The Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders - Frequently Asked Questions

Delegates may attend the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders from any location in the world that has a good Internet connection using a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

The Congress is an interactive honors program with frequent live video interaction and bonding between Delegates.

Delegates will converse and complete numerous exercises in small groups and build friendships with future colleagues and collaborators.

Invited students may attend any of the following scheduled dates to earn their Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders Award of Excellence:

  • October 30 and 31, 2021
  • March 19 and 20, 2022

As an additional educational benefit, enrolled Delegates may attend both Congresses at no additional cost.

What makes the Congress unique?

The Congress is historic by its very nature. Never before has there been a national gathering of thousands of the country’s most gifted high school students together with the brightest STEM minds of today.

The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who have a demonstrable GPA of 3.5 or above and want to enter a STEM field. The purpose of the Congress is to honor, inspire, motivate, and direct those top students in our country and help them stay true to their dreams.

The lifetime friendships made with future colleagues and the opportunity to network with STEM professionals can give Congress Delegates a competitive edge and greater focus as they begin their journey into a career in the STEM fields. Most importantly, after the Congress Delegates will enter the Academy’s free mentoring program, which will provide a path, plan, and resources to help them reach their goals.

Why a virtual program?

The National Academy of Future STEM Innovators created the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders as a virtual learning experience like no other…

The Congress is a LIVE interactive honors program that brings together the greatest STEM minds in the world with the future leaders of the fields.  There is frequent interaction and bonding between Delegates and exercises in small groups to build friendships with future colleagues and collaborators.

A virtual program allows us to bring education, impact, and excitement of the program to students’ living rooms!  High achieving students can attend the Congress from any location in the world that has a good Internet connection using a laptop, tablet or smartphone.  The Academy is proud to deliver a virtual program that feels like a face-to-face experience, without the time, effort, and resources spent by students and their families when traveling to an in-person event.

Who is speaking at the Congress?

During the Congress, Delegates hear from the world's leading STEM pioneers, groundbreaking researchers, and young prodigies who are carving the way for the future of the STEM fields.

The stage will be graced by the greatest living minds from different areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics—some that Delegates may not know exist! They will share insights into who they are, what they do, their successes, failures, and practical advice for Delegates.

While speaker mentors will be confirmed approximately three months before the Congress, take a look at speakers from our past events to see what kind of topics and speakers you can expect.

Is a preliminary schedule available for the Congress?

The schedule of speakers will become available 4 weeks ahead of the Congress. The final schedule will continue to be adjusted until the Congress begins, as we intend to create the most exciting experience and include the most interesting speakers.

Are scholarships available for Congress tuition?

The Academy is proud to offer a limited number of scholarships based on financial need. For more information on the Financial Need Scholarship please email scholarship@scitechleaders.

What does the tuition cover?

Tuition includes instruction, speakers, education personnel, the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders Award of Excellence, and all activities at the Congress.

Also, as an additional educational benefit, Delegates may attend both Congresses at no additional cost.

How did you become aware of me?

Students are identified to become Delegates by their teachers, counselors, and principals based on their dedication to entering the STEM fields; their leadership potential; and their academic excellence.

Qualified students may also be identified through other means such as academic events, recommendations, youth organizations, honor societies, STEM institutions, STEM societies, program Alumni, in-classroom surveys, and as a result of their participation with College Board’s Student Search Service®.

Do I receive recognition or an award after the Congress?

After passing an open note exam to demonstrate attendance at the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders, and upon verification of your 3.5 or above GPA, you will receive the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders Award of Excellence. The Award is earned by attending both days of the Congress, participating in activities, and exhibiting leadership in and dedication to the STEM professions.

In a COVID-19 world, high-achieving students have lost so many opportunities to distinguish themselves and showcase their talents. The Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders Award of Excellence is used by Delegates in college, scholarship, and internship applications.

How do I verify my GPA if I was invited by the Academy?

The Congress is an academic honors program. You must have a minimum 3.5 GPA (or equivalent), either current or cumulative, to attend.

Unless you were nominated by a teacher, you must verify your GPA. Complete information on how to verify your GPA will be provided at enrollment. If you attend the Congress without a verified GPA you will still be allowed to participate, but you will not receive your Award of Excellence until you provide documentation.

Can I receive college credit for attending the Congress?

Based on the educational value of the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders, Delegates have the option to earn one college credit offered by Bottega University.

College credit is an opportunity to credential yourself and demonstrate to universities and other institutions that you have already completed college-level academic work.

