact the NHAS Executive Director. The NHAS Executive Director conducts an informational meeting in September for students and parents regarding membership and participation in the AJAS.


To complete the online Registration you will need to complete the following 3 steps:

1) Read all After School STEM Lab Program Policies. You must agree to these policies by checking the 'Agree' box in the Registration Form (step 2) below.

2) Accept STEM Lab Program Policies and fill out the Registration Form. You may choose one or 2 program sessions (Session 1 and/or Session 2). You must also choose 1 or 2 days per session; if 1 day/session is chosen, you must choose Monday or Thursday. The application will not allow you to save the form and return at a later time.  Please prepare all the necessary information ahead of time and submit the application in one sitting.

3) Payment and Pricing Policy can be viewed by clicking the link below.  Your registration is not complete and we will not hold your spot until you submit your full payment (unless you are applying for financial aid).  The NHAS is committed to providing this opportunity to any serious student!  Financial aid is available on a case-by-case basis. To apply for financial aid, please click here.

Important Notes:
Acceptance notifications are generally made via email within 14 days of payment. 
You will be asked to submit health and admission forms.

Disclaimer: We reserve the right to cancel a program session if warranted by our situation. In that event, you will be given the option to join another after school session or cancel your admission in which case all payments will be refunded within 10-20 days in the form of a check.