THE JUNIOR ACADEMY…Innovation and Volunteer Opportunity

Are you a passionate about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) ? Do you have some experience conducting scientific research (e.g., graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, university professors, or STEM professionals)? Do you have access to at least one communication device with internet capabilities? Are you passionate about engaging and inspiring the next generation of STEM innovators? Are you willing to give your voluntary support? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Junior Academy is here for you!


About Junior Academy

The Junior Academy is a virtual community of problem solvers made up of talented students aged 13-19 and STEM experts dedicated to designing innovative solutions to global challenges. With support from their mentors, Junior Academy students’ compete in innovation challenges sponsored by industry-leading companies. Through an online collaboration platform, students develop advanced research and innovation skills with best-in-class learning resources, and apply those skills during 10-week challenge periods.You can be a part of this global community by applying to be a Mentor! Qualified mentors in the program are: Graduate students, postdocs, or professionals working in a STEM-related field.

My Experience

This year, Junior Academy only had one , yes one! student from Nigeria and two mentors(including me) who were originally from Nigeria of which I happened to be the only one currently living in Nigeria. This was probably due to background check restrictions in Nigeria as I had to get my fingerprint details (paid for) in order to complete the background check process and verification.

Looking back, I’m glad I volunteered to be part of the programme. While I’d say it was a bit demanding juggling expectations of the programme with my day job, it was a mind blowing experience. I had the opportunity to mentor a team of students from different part of the globe. Specifically, China, Mexico, Tanzania , and United States. The mentees were saddled with a challenge to  develop a solution that seeks to address one of the world’s most pressing challenges i.e. food preservation. I previously had experience working with teenagers during my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) – mandatory one year paramilitary programme for Nigerian graduate – but trust me, this was different. The innovative thinking, presentation skills, communication, cultural nuances and knowledge of science displayed by the mentees was motivating, inspiring and at times left me in a state of awe. 

The Junior Academy is currently on a drive to increase the number of Nigerian students and mentors participating in its programme. Mentor recruitment and student enrollment is now open. To find out more about the benefits and the application process, use the links below:

Application deadline is June 30, 2016.

If you have any questions on the program, please reach out to Junior Academy at

NOTE: Participation is voluntary hence no financial benefit is attached. Feel free to ask me any question about the program.


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