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IEA Winter Academy 2016

January 11 – March 5, 2016

Weekly Classes

Day Time Class Grade
Monday 4:00-5:00pm Namaste India K-1
Monday 4:00-5:30pm Astronomy 2-8
Tuesday 10:00-11:30am Making Waves with Light 3-4 or 5-8
Tuesday 12:00-1:30pm A Study of Herpetology 2-8
Tuesday 4:00-5:30pm Games, Problems, and Coding 4-8
Tuesday 4:00-5:30pm The Universe of Lewis Carroll 3-8
Tuesday 4:00-5:30pm Making Waves with Light 3-8
Wednesday 4:00-5:00pm Budding Botanists K-2
Wednesday 4:15-5:15pm Mindfulness Tween/
Thursday 10:00-11:30am Adaptation and Interaction: Life and the Environment 3-4 or 5-8
Thursday 3:30-5:00pm The Study of Star Wars 3-5
Thursday 4:00-5:15pm Advanced Math for Independent Learners K-2
Thursday 4:00-5:30pm Euclidean Constructions: Intro to Geometry 2-4
Friday 1:30-2:30pm Mindfulness Tween/
Saturday 9:45-10:45am Mindfulness for Tweens Tween
Saturday 10:45-11:45am Mindfulness for Teens Teen
Saturday 12:00-1:30pm Paleozoology: A Study of the Animal Kingdom, Past and Present 5-8
Saturday 12:00-1:30pm Brain Science 3-8
Saturday 12:00-1:30pm Video Game Development and Design 5-8
Saturday 2:00-3:30pm Chemistry Lab 2-8
Saturday 2:00-3:30pm Quantum Physics 3-8
Saturday 2:00-3:30pm Programming with Python 4-8


Deep Learning Quarters

Meeting twice a week for eight weeks

Days Time Class Name Grade 
Monday and Wednesday 11:00am-12:00pm Scientists & Scientific Life  2nd-3rd
Monday and Wednesday 12:30-1:30pm The Animal Kingdom Preschool*

Apply Today!

Preschool Application

New Student Application (K-8)

Returning Student Application (K-8)


Financial aid is available to families in need. Please contact us at for more information.

Applications are due Monday, January 4.

Summer Academy 2015

Summer Session I: June 8-26

Academy schedule summer I 4-22-2015

Summer Session II: July 6-24


New Student Application

Returning Student Application

If you have any questions about Summer 2015 Academy, please contact us at 626-403-8900 or

IEA Apprenticeship Sites 2015

Click here to access the 2015 Apprenticeship Application

Astrophysics at California Institute of Technology

Students will have the opportunity to work within Dr. Christian Ott’s research in astrophysics and gravitational pull alongside Sarah Gossan, graduate student. One apprentice will explore the universe and analyze the data that results in explosion of stars. Dr. Ott’s research is aimed at answering questions about the nature of space and time, the gravitational attraction at atomically small and cosmological large distances and the use of gravitational waves to explore the universe. Prerequisites: Student should have basic knowledge in statistics and demonstrate interest in studying cosmology.

Cancer Research at The Angeles Clinic

One student will have the opportunity to work in The Angeles Clinic under Dr. Omid Hamid. The Apprentice will experience firsthand clinical research that includes novel targeted agents, immunotherapeutics, and early drug development. As the Director of the Melanoma Center at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Dr. Omid Hamid works to ensure that patients receive access to the most up-to-date therapeutics, based on molecular pathways of melanoma progression. Most recently, in his role with the Phase 1 Developmental Therapeutics Program, Dr. Hamid has been instrumental in bringing new therapies from the investigational lab to the clinic for patient benefit. These therapies involve immunological therapies such as PD-1 inhibitors, therapies against tumor angiogenesis, and targeted agents that block internal processes in tumor cells’ function. Along with researching with Dr. Hamid, the Apprentice will shadow clinicians, pharmacists, registered research nurses, and learn about the workings of a clinical research facility. Applicants must be 15 years of age or older at the start of the program to be placed at this site.

Debris Flow at California Institute of Technology

This is an opportunity to work with the Michael Lamb Surface Processes Group in geomorphology. Often unpredictable and dangerous, fast moving debris flow occurs after heavy rainfall or forest fires on steep terrains. Utilizing a large scale mechanical flume, Apprentice will apply their knowledge of physics and geology to analyze varying environments conducive for debris flows. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older at the start of the program to be placed at this site.

