With the support and guidance of volunteer mentors and IEA staff, students learn about working in a variety of professional settings and advance their skills through the pursuit of knowledge and exposure to optimally challenging learning experiences. Students also grow intellectually through collaborative discussions and work with like-minded peers, college-level students, and professionals.
• What highly gifted students need most are good mentors to serve as guides as they navigate complex subject matter. (1)
• Mentorships are particularly effective in guiding the development of gifted young people through difficult formative years. (2)
• Through mentoring relationships, gifted students are able to mature, explore future careers and successes, apply classroom knowledge, and gain role models (3)
• Mentoring experiences help remove the barriers to advanced learning that schools can sometimes create.
(1) Fischer, Christian. Scientific American, Gifted Children: How to Bring Out Their Potential, September, 2008, http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=coaching-the-gifted-child,
(2) Gallagher, J.J. Teaching the gifted child. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1985
(3)Berger, Sandra L. Mentor Relationships and Gifted Learners. Reston, VA: ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children, 1990.
Imagine having an impact on young people who are just starting to explore the career and educational path you have already traveled.
You can make a difference by:
• Providing a forum for them to apply and strengthen their knowledge and skills in an area of study
• Increasing their understanding of the field
• Nurturing their passion for a specific subject
• Sharing your time and expertise
• Fostering their development of interpersonal, leadership, and creative problem-solving skills
Past mentors report the following professional and personal benefits from working with EXPLORE Externs:
• Helping young people gain real-world experience in the field
• Viewing the research or project from a fresh perspective
• Potential contributions to and assistance with one’s work
• Fostering personal teaching skills
• Staying in touch with new aspects of the field
• Having an opportunity to interact with bright high school students which provided perspective on personal experience
• Fulfilling a requirement for obtaining government funding by conducting educational outreach
Applicants submit a portfolio-based application which includes a letter of recommendation, essays, sample work, academic transcripts, standardized test scores, a professional resume, and rankings for their top 3 career fields of interest. Applicants also go through an interview with IEA staff.
• Commit to working with a student for 3 to 6 weeks over the summer (for 5 to 8 hours, Monday through Thursday)
• Design a hands-on project(s) or research work for the student which can be completed (or on which visible progress can be made) by the end of the program
• Provide support and constructive feedback on student’s performance and project development
• Openly communicate with the Program Coordinator regarding a student’s successes and challenges
Qualified Mentors for EXPLORE are:
• Passionate about continuous learning and self-development
• Interested in engaging and working with advanced and gifted youth
• Willing to actively participate and commit to fulfilling mentor responsibilities for the entire duration of the program
Session I: Saturday, June 15 – Friday, July 5, 2019 (3 weeks)
Session II: Saturday, July 6 – Friday, July 26, 2019 (3 weeks)
Both Sessions I + II: Saturday, June 15 – Friday, July 26, 2019 (6 weeks)
Session III: Saturday, July 20 – Friday, August 2, 2019 (2 weeks)
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
In order to be considered for the program, students must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Some sites require students to be of a minimum age or have prerequisites; these requirements will be listed with the site description. IEA utilizes our portfolio-based application to determine eligibility and to match qualified applicants with the most appropriate sites and mentors.
Session I: $975
Session II: $975
Both Session I & II: $1,950
Session III: $850
Scholarships and payment plans are available to students in need, and financial concerns should not discourage any student from applying.
Program fees cover:
EXPLORE Mentors continue to volunteer their time, wisdom, and expertise with EXPLORE students because of their remarkable potential and the work they perform with them each summer.
Our program would not be possible without our amazing Mentors! Thank you to our 2017 EXPLORE Mentors:
|Abagael Warnars||Southern California Institute of Architecture|
|Dr. Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy, Ph.D||Apsara Media for Intercultural Education|
|Alex Brummer||UCLA Dept. of Biomathematics|
|Dr. Gavin Bahadur, MD||UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute|
|Dr. Henri Ford MD||Children’s Hospital Los Angeles|
|Mira Henry||Southern California Institute of Architecture|
|Dr. Pamela Yeh, Ph.D||UCLA Dept. of Evolutionary Biology|
|Dr. Peter Reiher, Ph.D||UCLA Dept. of Computer Science|
|Rebecca Wiscombe||Southern California Institute of Architecture|
|Scott Groller||Southern California Institute of Architecture|
|Dr. Van Savage, Ph.D||UCLA Dept. of Biomathematics and Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology|
“IT PROVIDES STUDENTS WITH A VERY IMPORTANT EXPERIENCE OF WHAT AN EDUCATION OR CAREER MIGHT BE LIKE IN THE FUTURE. IT’S DEFINITELY A CRUCIAL OPPORTUNITY FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.”
-Mentor 2018, Southern California Institute of Architecture
“I really enjoyed seeing a young, hopeful, intelligent and hard-working student. It made me believe that our future is in good hands and minds!”
– Mentor 2017, UCLA
“STUDENTS BRING A FRESH PERSPECTIVE AND THEIR WORK BENEFITS OUR RESEARCH PROJECTS. THIS YEAR, I FOUND THE STUDENTS VERY PRODUCTIVE AND ENGAGED”
– Mentor 2016, USC
A gifted mind that is fed and fostered can achieve great things. By funding the IEA EXPLORE program, you will not only change a life, you might also spark a discovery that changes the world.
Hosting an Extern: Share your professional expertise, time, and support through direct mentorship.
Sponsoring an Extern: Help ensure that no child is ever turned away due to lack of funds. We’ll match you with an IEA Extern and keep you posted on his or her progress and the results of their efforts.
Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
533 Airport Blvd., Suite 200
Burlingame, CA 94010