RISE Online Learning (Grades 9-12)

Research, Inquiry Skills & Experimentation (RISE)

The Research, Inquiry Skills & Experimentation (RISE) program is intended for students in 9-12th grade who are interested in pursuing a high-level, year-long, in-depth study of a science topic of their choosing by conducting original scientific research. Successful students in this program are self-motivated and independent learners.

This program gives students the opportunity to participate in the community of scientific research and scholarship. Students are expected to utilize their work from this program to enter various science symposia, usually hosted annually in March-May. Dates for all symposia will be posted at the start of the program, as they are announced. 

The outcomes of this program are linked to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), College Readiness Standards, and Common Core State Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects.

Program Specifics

  • RISE is an online, non-credit-bearing research experience for students in grades 9-12 with successful students earning a certificate of completion. NOTE: Space is limited.
  • Regular access to a computer with the internet is required and necessary.
  • The program starts on August 21, 2023, and runs through early June.
  • Successful students will be self-motivated and independent learners. The program is largely asynchronous but is NOT self-paced (students must adhere to firm due dates).
  • Students will be expected to secure a research mentor and a lab space (if needed) in order to conduct their research; students will be guided through these processes early on in the program.
  • Students who fail to meet three program assignment deadlines will be removed from the program without a refund. In order to be ready for the spring symposia all research and writing needs to be completed in a timely manner.
  • The program includes a significant writing component with participation in various science symposia in the 2nd semester.
  • Tuition: $1280; some financial/need-based scholarships are available (see below)

Proven Track Record of Success

We have had a number of highly successful RISE student projects over the years. Check out our list of Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) award-winning RISE students and their projects from this past year (summarized in the table below). In addition, several of last year’s RISE students entered the CeMAST symposium and 100% of these entrants were selected as semi-finalists, with one RISE student taking 3rd place overall. Another RISE student was also selected with a special honor in Illinois to present her research with graduate students at the IJAS symposium held at Bradley University representing IJAS in Illinois and also took 1st place overall in the Chicago Cubs STEAM fair. We are so proud of these students and are excited to see where their research takes them!

Student First NameGradeProject TitleIJAS Region 5 an State Awards
Evangeline B.9thSignificance of Volcanic Ash Concentration and Fertilizer Type on Phaseolus vulgaris as a Sustainable Alternative to Synthetic FertilizerIJAS REGION 5-Above Gold Paper

IJAS STATE-Best in Paper ( Top 20) , Gold Paper and Gold Poster
Sahana G.9thAPL-1 as a Model of Beta Amyloid for Alzheimer's DiseaseIJAS REGION 5-Above Gold Paper, Gold Poster

IJAS STATE-Gold Paper, Silver Poster
Corinna K.11thMethanesulfonic Acid in Greenland Ice Core as a Predictor of Marine Primary Production Changes Over TimeIJAS REGION 5-Above Gold Paper

IJAS STATE-Best in Paper ( Top 20), Gold Poster and Gold Paper
Shriya K.9thThe Effectiveness of Combinations of the Environmental Factors Light Exposure, Oxygen Exposure, Temperature and Salt Concentration in Limiting the Growth of E. coliIJAS REGION 5-Above Gold Paper, Gold Poster

IJAS STATE-EPIC Award ( Microbiology), Gold Poster, Gold Paper
Samira K.9thEpigenetic Insights Into how Temperature Impacts the Memory Choice of Oviposition in Drosophila melanogasterIJAS REGION 5-Above Gold Paper, Gold Poster, Best in Paper Session (Microbiology)

IJAS STATE-EPIC Award (Cellular and Molecular Biology), Gold Poster and Gold Paper
Mia M.10thMeta analysis: Comparing Geological 12C/13C Ratios in the Taylor Glacier and 14C levels in the Hulu Cave During the Last Deglaciation to Determine the Difference in Ratios in the Present AtmosphereIJAS REGION 5-Above Gold Paper, Gold Poster, Best in Category-Earth Science Award

IJAS STATE-Special Award Earth Science, EPIC ( Earth Science) Gold Poster, Gold Paper
Pranaya R.11thOptimization of Protocol to Store Dried Blood Spots for Genomic AnalysisIJAS REGION 5-Above Gold Paper, Gold Poster, Best in Paper Session Award

IJAS STATE-Gold Paper, Gold Poster
Anika S.11thThe Impact of Cyanobacteria on the Rate of Regeneration of Planaria to Determine Novel Antiproliferative and Cytotoxic Compounds for Development of a Novel Cancer TreatmentIJAS REGION 5-Above Gold Paper, Gold Poster , Best of Category ( MIcrobiology)

IJAS STATE-EPIC Award ( Exceptional Project in Category),Best in Paper Session (top 20) Overall, Gold Paper, Gold Poster

Program Expectations and Additional Information

This program should be approached similarly to any other rigorous, advanced high school/college-level academic course with time spent working towards project goals each day.  