Interactive Learning About the Universe With the WorldWide Telescope at the California Institute of Technology

This is an astronomy popularization project for two Apprentices, in the group led by Prof. S. G. Djorgovski at Caltech.

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a sky browser developed by Microsoft Research. It allows a user to explore the sky at a variety of scales and wavelengths and to learn about interesting celestial objects. One nice feature of the WWT is that anyone can create “tours”—multi-media presentations that use it as a platform to showcase or explain particular kinds of astronomical objects, phenomena, etc. (for example, galaxies, supernova remnants, and so on). These tours can then be used as a great educational and public outreach devices.

The goal of this project is to create a number of such tours that can be shared publicly. The presentation level should be about what a high school student would understand—think of it as explaining some astronomical bit to your friends—and it should be both fun to make and fun to watch.

Prerequisites: A passion for astronomy is required, as well as some basic knowledge thereof (e.g., at a popular book level). Programming experience is a plus. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older at the start of the program to be placed at this site.

Biomathematics and Life Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles

Two students will have the opportunity to work with Dr. Van Savage in the department of Life Sciences at UCLA. The Apprentice will use mathematical approaches to understand the causes and consequences of the extraordinary diversity in form and function that exist in biological systems. This site involves independent research as well as data analysis to discover how organismal physiology influences biological structure and dynamics. Suggested prerequisites: strong writing and communication skills, experience in Microsoft Office, strong biology and physics skills, and interest in web design and database language. Applicants must be 15 years of age or older at the start of the program to be placed at this site.

Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles

Two students will work with Dr. Pamela Yeh at UCLA. Dr. Yeh is an evolutionary biologist, and she focuses on evolution of drug resistance in bacteria. Specifically, she is interested in understanding how we can use drug combinations to slow down the evolution of increased antibiotic resistance and to decrease the likelihood of future evolution of resistance. Applicants must be 15 years of age or older at the start of the program to be placed at this site.

Pediatric Medical Research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Two Apprentices will work in the laboratory of Dr. Henri Ford and Dr. Jeffrey Upperman of Pediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Students will study the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis, a devastating intestinal disease of premature infants. The students will work with experts in intestinal physiology, molecular biology, and functional genomics. The focus of the research activity is to look at molecular pathways that predispose the intestinal barrier to destruction. Students will present their findings at the end of the program to Mentors and their colleagues. Prerequisites: courses completed in biology and/or other sciences, interest in medicine, demonstrated leadership, and organization and time-management skills. Applicants must be 15 years of age or older at the start of the program to be placed at this site.

Data Science and Mobile App Development at the University of Southern California’s Integrated Media Systems Center

Within USC’s Integrated Media Systems Center, students will have the exciting opportunity to learn, use, and develop various platforms in which Big Data is collected, interpreted, and communicated. Our Apprentices will work closely with a team of computer science scholars and electrical engineers under the guidance of Dr. Cyrus Shahabi, Director of Integrated Media Systems Center, Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Director of USC’s Information Laboratory, and co-founder of Geosemble Technologies, to research data-driven solutions for real-world application. Dr. Shahabi and his brilliant team will lead our Apprentices as they explore geo-spatial metadata-security systems, social media through geocrowdsourcing video data, patterns of patient mobility-health, and/or transportation sensor data. Prerequisites: Basic working knowledge of computer programming. Students must be resourceful and creative.

Click here to access the 2015 Apprenticeship Application

Applications must be postmarked by Thursday, May 14, 2015.

2014 at IEA in Pictures

2014 was another eventful year at IEA! Here are just a few of the highlights from the year.

We dedicated and named our new home, The Barder House, in honor of Sarah D. Barder, whose generosity and vision have greatly impacted the Institute for Educational Advancement and our nation’s brightest youth. Ms. Barder’s family and more than 150 members of the IEA community were in attendance.


More than 100 campers attended Yunasa and Yunasa West this year, where they learned to balance the intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects of their lives.


We had the tremendous opportunity to host three Academy sessions at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, where students and teachers were granted access to the institution’s wide range of resources.

A group of Summer Academy students enjoys The Huntington's gardens and has fun with new friends made over lunch

As part of the continuously growing Academy program, we offered two Genius Days in 2014. During these days of deep learning, students worked with an expert in the field to uncover the contributions of an individual we consider a genius. This year’s Genius Days studied Galileo and “father of geology” William Smith.

During the summer, 29 high school students from across the country worked with renowned experts in their field of interest through IEA’s Apprenticeship Program.

