STARS places students with scientists in lab, field

These five Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School students will participate in this summer's STARS program at UMSL. (Photo by Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School)

Academically talented high school juniors and seniors will get a chance this summer to research everything from plant responses to environmental stress to a protein important for nervous system differentiation and cancer during the 2012 STARS program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

STARS stands for Students and Teachers as Research Scientists. The program pairs students with top research mentors from UMSL, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and the Solae Company.

This year’s program will run June 11 through July 20 at UMSL. Besides conducting research and presenting papers, students will be introduced to information and skills needed for applications to colleges and universities, attend lectures by leading scientists from the St. Louis community, and enjoy social events such as bowling, a movie, an ice cream social, the St. Louis Symphony and a St. Louis Cardinals game.

“The university is thrilled to once again open its doors to some of the brightest science students in the St. Louis area,” said Tom George, chancellor of UMSL. “The STARS program offers a unique and important research opportunity.” He also praised the community partners and fellow institutions who lend their continuing support to the program.

For six weeks, anthropologists, biologists, chemists, computer scientists, earth and planetary scientists, engineers, medical researchers, psychologists and public health experts from the five institutions will take on student apprentices in laboratories and direct students in research projects.  It introduces both rising high school juniors and seniors to the various aspects of the scientific enterprise as practiced by successful scientists in academic, private and corporate research institutions.

“Through student and mentor-scientist partnerships, participants apply various problem-solving strategies to independent research projects,” said Ken Mares, director of the STARS program. “Students write technical reports and orally present their research findings in a seminar format on the last day of the program.”

The program is funded partially through LMI Aerospace/D3 Technologies, the Office of the Chancellor at UMSL, Saint Louis University, Washington University, Green Foundation and Solae.

Participants in the 2012 program include 82 students from 33 high schools in the St. Louis metro area, as well as California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa and Greece.

STARS will wrap up its six week program with a ceremony at 3 p.m. July 20 in the J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center at UMSL. The event is free and open to the public.

The students for the 2012 STARS program are:

Affton High School: Jimmy Quang Lam
Anatolia College IB: Dimitris Tsaras, Sotiris Gkoulimaris
Block Yeshiva High School: Jonathan Noam Biel
Carbondale Community High School: Bilal Ahmed Makhdoom
Chaminade College Preparatory School: Alan Thomas Makhoul
Christian Brothers College High School: Donald Jerome Buchholz, Alexander David Ernst
Clayton High School: David Behrend, Junsang Cho, Sakurako Oyama
Clinton High School: Vamsi P. Marla
Crossroads College Preparatory School: Noah Forrest Dromgoole
DeSmet Jesuit High School: Joshua Matthew Simon
Ft. Zumwalt South High School: Sree Harsha Datla
Gateway Institute of Technology: Aadaisia Paris Stevens
Hinsdale Central High School: Sagar Dommaraju
John Burroughs School:  Corina Marie Minden-Birkenmaier ,  Bradley Ilsoo Riew, Tejasvi Subramanian, Katherine Irene Taylor, Taiyi Hua
Ladue Horton Watkins High School: Enze Chen, Chloe Lee An, Rui Chen, Toby Zhu
Lafayette High School: Felipe Badke d’Andrea, Vivek Ram Vallurupalli, Jerik K. Leung and Alan Lu
Lindbergh High School: Shravan Rama Dommaraju, Tiffany Lee, Stephanie Yun Fei
Marquette High School: Jacob Dean Cohen
Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School: Isa Maria Mulvihill, Christina Adams Rouse, Preethi  Umashanker, Luman Zhang, Alexandra Elizabeth Donovan, Kristin Taylor Geczi, John Barratt Finlay
Mission San Jose High School: Priyanka Mahapatra
Missouri Academy: Natalie M. Yocum, Esther Kim and Jangkyung Kim
North Broward Preparatory School: Miranda Adele Vogt
O’Fallon Township High School: Yash Atul Patel
Parkway Central High School: Louis S. Wang, Rebecca Moyi Zhang, Jonathan Herbert Brand, Henry Du Chen, Victor Ge, Tommy Huan Du
Parkway North High School: Yu Deng
Parkway South High School: Shreya Sharma, Mindy Xu,  Nagasai Sindhura Yalavarthi, Satya Pavan Yalla,  Alice Ling Zou, Humza Ahmed, Michael Thomas Esker, Katherine Yufan Li, Jenna Louise Lin and Joyce Chen Lin, Brian Cheng , Kevin Jed He
Parkway West High School: Ann Ni, Tatsumi Yanaba
Ritenour High School: Maloree Khan
Rosati-Kain High School: Gabrielle Nicole Melillo
Saint Louis Priory: John Leon del Rosario, Alexander Craig Noddings, Tony Y. Lee
St. Louis University High School: Colin P.  Dunne
Villa Duchesne High School: Sophie Boyer Flotron, Morgan Elizabeth Link, Meghan Mary Grojean, Kristen L. Buehne
Visitation Academy: Komal Kumar and Elizabeth Ramsay Lueder
Westminster Christian Academy: Nathan Josh Cherian, Daniel Louis Pollmann


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