Student STARS Shine at FHSD

Posted on 08/06/2018
Student STARS Shine at FHHS

FHSD is proud to announce that three young scientists, Rishith Mishra from Francis Howell Central, David Yang from Francis Howell High, and Shikha Annem from Francis Howell North, have successfully completed the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists program (STARS) at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Over the summer, 82 talented high school students from around the St. Louis metro area and six different states participated in the STARS program. STARS pairs academically talented high school rising seniors and new undergraduate students with more than 60 local scientists in the fields of biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, medicine, physics, and psychology.

It takes special determination and passion to spend six weeks conducting intensive research in a complex scientific field while many of your friends spend their summer months relaxing. Mishra’s university-level research paper was titled “Differences in neurobehavior between preterm and full term infants” with mentor Dr. Bobbi Pineda of Washington University. Yang researched “Evaluating mineral proxies of microbial sulphate reduction in Santa Monica Basin sediments” with help from Dr. David Fike and Dr. Jennifer Houghton of Washington University. Annem’s work was on “The effects of confronting sexism on cognitive functioning and psychological well-being” with mentor Dr. Bettina Casad of UMSL.

The mentors are top researchers from Confluence Discovery Technologies, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis University, Washington University, and UMSL.

“You must work hard and be persistent to be the best student and scientist that you can be,” said UMSL Curator Darryl Chatman. “Do not be easily discouraged, and understand that STEM fields are very challenging. You’re going to meet some of the top minds in the country and in the world throughout your careers."

“However, being a scientist, as you know, is very rewarding. Scientists improve the human condition by identifying and solving problems. They create new technology and new gadgets. They build infrastructure, cure diseases, predict and warn us of dangerous weather conditions, create better and safer food – and that’s just to name a few things. Scientists also help us protect the environment and help us develop more sustainable environmental technology.”

For more information about the STARS program contact Ken Mares at 314-516-6155 or

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