Research-Oriented Courses are designed to introduce junior high and middle school students to the foundations of science research, fields on the frontier of biology research, and important research skills. We prepare students for future science research programs, laboratory experiences, and research projects in high school and beyond.These courses are taught by our nations brightest high school students including USABO semifinalists, USNCO finalists, Science Olympiad National Medalists, published researchers, and ISEF finalists.

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Computer science:

  • Course for those who are passionate about creating marketable IOS apps with IOS Swift.

  • Students will have the opportunity to learn the fundamental syntax of computer science and gain computational intuition and creativity, developing a groundwork for students to master any field of computer science or data science.

  • Students will exercise creativity and real-world problem solving by designing independent iOS apps, explore higher-level programming concepts present in Java and C++, and gain a strong mastery of basic computer science principles for application to future research or Olympiad endeavors.

Courses start date is late September/early October but class times are Saturdays from 4-6 PM EST. Grade range is 6+.

data science:

  • Students will learn the syntax, structure, and packages of the data science language R; explore the theory of and apply various statistical methods to analyze data; and design, conduct, and present a mini-research project applying R to investigate a real-world issue.

  • Students will gain a strong foundation in the popular software R and statistical techniques for future research endeavors; exercise creativity, collaboration and critical thinking skills by designing and presenting research; and explore the basics of research presentation and paper writing in the software LaTeX.

Courses start date is May but class times are Fridays from 5-6 PM EST. Grade range is 7+.


  • Epidemiology: A course for students interested in understanding the mathematics behind disease spread and etiology. 

  • Neuroscience: Study neurons, nervous system, and brain structures.

Aashika Jagadeesh:


Aashika Jagadeesh is a junior from Fair Lawn, New Jersey and the instructor for the Computer Science course. She is highly interested in technology and hopes to foster a community that allows students to master new skills. Aashika conducts AI Ethics and Human-Computer Interactions research at the NJIT Social Interaction Lab. She first-authored a paper on Bayesian choice modeling and degenerate feedback loops. Her work has been accepted to the Harvard Science Research Conference and the International Youth Research Summit. She is also a USABO semifinalist, an NCWIT awardee, and the director of the non-profit organization MakerSafe. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis and baking.


Amber Luo is a high school junior from Long Island, New York. In addition to co-founding and heading the board of Illumina Learning, she oversees all course curricula and directs + mentors at Camp Illumina. One of her greatest joys is in helping the students she teaches discover their passions for STEM. Amber is a Research Science Institute (RSI) '21 alumna and Top 5 Paper + Top 5 Oral Presentation Honoree, 2021 USABO National Finalist, Department of Defense Scholar, 4-time AIME qualifier, and 2021 USNCO National Finalist with Honorable Mention. She conducts systems biology research at the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, social epidemiology research at Stony Brook University, and bioinformatics research at the University of Texas at Austin. She is first-author of a preprint in COVID-19 mathematical modeling, has presented her research to the UT COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, and has had her work on social epidemiology accepted to the AAIC and GSA 2021 conferences. Outside of research, she enjoys writing anatomy & genetics exams for Science Olympiad invitationals and recording K-Pop dance covers.


Jinhee Won is a high school senior from Carmel, Indiana, and teaches the Biochemistry course. She is passionate about various fields in STEM and believes in giving everyone the opportunity to explore their interests and unlock their potential. She is a USABO semifinalist, AIME Qualifier, USAPhO semifinalist, and ISEF Finalist. She has done research in bioinformatics and cellular interactions. In her free time, she enjoys reading and drawing.