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Research Fellows Program

Robert Minford and Baden Academy Research Fellows at FedEx

Amazing kids in grades 3 to 16, faculty, gifted teachers, and community program coordinators have the opportunity to apply for a Research Fellowship with Grow a Generation and work hard to become a STEM Athlete, Digital Storyteller, and World Changer. Research Fellows are supported to design and follow through on robust and creative inquiries into what ignites their passion and celebrates their unique brilliance. They produce meaningful projects and unique contributions that don’t simply add to their resume but engage them as autonomous and purposeful learners.

Fellows choose from diverse fields of study which pique their imaginations and resonate with their unique talents and individual passions. Their real-world project suggestions must make valuable contributions to the community that will be shared and disseminated with published materials, digital artifacts, and teaching opportunities.

Once accepted into the program, fellows at Grow a Generation engage in research projects that instill and strengthen a 21st-Century skill set of innovation, critical thinking, collaboration, emotional intelligence, resilience, leadership, and vision. A statement of goals and objectives is developed that identifies and applies skills and insights from multiple fields of study (e.g. science, technology, engineering, math, robotics, game design, medicine, energy, entrepreneurship, and leadership).

Research Fellows come together as a team for group discovery and collaboration. An annual Imagination Celebration marks the celebration of accomplished goals and a time to pause, evaluate and redesign goals for the future.


Mentors from around the globe are solicited to assist our research fellows face the challenges of their project. Mentors communicate their own experience and take special interest in helping your child develop into a successful professional. Grow a Generation Research Fellows mentors are specifically expected to:

  • Help the Research Fellow arrive at clearly stated goals and objectives of any proposed research projects;

  • Monitor the fellow’s research experience once a month to discuss progress, results and plans for next steps;

  • Complete formal evaluation forms at the end of the school year.

Research and Teaching Mentors are also invited to join the fellows at an annual celebration at the end of the school year. Past mentors include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, RoPro Design, Software Engineers from Fed Ex, Beaver County Humane Society, ASPCA, Dream Flight Adventures, Beaver County Youth Entrepreneurship Network, Lincoln Learning Solutions, BeautyCounter, Park Rangers and Conservation Officers from New South Wales Australia and Pittsburgh Filmmakers.


Schools can open an Innovation Lab and sponsor faculty and student applicants into a school based research fellow program. Visit the Baden Academy Media Lab and the Alpha Innovation Lab for examples of school sponsored research fellows. Contact Dr. Ellen to discuss ways your school can get involved.

Watch these 3 short videos celebrating this year’s 31 research fellows projects!


What are you passionate about?

Sir Ken Robinson describes “The Element,” the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. For this educational guru, people in “the element” feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels.

Peter Benson describes “Sparks,” the interests that inspire, the activities that energize. Sparks are the special abilities uniquely your child’s to tend, to grow, to share with the world.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes “Flow,” those moments in which we become so focused that time and space almost disappear, moments that happen when we pursue that which makes us feel energized.

Psychology, education and parenting are entering a new era.  We have begun, as a culture, to recognize the diversity of intelligence, the power of imagination and creativity, and the importance of intrinsic motivation and purpose to thrive as human beings. Grow a Generation provides the opportunities and resources for our children to explore their passions, discover their element, ignite their spark and experience flow.

What are your child’s passions?  Contact Dr. Ellen for an application to the Grow a Generation Research Fellow program and support in helping your child create a more just and beautiful world through meaningful projects.  If you child is still unsure what sparks their passions and gives breadth to their unique brilliance, consider enrolling them in a Find Your Passion course.

World Changers

World Changers create websites, books, and print on demand merchandise to raise awareness and funds for projects they are passionate about. Examples include:

  • 5th grade Gavin Phillips, author of Saving a Galapagos Penguin Family and The Little Blue Penguins of North Sidney Harbour.  Proceeds from his books benefit the United States National Aviary and the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife in Sydney Australia;
  • 4th grade Kadie has been working for two years to bring Dream Flight Adventures to her school. She recruited a team and many helpers to create the website Baden Dreams. Student artwork is scanned and uploaded to pay on demand

Digital Storytellers

Digital Storytellers create videos, vlogs, games, and animations to inform and inspire worthy work being done by non-profits, foundations, and amazing scientists around the globe (and in space!). Examples include:

  • 5th graders Miriam and Jadyn are the Kitty Whisperers with their own YouTube Channel and the goal of raising awareness about the crisis of feral and free roaming cats.
  • Director, Producer and Filmographer Eli L., producing documentaries of young leaders such as his film, The Butterfly Girl.  Eli is one himself, being a 5th grade research fellow.

STEM Athletes

STEM Athletes lead teams in Engineering, Roboitics, Game Design, and App Development competitions.  FIRST Robotics, STEM Video Game Design Competitions, Hackathons such as the Space Apps Challenge or the Mylan Hackathon, and programs such as the Real World Design Challenge provide an opportunity to for students to develop leadership AND STEM skills.

Email today for a research fellow application!



Permanent link to this article:

Baden Academy Media Lab

  Research Fellows Program Beginning on Grade 3, Baden Academy Charter School students have the opportunity to apply to serve as a Research Fellow in the Media Lab. Research Fellows have robust opportunities for creative inquiry into fields of study that pique their imaginations and resonate with their unique talents and individual passions. They will …

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Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Create Lab

It is in our ability to create that we have the opportunity to show forth our image and likeness to God. The Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Create Lab provides students at Cardinal Wuerl the opportunity to create meaningful solutions to the problems they are most passionate about, solutions that convey a rich Catholic Intellectual tradition, …

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Grow a Generation Research Fellowship

Grow a Generation offers an online opportunity for your gifted and talented child to have space, support and resources to pursue a passion based project through the entire school year. Previous fellows have published books, created blogs and vlogs, websites, video games, mobile apps, engineered technology, fundraising startups, and curriculum.  Mentors from FedEx, Verizon, the …

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