For academically talented high school juniors and seniors, this summer will afford them a chance to conduct research on subjects as diverse as neural circuits in the brain, human/robot interaction and evolutionary computation during the 2011 STARS program, hosted by the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The program is sponsored by LMI Aerospace Inc./D3Technologies, Solae Company, Green Foundation, Saint Louis University, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Washington University, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. It pairs students with research mentors from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., Saint Louis University, Solae, Washington University and UMSL.

“We are thrilled to once again be able to offer the STARS program to the St. Louis area’s brightest science students,” said Tom George, chancellor of UMSL. “We are thankful for our community partners and fellow institutions for continuing to support this important research opportunity.”

For six weeks, biologists, chemists, computer scientists, engineers, medical researchers, physicists psychologists and public health experts from the five institutions will take on student apprentices in laboratory settings and direct students in research projects.

“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 results in a seminar format on the last day of the program.”

This year’s program, “Experiencing the Scientific Enterprise,” will be held June 6 through July 15 at UMSL. Besides conducting research and presenting papers, students will tour laboratory settings in St. Louis, take part in career workshops and attend lectures by leading scientists from the St. Louis community.

Participants in the program will include 79 students from 36 high schools in the St. Louis metro area.

More information: 314-516-6155 or

Kylie Shafferkoetter

Kylie Shafferkoetter