FAQ – Youth Innovation Lab

STEM Learning Lab is thrilled to offer the Youth Innovation Lab starting in October 2018. Please take a look through our FAQ section to learn more about the program.

What is the Youth Innovation Lab?

The Youth Innovation Lab is an afterschool program for students in grades 7-12 who are looking for a hands-on entrepreneurship experience. Through YIL we will tackle wicked problems that will change the world. In this 9-month-long program, students will innovate an idea beyond the pitch to the development of a business plan. At the end of the program in June, students will have pitched a viable business idea before a panel of investors, developed their business plan, and begun making plans for implementation.


What is STEM Learning Lab?

STEM Learning Lab promotes student engagement in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. We believe it is critically important for kids to explore, create, play, and make in order to learn about the world around them. We understand that children learn best when they are engaged in fun, challenge-based, hands-on learning experiences connected to the real world in tangible and meaningful ways.


What are the benefits?

Throughout the program, students will:

  • Collaborate with peers to pitch and build a viable new business or service;
  • Have access to a coach and mentors from the startup and technology community;
  • Iterate through the design thinking process;
  • Learn valuable business and communication skills including sales finance, marketing, how to engage customers, and more;
  • Embark on field trips to innovation centres throughout Calgary;
  • Build their professional networks with experts in Calgary’s startup community; and
  • Be upskilled in the technology they need including 3D printing, app development, coding and other tech based on interest!


When does the Youth Innovation Lab take place?  

The first day of lab time is on Wednesday, October 24. Attendance is essential at the scheduled Wednesday sessions when school is in session. It is during these times that students will be immersed in entrepreneurship and design thinking in order to work on their ideas. The Lab is also open to students after school Monday-Friday and Saturdays.


Who is eligible to participate?

Any student in grades 7-12 during the 2018-2019 school year is eligible to apply.


What is the application process?

The application consists of two short answers and three short essays. Students are also required to supply two letters of recommendation, one from a teacher and one from someone outside of school. Applications are due in full no later than September 28 at midnight. They can be submitted in hard copy or through a Google Form at www.stemlearninglab.com/yil-apply.


How much does it cost?

The program cost is $400/month. If paid in full upfront, the cost is $3,240 for the nine months.


Where is it located?

The Youth Innovation Lab is located within STEM Learning Lab at 71 Street and Blackfoot Trail SE – 7101 5 St SE, Calgary.


How many students will participate?

There will be twelve students per cohort.


Do students work in teams or alone?

Students are expected to work in teams for a variety of parts of the class. They will work in different iterations of small- and medium-sized groups. After the initial pitches, students will have the option to divide into teams based on their interest in each of the ideas or work independently.


Say I come up with a really good idea, who owns that idea?

The students retain 100% of their intellectual property and businesses.


What are the important dates?

  • Application window opens: September 4, 2018, available by visiting www.stemlearninglab.com/yil-apply
  • Application window closes: September 28, 2018 at midnight MST
  • Applicants notified of first-round status: October 5, 2018
  • Mandatory student and parent information night: October 10, 2018 from 6:00-7:30 pm
  • Applicants notified of final status: October 12, 2018
  • First day of lab time: October 24, 2018 at STEM Learning Lab from 4:15-6:00 pm
  • Program timeframe:
    • Mandatory sessions: Wednesdays from 4:15-6:00 pm;
    • Optional work time in incubator space: Mondays to Thursdays from 4:00-8:00 pm; Fridays from 1:00-5:00 pm; Saturdays from 2:00-5:00 pm


How do I get involved?


I have a question that wasn’t answered.

Email Hallie at hallie@stemlearninglab.com