Summer STARS program to turn high school students into college scientists

Professor of Chemistry Keith Stine (left) oversees 2013 STARS student Max Bernstein (MICDS) and his mentor Abeera Sharma (PhD chemistry 2014) as they test the materials and biochemical aspects of carbohydrates in Stine's lab at UMSL.

Professor of Chemistry Keith Stine (left) oversees 2013 STARS student Max Bernstein (MICDS) and his mentor Abeera Sharma (PhD chemistry 2014) as they test the materials and biochemical aspects of carbohydrates in Stine’s lab at UMSL.

This summer, 68 high school juniors will fill the laboratories at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, conducting science research that ranges from examining the biochemical compounds that potentially fight cervical cancer to designing and building satellites.

It’s all part of the 2015 Students and Teachers as Research Scientists program running June 8 through July 17 at UMSL.

“We are delighted to have one of the most outstanding groups of high school students in the history of the program,” Director Ken Mares said.

STARS pairs academically talented high school students with more than 60 scientists who work in fields such as biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, medicine, physics and psychology.

The mentors are top researchers from Confluence Discovery Technologies, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and the host institution, UMSL.

“The opportunity the STARS program provides is two-fold,” UMSL Chancellor Tom George said. “Not only will the high school students work side by side with prominent mentors and participate in important science research, but they will also experience what college and campus life is like.”

In addition to lectures by nationally known scientists from the St. Louis science community, students will attend social events such as bowling, a movie, an ice cream social, a St. Louis Symphony concert and a St. Louis Cardinals game. They will also have the opportunity to learn about the higher education admission process.

STARS is sponsored by LMI Aerospace/D3 Technologies, the Office of the Chancellor at UMSL, SLU, WUSTL, St. Louis Symphony, DuPont, Monsanto, Academy of Science of St. Louis, Life Skills, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, University of Missouri–Kansas City, John Burroughs School and Boeing Co.

STARS will conclude with a confirmation ceremony and reception at 3 p.m. July 17 at the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater in the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL. The event is free and open to the public.

The students for the 2015 STARS program are:

Affton High School: Gabrielle Murphy
Anatolia College: Daniel Bauloye, Anastasia Lalioti, Angeliki Lalioti, Vasilis Rallis
Chaminade College Prepatory School: Jacob Bai, Liam Harrison, Alan Pineda
Christian Brothers College High School: Christopher Ernst
Clayton High School: Matthew De la Paz, Madeleine Goedegebuure, Xuechun Qian, Saori Tomatsu, Xuechun Yao
Cor Jesu Academy: Julie Gauthier
Crossroads College Preparatory School: Clifford Hardin
Edwardsville High School: Pradeep Kandula
Eureka High School: Ramya Chengalvala
Francis Howell High School: Allison Foster
Francis Howell North High School: Pratyush Sontha
Fort Zumwalt North High School: Yushin Lee
John Burroughs School: Safi Ahmad
Ladue Horton Watkins High School: Spencer Chen, Gregory Farn, Oishi Paul, Alexander Tan, Kevin Xue, Ina Yu
Lafayette Senior High School: Julia Romero, Kyle Westendorf
Marquette High School: Shu Han, Mayur Khanna, Siddharth Rana
Marquette Catholic High School: Gabriel Brenner
Marquette Senior High School: Ramya Palaniappan
Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School: Brittany Calkins, Jennifer Donovan, Louisa Goldman, Rebekah Greenspan, Benjamin Hahn, Nicole Howard, Haris Khan, Pravin Sivabalan, Lily Xu
Mt. Vernon Township High School: Shubhika Jain
Parkway Central High School: Sharanya Kumar, Lucas Shanker
Parkway South High School: Himavarsha Kancharla, Ayush Pathak, Sai Pinni
Parkway West High School: Lana Kuziez, Crystal Luo, Melany Yeung
Pattonville High School: Misael Barcenas-Toledo, Gayathri Srinivasan
Saint Louis Priory School: Matthew Braddock
Seven Lakes High School: Ishan Gupta
Timberland High School: Noah Angeles
University City High School: Joshua Stueck
Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School: Nina Kaiser, Harper Wieldt
Visitation Academy: Sarah Lam
Webster Groves High School: Gavin Turner
Westminster Christian Academy: Sabrina Bingham, Sydney Thomas, Megan Wibbenmeyer
Whitfield School: Bolatito Fatoki, Katherine Minorini

For more information about the STARS program contact Ken Mares at 314-516-6155 or
The UMSL Experience


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