Course Listing


Grade – 9th to 12th

Course Information
Age 15-18
Format/ Schedule Vacation / Summer
Location Various locations throughout LA (inquire for details)
  2020 Dates  June 22nd -Aug 14th,  Application Deadline: February 1st.  Apply here.
Duration 8 Weeks
Times 10.00am-5.00pm, Monday – Friday
Class size 6
 Eligibility The EiHS CIRM SPARK Program is a scholarship funded program, restricted to students from low-income families. Financial eligibility is determined via a financial aid application form. Scholarships are awarded preferentially to at-risk students requiring intervention and support to attend a four-year college. Participants are accepted through a competitive application involving an in person interview. To fully benefit from the program you must excel in high school science and cope well with challenging learning situations. Applicants must have passed high-school Math, English and Biology or equivalent courses with a grade C or above. Students are required to arrange their own transportation to and from the program. Additional questions? Click here to learn more about our general admissions policy or call us at 310-483-3651.
 Admission To be considered for this program you must submit a complete application with the following documents: 1. A copy of your school transcript; 2. A personal statement addressing why you would like to participate in the CIRM SPARK program, what you hope to gain as a research fellow, the strengths you will bring to the program and how the program will help you achieve your future career goals and 3. A letter of recommendation from a teacher – preferably your biology teacher. Eligible students are admitted to the program after completing an in-person interview with the program director and laboratory mentor. Eligible students may apply here. Additional questions? Click here to learn more about our general admissions policy or call us at 310-483-3651.
Course Details

The Early Investigator High School (EiHS) CIRM Summer Program to Accelerate Regenerative Medicine Knowledge (SPARK) is a hands-on research experience run collaboratively by Pathways to Stem Cell Science and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Funded by a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), EiHS CIRM SPARK enables six students from low-income families to participate in stem cell research at Caltech funded by a full tuition scholarship. This program is part of a larger CIRM funded initiative to provide advanced science education to low income students who lack the means to participate in summer research programs.

CIRM SPARK scholars follow a similar curriculum to the Stem Cell Research Internship Program, completing introductory training, hands-on research and educational science forums focusing on a range of topics from ethics, to career development to entrepreneurial science. They also take part in social media activities and attend the CIRM SPARK Conference – a state-wide event showcasing the research and achievements of CIRM SPARK students from around California.


"Stem Cell Boot Camp"
During the first week of the program, participating students attend a preparatory lab training course called the Boot Camp. Held at Pathways to Stem Cell Science in our biotech industry training facility, this course provides hands-on training in essential bioscience techniques such as laboratory safety, pipetting, cell culture, stem cell culture, molecular biology, flow cytometry and microscopy.

Research Internship:
After completing introductory training, students join the laboratory of a Caltech scientist, where they contribute to a professional research project, broadly related to stem cells and regenerative medicine.

Science Education Forums:
Participating students attend three science education forums, which expand stem cell science from the laboratory to the outside world. These forums cover a range of fascinating topics from science writing and ethics to intellectual property and entrepreneurship. They also include a career development seminar, guest speakers and a scientific journal club.

Colloquium and Graduation:
The EiHS CIRM SPARK Program culminates on the last day with a poster presentation and graduation ceremony at our annual Colloquium. This memorable event is open to the public and includes a poster presentation during which students showcase their work to friends, family and local scientists.


– College-level lectures
– Hands-on lab classes
– Cutting edge techniques
– Guest speakers
– Literature research
– Professional lab research and experimental planning
– Career education
– Journal club
– Science writing, bioinformatics, biolaw, intellectual property, entrepreneurship, ethics, patient advocacy
– Networking with professional science mentors

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