Project Oriented Training

Students currently in middle school, entering high school, or in high school are eligible to apply.
iResearch Academy will evaluate all applications and specifically applications of exceptional middle school students will be considered if they demonstrate the ability to thrive in a challenging environment, this is a rigorous program. Admissions into iResearch Academy (iRA) will be competitive.

Curriculum Training and Time frame
iResearch Academy runs on weekends (Friday evening through Sunday) and weekday meetings are generally from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm EST. Due to scheduling complexities, private sessions with Dr. McCalla will be scheduled during the week and weekends.

The courses run from September through June during the academic school year. Students must be prepared to attend during these hours.

Homework assignments are requisites for all courses (approximately 3 hours a week) and dictate the ability of a participant to remain in the iResearch Academy. An iRA review report will be provided for all participants.

Major Courses

Research Methods (Tuesday and Thursday, 5:30 - 7:30 PM, EST; 40 sessions)
Advanced Statistics (Friday, 8:45 - 10:15 PM, EST; 40 sessions)
Advanced Chemistry (Saturday, 8:30 - 10:00 PM, EST; 40 sessions)
Python (Closed; optional, add on) - Saturday, 10:30 - 11:30 AM, EST; 40 sessions)
R (Closed; optional, add on)
All lessons will be available as temporary recordings.

One to One meetings with Dr. McCalla are scheduled on weekdays and Sundays, post enrollment.

Research Methods - Scientific Method (syllabus)

A dynamic sequence that builds vocabulary and concepts from elementary topics to advanced studies in STEM geared for competition preparedness. Additional coursework is designed to tailor students' interests in STEM to skills required for project execution.

The Research Methods curriculum, is virtual, and cultivates scientific preparedness for individual and group research projects by developing analytical and practical skills that connect coursework learning to projects. The tools needed for local, regional, and national competitions will be explained and practiced. One to one sessions with Dr. McCalla support student identification of research passions while establishing frameworks associated with designing and implementing a research project. Research skills that support the necessary tools towards obtaining college internships and wet bench research positions will be employed. Coursework and training outlined by Dr. McCalla provides a platform to explore and participate in regional, national, and international competitions and an opportunity to explore and master undergraduate and graduate level STEM subject matter.

Research Methods coursework will also prepare students for AP Research Capstone courses (over 2 years). In 2 years, students should be prepared to enter a regulated research institute for an individualized research project investigation.

Students who are interested in expedited teaching of Research Methods (1 year research training), private sessions are available.

Advanced Statistics (syllabus)
Teaching advanced statistics in iResearch Academy are in direct support of competition preparedness because it is a course of logic and problem solving. Critical thinking skills and encouraging students to think analytically are core components needed for competitions. Mathematics and the ability to discern between 2 hypotheses using statistical analysis are clearly translated in this course.

This course is an advanced, virtual, undergraduate level statistics surpassing the content required for the Advanced Placement Statistics exam which students prepare for in high school. A few or the topics under investigation include probability, representing data, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, causal inference where correlation does not imply causation, and regression analysis.

Advanced Statistics coursework will also prepare students for SAT subject tests and AP courses over a period of 2 years.

Advanced Chemistry (
Teaching advanced science, such as advanced chemistry, is used in iResearch Academy to translate the skills of critical and analytical thinking necessary to complete a research project. Teaching a course grounded in logic and problem solving provide the core fundamentals of scientific research. Skills learned in advanced chemistry will be used in high school, college and beyond as problem solving abilities correlate to novel innovations and establishing footholds to support claims.

This course is an advanced, virtual, undergraduate level chemistry surpassing the content required for the Advanced Placement Chemistry exam which students prepare for in high school. The course reviews many aspects of advanced chemistry with emphasis on structure of matter, states of matter, chemical reactions (including reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, and thermodynamics), descriptive chemistry and chemistry to improve performance when working in a laboratory setting.

Advanced Chemistry coursework over 2 years will prepare students for SAT subject tests and AP courses while building fundamental skills for future success in the U. S. National Chemistry Olympiad.

Python and R for Data Science (
Featuring a strong introduction to programming followed by an exploration of key topics in computer science, this course aims to teach students foundational programming paradigms that will last them a lifetime. In addition, the course explores key data science methods such as linear regressions and decision trees. Along the way, students will learn to master both Python and R, preparing them for powerful projects in data science.

Summer Opportunities
All members of the iResearch Academy are invited to apply to the iResearch Institute summer program. During this month-long program, students will be provided with mentors for guidance in research projects spanning numerous fields.