LABS - Institute for Educational Advancement

LABS advances students’ intellectual curiosity and passion for STEM by exposing them to innovative research conducted by brilliant scientists in the field.

Learning Among Brilliant Scientists (LABS) students gain access to new knowledge and are introduced to the skills needed to be a successful scientific researcher through workshops that include a seminar and hands-on learning experience.


LABS develops the whole child by:

  • Engaging students in a unique educational experience to learn about a brilliant scientist’s current research work.
  • Promoting optimal challenge for students seeking opportunities to further their interests and passions in the STEM field.
  • Building a community of like-minded learners interested in STEM.
LABS Schedule and Application

“LABS provides to engage students early on in unique research topics. I was so impressed by these students’ intuition for science. They expressed a lot of insightful observations about the topic. This is the type of experience I wish I had had as a young student.” LABS Speaker

Upcoming Lectures

Urban areas are often centers of high biological diversity. However, many residents of urban areas fail to recognize cities as functioning ecosystems, primarily because most of the environment is built-up and manicured. We will explore the importance of our city as a haven for urban biodiversity. Further, we will document the value of a specific group of wildlife – birds – and how they can tell us much about the ‘health’ of our urban environment. After learning about what an urban ecosystem is, plan to be outside, as we will do some introductory fieldwork highlighting the diversity and abundance of birds at IEA and detailing the importance of various trees species to our birds.



Dr. Wood is an Assistant Professor of Ecology in the Biological Sciences Department at California State University Los Angeles. Research in his lab is centered on terrestrial ecosystems and avian communities. He uses field and citizen science data, spatial analyses, and quantitative approaches to explore questions that are focused on avian ecology, urban ecosystems, and conservation. Further, Dr. Wood teaches a variety of classes focused on Ornithology, Ecosystems of California, Ecology, and Data Analysis. He is an affiliate research fellow at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, as well as the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For more information please visit:




Duration: 2.5 hours

Where: IEA Learning Center, 540 South Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101

Cost: $60*

Please note upon registration, a LABS team member will be in touch with you via email to confirm and finalize your child’s enrollment in the workshop.

*Scholarships are available to qualified families in need. 

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Questions? Contact us!


Participants must be:

  • Ages 12-16
  • Passionate about learning
  • Interested in pursuing an advanced STEM research topic

*You do not need to be a current IEA student to register for LABS. Students from all school districts are welcome.