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Five Parkway students are STARS in science

A summer of hard work has rewarded five Parkway aspiring scientists who spent six weeks conducting intensive research with area professionals and professors. The students have been named winners of the LMI Aerospace Inc./D3 Technologies Award for Excellence in Research.

The Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) program introduces juniors and seniors to the scientific enterprise as practiced by scientists in academic, private or corporate research institutions. For six weeks, biologists, chemists, engineers, medical researchers, psychologists and public health experts mentored the Parkway students. They researched everything from neural circuits in the brain to the effects of early life stress on learning to improving satellite efficiency. Besides conducting research students took part in career workshops, attended lectures by leading scientists and enjoyed social activities such as bowling, a movie, an ice cream social, the St. Louis Symphony and a Cardinal game.

Following their research, the students presented their papers to their peers, parents and research mentors. Senior scientists at Monsanto, Solae, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and LMI Aerospace/D3 Technologies reviewed the papers. Winning papers best exemplified the following qualities: difficulty and complexity of research; appropriateness of the research methodology; findings; quality of writing; and overall quality of the research process.

Following are Parkway’s Excellence in Research winners, their research topics and organization or the university they worked with:

  • Raveena Boodram, West High, “Staining Amyloid Beta (Aβ) Plaques Central to the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease” - Washington University
  •  Manali Gokhale, North High, “Verticle Nanowires as 3-D Substrates for Biosensing” - Washington University
  • Connie Shen, South High, “The Effect of KP6 on Ion Channels in Ustilago maydis” - Danforth Plant Science Center
  • Shalini Subbarao, West High, “Electrocatalysis of Ascorbic Acid on Self-assembled Monolayers Assembled on Nanoporous Gold” - University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • Christopher Wang, Central High, “Designing a Stereo-lithography Tool for Cell Sorting Applications” - Washington University

The award will be officially presented the students on October 25 during a STARS awards program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. In all, 15 Parkway students participated in program.