Shining STARS at FHHS

Posted on 08/03/2017
Shining STARS at FHHS


The Francis Howell School District is proud to announce that two budding scientists from Francis Howell High School, Laurie Lee and Ryan Russell, have successfully completed the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists program (STARS) at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Over the summer, 96 talented high school students from around the St. Louis metro area participated in the STARS program. STARS pairs academically talented high school rising seniors and new undergraduate students with more than 60 local scientists in the fields of biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, medicine, physics and psychology.

It takes special determination and passion to spend six weeks conducting intensive research in the complex field of biomedical science. While many students spent their summer months enjoying their favorite leisure activities, Lee and Russell were diligently working on their university-level research papers. 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.

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

“We are happy to offer STARS students, who are some of the best and brightest, exceptional collegiate research opportunities,” said UMSL Chancellor Tom George. “Hopefully, the experience inspires them to become top scientists themselves, and help make the world a better place.” George also announced a scholarship covering tuition and offering $750 for books and research opportunities for any STARS student wishing to enroll at UMSL in the fall of 2018.

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

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