Academics Extracurricular Activities Students

LHWHS Student Wins LMI Aerospace Award for Excellence in Research

Sarah Jacob poses with her award.

Thirty-five aspiring scientists who spent six weeks this summer conducting intensive research with St. Louis-area professors have earned research rewards.

The students have been named winners of the LMI Aerospace Inc./D3 Technologies Award for Excellence in Research. The award is presented to students who distinguished themselves during the 2013 Students and Teachers as Research Scientists program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. This year nearly 90 high school students participated in the program.

LHWHS student Sarah Jacob received the award for her work “Plexin signaling and axon guidance in zebrafish,” which she worked on with Mark Voigt of Saint Louis University.

“We thank the teachers and mentors for dedicating their time and lending their expertise to the students of the STARS program,” said Ron Saks, president and chief executive officer, LMI Aerospace Inc. “The education the students receive while participating in STARS is so valuable to young people yearning for a memorable experience they can take with them for the rest of their lives. Many of us remember the teachers from a young age who provided that special spark at a time when we most needed it. Our hope is that the teachers and students at STARS received that gift this summer.”

STARS introduces rising high school juniors and seniors to the various aspects of the scientific enterprise as practiced by scientists in academic, private or corporate research institutions. UMSL partners with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., Saint Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis to provide research opportunities for the participants.

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 social events.

Following six weeks of research, the participants presented their research papers to their peers, parents and research mentors.

Senior scientists at UMSL, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Monsanto, LMI Aerospace Inc., and Confluence Life Sciences 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.