Two Westminster Christian Academy Students in STARS Program
A summer of hard work has paid off for two Westminster Christian Academy students who spent six weeks conducting intensive research with St. Louis-area professionals and professors as part of the 2102 Students and Teachers as Research Scientists Program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Seniors Nathan Cherian and Daniel Pollman paired with top research mentors from UMSL, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and the Solae Company. The experts from the five institutions took on student apprentices in laboratories and directed students in research projects.
“High school students interested in a science career get a big head start with their participation in the STARS program,” says UMSL Chancellor Tom George. “For six weeks, students interact with experts in their fields, work in labs and come away with an invaluable real-life, hands-on experience.”
In addition to conducting research, Cherian and Pollman attended lectures by nationally recognized scientists, learned about the process for applying to higher education institutions, and enjoyed social activities including bowling, a movie, an ice cream social and a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.
Elaine Krul, a lead researcher at Solae who serves as an adviser to STARS students, is a big fan of the program. She was impressed by this year’s participants, saying that they possessed amazing enthusiasm and talent. Krul praised the uniqueness of the program for allowing students to expand their education far beyond the classroom into the real world.
“Our country needs to cultivate these great minds, and the STARS program allows the students to experience things they did not know about at the start of the summer and come away with a sense of accomplishing something that, in the long run, will benefit humanity,” Krul says.