Eleven Students Become Research Scientists Through STARS Program

Eleven MICDS Upper School students are graduates of the 2014 STARS (Students and Teachers as Research Scientists) program: Harrison Critchfield-Jain ’16, Lynn Dankner ’15, Dennis Grigoryan ’15, Davis Johnston ’15, Christina MacAskill ’15, Stephen Mattingly ’15, Kavita Patwardhan ’15, Achintya Rai ’15, Katherine “Gigi” Rill ’15, Rohit Srivastava ’15 and Chloe Stallion ’15. MICDS was pleased to have more STARS participants than any other school this year.

This summer marked the 26th year of the program. Ken Mares, who has been director of the STARS program for the past 20 years, said it has progressed significantly since its inception. “We now take a class of 88 students and have 65 mentors from four major research institutions providing pre-collegiate research opportunities for some of the most promising students in greater St. Louis.” he said.

The prestigious six-week summer science program, which ended July 18, pairs academically talented junior and senior high school students with top research mentors from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and the host institution, UMSL. The primary purpose of STARS is to ready students to prepare and present a research paper.

Experts from the four institutions took on student apprentices in laboratories and directed them in research projects. Also, students attended lectures by nationally known scientists from the St. Louis science community, learned information concerning the higher education admission process and enjoyed a variety of social events.

This recent summer session included nearly 90 high school students from the St. Louis metro area, as well as Connecticut, Florida, Illinois and Greece.