UMSL announces 2010 STARS graduates

2010 STARS graduates

More than 60 high school students spent their summer working with some of the top scientists in the greater St. Louis area. These aspiring student scientists conducted a wide range of research, studying everything from neural circuits in the brain to human/robot interaction.

On Friday (July 16), they graduated from the 2010 Students and Teachers as Research Scientists program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. The program is sponsored by Pfizer Inc., LMI Aerospace Inc. /D3Technologies, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Solae, UMSL and Washington University in St. Louis. UMSL also partnered with the Donald Danforth Science Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., Saint Louis University, Solae, St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Washington University, all of which provided research opportunities for the STARS participants.

“UMSL is proud and delighted to take the lead as the host institution for the STARS program. We share a commitment to pre-collegiate science education with our academic, institutional and corporate partners,” UMSL Chancellor Tom George said at the STARS confirmation ceremony. “All of us are working toward one goal – providing the critical scientific workforce needed to move the St. Louis region forward.”

Kenneth Mares, director of the STARS program at UMSL, said that students with bachelor’s and advanced degrees in science, math and engineering are needed more today than ever by American businesses wanting to stay competitive.

And yet, efforts to bolster the number of graduates in the science, technology, engineering and math fields are failing, according to past reports by the Associated Press. The mission of STARS is to help generate interest in those fields.

“We are delighted to provide this opportunity where senior research scientists share their experiences as they, along with their research teams, direct students in significant research projects,” Mares said.

For more than 20 years, UMSL has hosted this intensive summer research program for academically talented junior and senior high school students. The STARS program introduces participants to the various aspects of the scientific enterprise as practiced by successful scientists in academic, private or corporate research institutions.

Each STARS student chooses one research project from a variety of outstanding opportunities. Fifty-one faculty members from the participating academic institutions and two scientists from the Danforth Center volunteered for this project. In addition, Pfizer Inc. and Solae identified research scientists to make career presentations.

This year’s program, “Experiencing the Scientific Enterprise,” was held June 7 through July 16 at UMSL. In addition to conducting hands-on research and presenting research papers, students attended lectures by leading scientists from the St. Louis science community and engaged in social activities such as attending St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performances, bowling, movies, an ice cream social and a St. Louis Cardinal baseball game.

The 2010 STARS graduating students and their schools are:

Block Yeshiva High School: Avital Shulman

Chaminade College Prep: William Ewing III, Ryan Hall

Clayton High School: Danielle Baron, Scott Jeffrey, Paul Lisker, Sirui Liu, Leigh Ryffel, Tiange Zhang

Cor Jesu Academy: Elise Viox

Crossroads College Prep: Johanna Lowell

Fort Zumwalt West High School: Saahil Sheth

Francis Howell High School: Radhika Natarajan, Nathaniel Stein

Francis Howell North High School: Taylor Bell, Cathryn Pherigo

John Burroughs School: Colman Jin, Jacob Simpher, Conor Tillinghast, Andrew Zhou

Ladue Horton Watkins High School: Yiran Liu, Beenish Qayum, Melissa Wang

Lafayette High School : Jacqueline Yap

Lindbergh High School: Peter Kempf

Marquette High School: Erum Ahmed, Ravali Gummi, Rohit Gummi, Madhav Narayan

Metro Academic and Classical H.S.: Olivia Newbury

MICDS: Vivek Biswas, Aashish Chalasani, Dabin Choe, Chloe Ferris, Kyle Kong, Sydney Schein

Missouri Academy: Stephen Ryan, Fabrielle Schroeder

O’Fallon Township High School: Ryan Patterson

Parkway Central High School: Shawn Kuo, Emily Wilson

Parkway North High School: Calvin Irwin, Zachary Weinstock, Stephanie Zhang

Parkway South High School: Dushyant Bhatnagar, Vikram Ponnusamy, Hima Veeramachaneni

Parkway West High School: Mrigank Gupta, Bob Song

Rolla High School: Erica Westenberg

St. Louis Priory: Andrew Schwartz

Villa Duchesne: Katharine Foster, Sabrina Fritz

Visitation Academy: Himachandana Atluri, Emily Puleo, Mary Puleo

Wentzville Holt High School: Tia Harper

Westminster Christian Academy: Danielle Cicka, Rebecca Lambert, Paul Wheeler

Whitfield School: Jesse Drapekin, Amit Nanda


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