Bringing the best and brightest together in one virtual classroom
We partnered with NYAS to revitalize The Junior Academy and enroll 250 top students from around the world.
Reviving an educational program from the 1950's
The Global STEM Alliance (GSA) is an initiative from the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) dedicated to creating STEM programing that teaches children and young adults the critical skills necessary for 21st century careers. As part of this mission, the GSA revived The Junior Academy – a successful program for gifted teens from the 1950’s – to cater to a new digital generation.
Finding the brightest students in the world
We looked to other GSA STEM programs to find what motivated students to join, then tested several messaging themes to determine the best way to convey our value proposition.
Designing a digital campus
As the face of a purely digital program, the website needed to inspire students in the same way a beautiful university campus does. In order to convey that this is a place to aspire towards, we created a cutting edge look and feel with animations and illustrations, while conveying the history and prestige of NYAS, and the opportunity to be amongst the best students in the world.
Based on the insights, we subdivided the audience into six demographically unique cohorts, and ran a multitude of image and copy variations to identify the most effective creative. Our dedicated media team narrowed down the campaigns to several social media audiences with the highest number of qualified applicants per dollar spent.
Tracking everything, learning fast and iterating quickly
We pored over user behavior data from every step in the application funnel to identify bottlenecks and opportunities to move candidates through the process. Iterations started almost immediately after the site launched and lead to significant increases in conversions.
To remedy applicants abandoning long-form questions, we added new features such as auto-save and no-login unique URL applications.
We offset user drop-off with an automated campaign that triggered encouraging emails based on where they were in the application process.
Common user queries were turned into new FAQ’s paired with email announcements to help address application hurdles.
Students from around the world
Over 3 months of the project, we drove 51,000 visits to the site, acquired over 2,000 student applications – 4x higher than our KPI goal. This resulted in 250 exceptional students from 61 countries becoming members of The Junior Academy 2015 class.
Since the success of our first engagement, we’ve worked closely with the GSA to extend The Junior Academy’s web presence and support the launch and operation of other STEM education programs.
We had high standards for student recruiting and a short deadline
Division Of/ developed and executed a recruitment strategy that exceeded all expectations. Some of the brightest students in the world enrolled in our program and continue to work to solve the world’s greatest challenges.