Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) represent distinctive learning environments that are organized around a well-articulated design framework aimed at broadening student participation in scientific research. Among the published descriptions of CURE models that are currently available in the education research literature, the vast majority have been implemented in four-year institutions of higher learning with undergraduate students. In this programmatic article, we utilize the CURE design framework to characterize a highly structured instructional intervention that engages upper-level high school students in basic research that bridges comparative functional genomics and developmental neuroscience. Our goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of using the CURE framework as a uniform reference point for other informal science programs aimed at making life science research accessible to younger learners. We conclude by discussing preliminary data on the program’s effects on students’ self-efficacy for conducting scientific research, collaborative abilities, and understanding of how scientific knowledge is constructed.