K-12 Programs

IQIM interacts broadly with K-12 students and we also include teachers.  Over 1,000 students participate in programs held on the Caltech campus including Project Scientist AcademySouthern California State Science Olympiad, and InnoWorks Academy.  IQIM hosts high school teachers for a Summer Research Institute; a six-week immersion in the laboratory experience working directly with faculty, students and researchers.  IQIM faculty also participate in STEM initiatives at Pasadena High School.

Members of IQIM ranging from graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, staff and faculty participate in classroom visits, qCraft gaming demonstrations, Skype discussions with classrooms, and other media such as interviews and discussions on podcasts.  Find links to these in the Media Archive.

Project Scientist Academy

Project Scientist Academy at Caltech is a summer camp program that creates a community of like-minded girls, ages 4-12, and engages them in an exceptional STEM learning experience. Hands-on learning in laboratories and classrooms helps the girls envision a future for themselves as university students or professionals in STEM fields. The Academy features small class sizes and credentialed teachers, interaction with female STEM professionals as mentors, enrichment activities that tie to the arts and design, and familial engagement. Learn more about Project Scientist at http://www.projectscientist.org/

“We’re doing a lot of cool experiments and we can do a lot of things. It’s really cool that it’s just girls.” – Marly, Project Scientist participant

Project Scientist

Southern California Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad

Southern California Science Olympiad In April 2016, Caltech hosted the Southern California finals of the Science Olympiad, a nationwide science and engineering competition. 60 teams (over 1,000 students and their parents) from area middle and high schools competed in a series of events that involve laboratory investigation, hands-on engineering, or a written test. IQIM was a sponsor for the event, and provided event judges and volunteers. Learn more here.

“Science Olympiad is the reason I decided that I wanted to become an engineer.” – Julie Jester (Caltech Alum) and Science Olympiad volunteer

InnoWorks Academy

InnoWorks Academy serves students from schools eligible for the free/reduced lunch program. The curriculum for the week-long program is developed and implemented by a team of Caltech undergraduate students.  In June 2015 the Caltech chapter of InnoWorks hosted one of the largest programs nationwide with over 70 middle and junior-high school students, 13 undergraduate mentors, and 5 undergraduate mentor coordinators. The program included activities ranging from building and racing LEGO Mindstorm robots, to modeling a pollutant’s dispersion into an aquifer.

“To [see] InnoWorks as just a science camp where students come to learn about science is an understatement. InnoWorks is where students’ experience, engage, and conduct science, where they learn not just about science, but also about collaboration, leadership, and innovation.” – Rebekah Zhou, 2014 undergraduate mentor

Read more about InnoWorks in Caltech Media

And on Quantum Frontiers



Research Experience for High School Teachers and Students

Through experience in a lab environment, IQIM works to instill new enthusiasm in the teachers for inquiry based learning. IQIM hosts high school teachers for a Summer Research Institute; a six-week immersion in the laboratory experience. Read blog posts from our Summer Teachers here:

“[S]cience and its experiments are often dirty, dangerous, wrought with trial and error, extremely tedious, research heavy, occasionally awe-inspiring, and fascinatingly rewarding if you have a love for science and the vision that true joy mostly lies not in discovery, but in the journey. And that’s cool.”

“I have been able to quench some of my thirst for answers about how the world works, in the areas of lasers and superconductivity anyhow.”

“On the day of my arrival, my Physics knowledge was quickly put to the test. Little did I know that scientific process skills were to be used every day for the duration of the experiment.”

Monika BatraMonika Batra

IB Physics Teacher – Pasadena

How I Fell in Love with Teaching and Most Recently with LIGO

 “While I gained a lot of exciting new knowledge on the nature of waves and gravitational physics, my work with [my mentor] reinforced my feeling of how great it is to teach and to spread the excitement of science to the public.”