Young Scientist Academy teaches kids STEM in a creative way

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A local non-profit is providing a fun and creative environment to engage students in the natural world and explore research in science, technology, engineering and math.

The Young Science Academy works to engage youth, especially in under-served communities, by providing services at minimal or no cost. Through career-building experiences, YSA aims to provide leadership, skills and confidence and establish partnerships and service opportunities with local communities.

Executive Director Rob Condon said kids participate in scientific research that includes marine, environmental and atmospheric sciences, urban ecology, and computer engineering and programming. Ongoing projects include a stratospheric weather balloon project, environmental drivers of global jellyfish blooms, effects of human activities on water quality and more. Condon said if there is a specific topic that a student would like to research, YSA will work to make the research happen.

YSA programs are year round, primarily through after-school and summer research enrichment experiences. The programs cater to students from elementary to high school. Any child that wants to get involved in hands-on scientific endeavors is welcome to join.

Visit to join our waiting list for Fall 2018 programs.

YSA is able to run through volunteers and financial support from the community. Through fundraising and grant writing efforts, their goal is to make all programs free of charge to every participant. To donate, click here.

Next month, the organization is holding a fundraiser with A Bike for Every Child called “Cycle for Youth Science”. The community Bike-A-Thon fundraiser is Saturday, August 25 from 8-10:30 a.m. at Greenfield Lake Park in Wilmington. Registered participants will get sponsors and raise funds based on miles cycled during the event. Post-race prizes will be awarded for money raised, miles cycled and more.

The goal is to raise $30,000 for programs. All funds raised by the “Cycle for Youth Science” program will kick start YSA’s program in downtown Wilmington to provide an interactive “think tank” research facility and artistic space at the Jo Ann Carter Harrelson Center.
The early bird registration fee is $30 and available until Friday, August 10. After that, but entrants may register anytime up until race day for $40.
Registration includes:
  • Park and race fees,
  • Cycle for Youth Science t-shirt,
  • Science and cycling SWAG
  • All race amenities and services,
  • Post race healthy snacks food and drinks.

Additionally, the organization is holding a corporate ride, the “Tour de Cape Fear”, two days before the Cycle for Youth Science. The Tour de Cape Fear will include a 120 mile ride through Pender, Sampson and Duplin counties to raise awareness about the program in rural communities. Condon said if 50 bike-a-thon participants register between now and July 23, Condon will increase his 120 mile ride to 200 miles to include visits to coastal communities in Brunswick County.

YSA is always looking for volunteers. If you have expertise in science, technology, art, engineering, math, or just want to get experience yourself, contact Dr. Rob Condon at or (910) 386-1867.
Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover, News