The ASCEND (Advancing STEM-Community Engagement through Neuroscience Discovery) program is a 2-semester long neuroscience learning opportunity at STEM Studio in Jupiter for kids grades 6-8 made possible by the Florida Atlantic University Brain Institute and Stiles-Nicholson Foundation. 

Led by professional neuroscientists and their trainees and using cutting-edge educational tools, including hands-on virtual and augmented reality applications, kids will be provided with monthly neuroscience lessons and activities at STEM Studio in Abacoa with intermittent field trips to science labs. In addition, kids will have the opportunity to engage in monthly webcasts to talk about what they learned during their lessons at STEM Studio and podcasts of recent, exciting neuroscience discoveries. Kids will learn about neuroscience, with lessons building from cells to neural networks to brain disorders. The program will culminate in a science fair where kids will present a poster and receive a certificate of completion. 

This FREE program is open to all middle school youth, regardless of whether they attended Brain Sparks. 

Registration note: ASCEND is continuous through the school year to create continuity and a community of learners and doers. If you did not attend the Fall 2018 sessions, please contact Dr. Nicole Baganz at or call 561.799.855 to be considered on a case by case basis.

Spring ASCEND sessions will be held once a month at STEM Studio in Abacoa on Wednesdays from 4:30–6:15 pm. 

Spring 2019 dates are:

March 27

April 17

May 1

May 22

*June 1 (Saturday) – Note that this will be a special “graduation” poster session held for ASCEND participants and the community, featuring the ASCEND participants and their projects. This will be held at the Stiles-Nicholson Center across from the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach from 9 am to 1 pm.

For more information contact Dr. Nicole Baganz
at or call 561.799.855

For middle school students only. This is a series of classes. Students are expected to attend all classes but late entries will be accepted.

To download the PDF, click here.

For Parent FAQ's click here.