The Dr. John D. Bower INSTAR Scholars program is now seeking applications from enthusiastic students who are interested in gaining experience in scientific research. Continuing into its third year, INSTAR (standing for Investigating Novel Solutions Through Applied Research) has thus far trained 18 students culminating in 20 independent projects. Given that an INSTAR is defined as a growing stage between two periods of development for organisms, we feel the name is appropriate to capture this point of time as a bridge for our students, preparing them for future endeavors in the scientific field.
Upon completion of this program, students will not only present an independent research project at the regional science fair, they will also have knowledge of various skills useful to those interested in a scientific field in the future. This could be anything from lab safety and essential lab procedures to experimental design, statistics, and scientific presenting. This works by students completing information sessions each quarter and collaborating with a faculty member as their individual mentor to create their own original research question.
The ultimate goal of the program is for students to begin collaborations with and learn from those directly involved in research in the greater community. As students develop, our hope is that they begin actively working with professors and medical professionals across disciplines to give them a greater glimpse into the scientific field.