Young Scientists Program

The Young Scientists outreach program, founded by Institute of Child Development (ICD) Professor Melissa Koenig and post-doctoral fellow Annelise Pesch, aims to educate middle and high school students in developmental psychology and foster their interest in scientific research and discovery.

How it Works

The Young Scientists program pairs ICD developmental psychology PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and professors with groups of middle and high school students with the goal of assisting youth and teens in creating their own research projects in developmental psychology.


ICD PhD students and faculty visit participating schools biweekly for 1-hour sessions. PhD students teach youth and teens about developmental psychology experiments, research design, data collection, and analysis.

During each session, PhD students also work one-on-one with their mentees to develop a research proposal based on their interests. PhD students guide mentees as they define their hypothesis and create and execute a study to address their question.

The Young Scientists program occurs over the course of an academic school year (September – May) and culminates in a research fair, where mentees present their projects to their peers, teachers, and families.

Young Scientists Program – Engaging Young Minds with STEM