Students will conduct their research experiments either at home, school, a local lab, or another place of industry. RISE is completely online with the majority of work taking place asynchronously and is hosted on IMSA’s Learning Management System, Canvas. It is important to note that this program is not self-paced. Participants are required to adhere to firm due dates for all work and after three missed due dates, students will be removed from the program without refund. Students are expected to attend one of the weekly office hour times synchronously & in small groups (via Zoom) unless the instructor excuses the student in advance. Weekly office hours are provided at several different times to accommodate a variety of schedules.   

Throughout the program, students will write a formal research paper, create a research poster and prepare an oral presentation which will be entered into the various science symposia in the spring semester. Due to the advanced nature of writing and research skills developed during this program, there will be extensive feedback from the instructor, librarian, and professional mentors with opportunities for revisions. If revisions are needed on student work, it is expected that students submit their revisions within 48 hours of being returned by the instructor, the student’s mentor, or other program staff. Participants must meet the expectations on all work and adhere to firm due dates and a 48-hour revision schedule in order to remain in the program.

All experiments must follow the IJAS guidelines. Upon successful completion of this program, eligible participants will receive a certificate of completion from IMSA. The general timeline for the program includes beginning on August 21st with all experiments completed by December. There is an asynchronous intersession assignment students must complete over the winter holidays and requires the research paper to be finished by January in preparation for the spring symposia. January and February are spent preparing for science competitions. 

Scholarship Availability

Scholarships* for the RISE program were made available thanks to the generous support of the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education. Scholarships are based on financial need and not academic performance. Eligibility is based on the Federal guidelines for the Free or Reduced Lunch Program. A school administrator verification or other governmental documentation is required to be considered for a scholarship. 

Scholarship awardees will be responsible for a $150 scholarship administrative fee. Scholarship awardees who successfully complete the RISE course will receive a refund of $100 of that fee and will need to provide IMSA with a W-9 form.

Refund Policy

Requests for refunds (less a $100 administrative fee) will be honored through August 1, 2023. Requests for refunds between August 2nd and 14th, 2023 may receive a 50% refund (less the $100 administrative fee) and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. After August 14th, no requests for cancellations/ refunds will be accommodated; this is to ensure all participants have enough lead time to successfully begin the program on August 21st. Requests for refunds must be submitted in writing via email to studentenrichment@imsa.edu. Please include the program name and your student’s full name in any refund request.

Registration Link

Please read all of the above information carefully and discuss all program expectations with your student before registering. Registration closes on August 17th, 2023. Scholarship Application closed August 13th, 2023. 

School Year 2023-2024SessionDates
Grades 9-12RISE: Research, Inquiry Skills & Experimentation8/21/23 - 6/7/24

From a previous RISE student:
“Particularly in the past few years, I have nurtured a growing love for science and technology. As a result, I was extremely interested in the RISE program hosted by one of Illinois’ top high schools, the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA). As I went through this program, I learned more about the scientific approaches to a design or experiment, and I learned to conduct my research independently and efficiently. I had encouraging and hard-working classmates, along with a very experienced instructor who was both approachable and helpful. I learned more about my topic, and I had the opportunity to pursue advanced topics that I am interested in that are normally not offered at a high school level.

*Applying and qualifying for a scholarship does not guarantee an award or registration into the program. To qualify for a scholarship, the student’s family is required to submit proof of financial eligibility: if you qualify for SNAP or Free/Reduced Lunch, you qualify, but we need you to submit proof of eligibility. If you do not have a form in your possession or have difficulty getting it from your school or IDHS, you may submit a screenshot showing eligibility. Please contact us at studentenrichment@imsa.edu 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 scholarship fee.