Baylor Science Program Gives High School Students Unique Opportunity

July 12, 2010

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Instead of sleeping in and swimming this summer, nine high school students from across the country were at Baylor University, hard at work on research projects.

As part of Baylor's High School Summer Science Research Program (HSSSRP), high-achieving high school students interested in science come to Baylor and work alongside Baylor professors on their current research projects.

The program, established in 1991, is open to students entering their senior year of high school. Each student accepted into the program is awarded a scholarship which covers tuition, technology fees and on-campus accommodations. Students earn one hour of college credit for participating in the program.

"The idea is to promote science, technology and engineering and channel more students into those areas," said Dr. Frank Mathis, the program's director and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor. "Our program is unique in the fact that we are one of the few that allows high school students to have actual hands-on experience in a lab with a professor."

In order to apply, students had to submit an application, two letters of recommendation, an essay and an official transcript. This year, more than 160 students applied for the program, the highest number in the history of the program.

Students selected for this summer's program came from Texas, North Carolina, California, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado.

While the program is centered on research projects, students also get to experience Baylor's campus, sit in on classes and participate in recreational activities. A campus tour and field trips to Inner Space Cavern, Putt-Putt, a water park, bowling alley, movies, Cameron Park Zoo and the Dr. Pepper Museum were all included on the schedule.

The student's names and research topics they worked on are as follows:

Peter Baek: Synthetic Routes of Toll-Like Receptor-7 Antagonists

Christine Chien: Thermophoretic Effect on the Crystal Structure of Bilayer Complex Plasma

Patrick Facheris: The Effect of Thermophoresis on Vertical Alignment of Dust Particles in Bilayer Complex Plasma

Jill Freise: Obtaining Apatamers to Bind to Escherichia Coli Using the Cell-SELEX Process

Matthew Miller: Characterization and Optimization of the Rutland 504 Wind Turbine

Stacy Sebastian: A Comprehensive Review of the Consumption of Comerically Isolated Stevioside and Rebaudioside A Glycosidic Compounds

Rachel Siller: Population Biology and Ecological Stoichiometry of Simyra Henrici in a Central Texas Wetland

Danielle Suh: Sytnthesis of Small-Molecule, Thiosemicarbazone-Based Inhibitors of Cathepsin L for the Treatment of Metastatic Cancer

Jack Wen: Analysis of a Mammalian Immunosuppressant Rapamycin on Maize Root Growth and Development

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by Diamond Richardson, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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