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Francis Howell seniors spend summer as STARS

Ryan Russell and Laurie Lee

The summer break from school means young scientists have an opportunity to participate in research.


Francis Howell seniors Laurie Lee and Ryan Russell spent their summer in the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists [STARS] program at University of Missouri-St. Louis. The program hosted 96 high school students from the metropolitan area. They were paired with new undergraduate students and more than 60 scientists in the fields of biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental science, math, medicine, physics and psychology.

For six weeks, they were involved in conducting intensive research in biomedical science. Lee and Russell diligently worked on university-level research papers as part of the program. Lee researched “The effect of floral complexity on speed-accuracy trade offs” with mentor Dr. Aimee Dunlap. Russell’s research paper was entitled, “Rotational analysis of the β2Δ – Χ2Πi electronic transition of CuO using intracavity laser spectroscopy” with mentors Dr. James O’Brien and Dr. Leah O’Brien.

STARS is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor at UMSL, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis, the St. Louis Symphony, Monsanto, the Missouri Botanical Garden, Academy of Science of St. Louis, Easter Seals Midwest, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the Saint Louis Zoo, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, John Burroughs School and Boeing Co.

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