Science Bound invites over 125 students to participate in the program each year. However, this isn’t just any invitation -- it’s an invitation to endless possibilities, where students will meet new people, learn invaluable leadership skills, and lay the foundation for their futures. Students are invited to participate in Science Bound at the end of seventh grade into the 8th grade year. 

Endless Possibilities

Students in the 8th-grade program will participate in the following experiences:

  • An Orientation for all districts, providing personal development and team-building activities where students begin to form a Science Bound identity, connect with other students and staff, and create a strategy for success.
  • Algebra Champions (in the Des Moines district), an educational program that teaches key math concepts students can use in the coming years.
  • Biweekly Meetings led by Science Bound middle school teachers with the purpose of developing a local support system among their peers and Science Bound teachers.
  • The Environmental Sciences and Goal Setting Retreat, enables all 8th-grade students to come together with their teachers, Science Bound staff, and Iowa State scholars to experience environmental science and develop SMART academic goals. 
  • A Science Fair may be the most challenging requirement for Science Bound 8th graders. Each school district hosts a local “Nothing Less Than Success ScienceFair” where students demonstrate their understanding of the scientific method, gain confidence in their presentation skills, and interact with ASTEM professionals.
  • Three Science Bound Saturday visits, providing opportunities for all pre-college Science Bound students and scholars to visit the Iowa State campus. Students learn about a wide variety of ASTEM fields through activities conducted by Iowa State faculty and staff.
8th Grade Students in Lecture Hall
Student at Science Fair with their poster.
Four Science Bound Students standing behind the fire they built.

Accountability is a key component of the Science Bound program. To continue within the Science Bound program and earn the title of Science Bound scholar, students must write an essay that communicates what they have gained from their experiences in Science Bound and illustrates how they will contribute to the program if invited to continue. These experiences and requirements will help ensure that students successfully make the transition to high school — both academically and as a Science Bound scholar. It’s also where they’ll be introduced to the importance of serving their community, leading others, inspiring the next generation, and more.