The 2014 Bradley Seminar brought more than 100 Caroline D. Bradley Scholars, parents, alumni, and supporters to Pasadena, California, for a weekend of community, support, and intellectual stimulation.


Many members of our community gathered for IEA’s annual Summer Spotlight, an evening of learning, reflection, and friendship.

Dr. Steve Hindle, W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, delivered a fascinating comparative talk on the English and American Civil Wars at IEA’s Autumn Benefit.

IEA President Elizabeth Jones with guest speaker Dr. Steve Hindle and IEA Academy Coordinator Louise Hindle

We welcomed 30 new Caroline D. Bradley Scholars, including these bright young minds!


Thank you for helping us make this another amazing year of connecting bright young minds and nurturing intellectual and personal growth! We couldn’t do it without you.

Here’s to a successful, prosperous 2015!

The Common Good: 25 Quotes to Inspire Us

Every year at IEA, we choose a theme to incorporate across all of our programs. This year’s theme was “The Common Good.” At IEA, we believe it is important to inspire and encourage children to make a difference in the world, to pursue the common good.

On December 10, the Nobel Peace Prize was presented to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”


Malala is the youngest recipient of the prestigious award. After being named the winner, she thanked her father “for not clipping my wings, for letting me achieve my goals.”

With this year’s IEA program theme in mind, and in honor of the latest recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, here is a compilation of quotes to help inspire individuals of all ages to join in solidarity, contributing to the common good.


“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

“If you are lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down.” – Kevin Spacey

“Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet.” – Alice Walker

Read more inspiring quotes!

The Gift of Giving

By Louise Hindle, IEA Program Manager

Supporting Gifted ChildrenIt’s that time of year when we rack our minds to recall, imagine, or anticipate the ‘perfect’ gift. Whether that perfect gift is for a holiday party, for Christmas, for Hanukkah – it just is, unrelentingly, ‘that’ time of year.

Trying to answer why we give is perhaps more complicated. We may give because there is an expectation, arguably enforced upon us by the commercial world in which we live and struggle to escape or hide from; we may give because we feel obliged to do so; but most of all, I’d like to think most of us give because we want to demonstrate our love and appreciation towards our family and our community.

Gift giving does not, of course, have to be a physical or monetary gesture. A gift can be an act of altruism and at IEA, there are many acts of altruism performed daily. My fabulous co-workers help each other with everything and anything daily; Academy teachers give their time and energy in so many ways beyond anything written in an IEA Letter of Agreement; our volunteers turn in to the office regularly and assist us with all manner of tasks; and our parents act with enormous help and initiative during class and in between sessions by recommending us and keeping us growing. These manifold acts are both similar to and different from what we might understand as philanthropy but they are, nonetheless, real gifts upon which a small not-for-profit organization depends.

Read more about gift giving and gifted youth.

Post-Thanksgiving Gratitude

By Jennifer Kennedy

Jennifer is IEA’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator. She has been working to spread the word about IEA and the needs of gifted children for the past three years and, in the process, has learned a great deal about herself and the gifted children in her life.

gratitudeAs many of you did, I spent Thanksgiving week thinking a great deal about gratitude. There are a multitude of things for which I am truly grateful – my family, friends, my wonderful job, and the comfort in which I am able to live – but they seem to fall into the category of Thanksgiving clichés. This, of course, does not render my objects of gratitude unimportant, but after decades of pondering thankfulness, my story hasn’t changed much. This year, though, I began thinking about gratitude a little differently.

The day before Thanksgiving, I took a yoga class. When the session had ended, the teacher encouraged us to think about things we were grateful for within ourselves. My mind quickly began to reel. I am grateful for my determination and hard work, I thought. I am grateful for the love I show my family and friends. I am grateful for my mind. I am grateful for my commitment to causes I believe in.

This exercise helped me to think about gratitude more deeply. Not only am I grateful for my niece and nephew who bring endless joy and love into my life, but I am grateful for the way my niece clings to me when she is tired or scared or sick – she feels safe with me. I am grateful for the smile on my nephew’s face when I walk into his house, and I even cherish the tears that pool in his eyes when I must leave, because I know he loves me and does not want to watch me go.

Read more of Jennifer’s reflections on gratitude.

IEA Autumn Benefit 2014

On Thursday, November 20, IEA welcomed fifty guests to The Barder House in Pasadena, California, for our Autumn Benefit. The heartwarming sense of community along with an intellectually stimulating lecture created an amazing evening. Thank you to all who joined us. Here are a few of the event highlights.