To be eligible, Delegates must successfully complete the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders by attending all sessions, taking notes during the Congress, and submitting a Congress Reflection essay.

The cost of the one college credit offered by Bottega University in conjunction with the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders is $275. This includes $225 for college credit tuition plus a $50 BU registration fee.

More information on transferable college credit from Bottega University including on the coursework and refund policy is available here.

Alternatively, contact the Academy’s Admissions Office by phone at (617) 307-7425 or by email at

Can the Congress accommodate my disability?

The Academy encourages all students with disabilities to attend. Please call the Admissions Office to discuss specific needs by phone at (617) 307-7425.

What is the best way to participate in the Congress?

You should choose a quiet and well-lit space in your home to experience the Congress. Be sure that the area is free of distractions to you and your peers, such as background noise and glares from windows. Ideally, choose a desk for your computer with a comfortable chair to sit in that places you within the frame of the computer’s webcam, and a solid colored wall behind you. Anything affixed to the wall in the background (decorations, posters, art) should be suitable for a classroom.

What kind of technology will I need?

To successfully participate in the Congress, you will need:

  • A computer that is virus-free and capable of running the latest versions of internet browsers and software.
  • A high-speed internet connection that can support streaming video and interactive audio. Those without reliable high-speed internet can still participate fully through audio and chat. They can also go to their church, library, or community center with good internet.While it is not essential, you can also directly wire your computer to your router or move to a location with the strongest wifi signal for a better experience.
  • A microphone to participate in the Congress breakouts. Most computers come with a built-in microphone, however, if yours does not, you can purchase a USB connected headset with a microphone. 
  • A webcam if you choose to participate in the Congress via video. If your computer does not already have a built-in webcam, you can purchase an external one that can be connected to your computer via USB.

Will the Congress environment have safeguards in place to prevent unwanted observers

Absolutely. The technical team is hard at work to ensure the Congress is a closed environment that will be password protected and safe for Delegates.

Will the Congress be a safe environment and protect Delegates from cyberbullying?

The Academy expects that Delegates will make a positive contribution to the experience of their fellow Delegates and to the intellectual atmosphere of the Congress. Delegates are expected to engage seriously and be focused on participation. Disruptive behavior or the use of the Congress platforms for inappropriate content or discourse will not be tolerated.

Delegates are further responsible for their social or public conduct, including that in digital forums such as text messages, social media posts, emails, and discussion boards. Cyberbullying will not be tolerated.

Can my parents/guardians be part of the program?

Parents and families are encouraged to attend the Congress at no additional charge. This allows for rich and meaningful “dinner table” conversations between parents and Delegates, as Delegates are motivated and inspired to see a bigger and bigger future for themselves during the Congress. More than 80% of parents and Delegates say they feel closer to one another as a result of attending the Congress.

Can I publicize my nomination to the Congress?

Delegates will be able to create their own news release, using a template developed by the Academy. Included are instructions on how to distribute this release to local newspapers and television stations so that Delegates can get maximum recognition for their achievements.

How is my tuition used?

First, to develop and execute a remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime educational experience. This involves the work of hundreds of people, many months of planning and a whole lot of resources.

Second, scholarships. Teachers from across the country who are part of the Academy’s Honorary Board of Educators will award hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships. As well, the Academy is proud to offer a limited number of partial scholarships based on financial need.

And third, to fund the many free of charge services that the Academy provides to all students, regardless of GPA. Among the free services are online social networks through which future STEM professionals can communicate; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored; and communications for parents and students giving them information about college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships, career guidance, and much more.

What happens if I need to cancel and receive a refund?

Students may receive a Congress tuition refund within 30 days of their first payment or before attending a Congress, whichever comes first. Any cancellation and request for refund must be submitted in writing by the Parent/Guardian who submitted the enrollment online. Refunds may take 4-6 weeks to process. Any Delegate dismissed from the Congress for violation of the Code of Conduct is not eligible for any refund.

Refunds on College Credit are made in compliance with Bottega University’s policies as required by its accreditor.

Why isn’t the Academy tax-exempt?

We have the greatest respect for non-profit charities and academic institutions that help make our lives better. However, we don’t think you should have to underwrite our work with your taxes. When organizations don’t pay taxes, all of us chip in to make up the difference on April 15th.

The Academy pays taxes, accepts no public assistance, and is completely self-sustaining through tuition from academic seminars and conferences. The Academy offers extensive programs and services that are free to all students who wish to take advantage of them.

National Academy of Future STEM Innovators

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