After an opening reception featuring cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres catered by Matt Roman, attendees enjoyed a guest lecture by IEA parent and friend Dr. Steve Hindle. Dr. Hindle presented a comparative talk on the English and American Civil Wars, making parallels between the takeover of the British monarchy by Oliver Cromwell and the leadership of the confederacy under Jefferson Davis. Most interestingly, Dr. Hindle contrasted the memorialization of these national figures, noting the immense differences in which these notorious historical leaders have been remembered in their respective native lands. As a social and economic historian particularly interested in micro histories, Dr. Hindle was adept at keeping his audience interested and laughing while probing beneath the surface of any layman’s general knowledge of historical events. IEA is grateful to have like-minded individuals like Dr. Hindle, who are eager to promote learning for the sake and love of learning, as members of our community.

IEA President Elizabeth Jones with guest speaker Dr. Steve Hindle and IEA Academy Coordinator Louise Hindle

IEA President Elizabeth Jones (center) with guest speaker Dr. Steve Hindle (left) and IEA Academy Coordinator Louise Hindle (right)

We would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to the volunteers who helped make this evening possible: Dr. Steve Hindle, for his fascinating lecture; CDB Scholar Michelle for her musical performance on flute during the reception; CDB Scholar Jarett and Apprenticeship Alumnus James for their help throughout the event; Matt Roman for the wonderful hors d’oeuvres; and Kevin Malone for the excellent bar service.

IEA program participants volunteered at the event and were a delight to have with us

IEA program participants volunteered at the event and were a delight to have with us

Michelle played flute for guests during the opening reception

Michelle played flute for guests during the opening reception

If you were unable to attend the event but are interested in supporting the social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual growth of gifted youth, please consider making a donation to IEA today. Your support will provide opportunities for more bright young minds to flourish and grow.


Thank you again to all of our donors, guests, and volunteers. Your participation in this event has played an integral part in our fundraising efforts for this year to help us continue to provide unique and valuable programs and services to bright young minds. We couldn’t do it without you!

College Expectations and Aspirations: From the Mouths of Gifted Students

By Min-Ling Li

Min-Ling is a Program Coordinator at IEA and works most closely with our high school Apprenticeship Program, through which she meets and interacts with many gifted high school students. Before coming to IEA, she was a high school mathematics teacher.

ElonGoing off to college is probably one of my best and most anxious memories. At that point in time, it seemed that all of my prior education was in preparation for this milestone. As a first-generation college student, the plethora of tasks to complete for college applications was overwhelming. I recall that my mom, who completed 6th grade in China before immediately beginning to work, advised me that I had completed all the hard work and all that was left was to communicate my story to people whose actions and opinions we had no control over. My dad, who graduated with a Master’s Degree from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, simply gave me a stern look, smile and nod of encouragement when the subject of college was spoken of. Needless to note, “vini, vidi, vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered), and tada!

That was 10 years ago, and I was curious about how students in our IEA community view higher education now. I have the privilege of working with highly gifted and mature youngsters, and with their help I compiled some of their thoughts, expectations, anxieties, and aspirations about higher education. By sharing this data, I hope to provide information and comfort, tell their stories and compel higher education and the world to prepare for this creative, curious and free-natured group of young adults. I asked students ages 13 through 18 amongst our community of Caroline D. Bradley Scholars, Apprentices and Yunasa Emerging Leaders and Counselors in Training about their outlook on higher education. The data from the 40 respondents is featured below. Thank you to all those who contributed!


When asked, “In what ways do you hope learning as a young adult will be different from high school?”, 80% of students used the words “free,” “freedom” and “autonomy”:

  • “I hope that there will be more freedom involved. I like to believe that I am a very independent and intellectually bold thinker, and I know that I apply myself better to long-term projects than busy work. So, I hope that there will be less busy work and more projects/papers to engage with.”
  • 82% of students responded similarly to this student, yearning for greater depth and relation to solving problems that affect the world: “I hope that as a young adult I will be able to learn more about the things that matter to me. In high school we often talk about topics that do not interest me, or we talk about topics too shallowly. I hope to be able to learn with greater understanding and purpose.”
  • Students also expressed a need to learn based on their pace: “I hope to have more freedom to choose what I learn and to be able to make my own choices regarding the course material and pace as opposed to having to follow strict guidelines.”

See more of the results from Min-Ling’s survey!