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St. Croix Watershed Research Station - Science Training and Research Skills (STARS)

Science Training and Research Skills (STARS)

STARS Mission: To provide authentic scientific research experiences and career building opportunities for high school and college students, particularly students from groups underrepresented in the sciences.

Program Description:
The STARS program accomplishes its mission through two main components: immersive high school workshops and mentored internships for college students.

The high school workshops develop participants' familiarity with water quality issues and the tools that scientists use to study aquatic systems. High school students learn how to develop hypotheses, design a basic water quality study, and collect and analyze samples using field and laboratory equipment. Students draw on their knowledge of chemistry, biology, and ecology to interpret results at the end of the workshop. This hands-on engagement of science allows students to step outside of the formal boundaries of established curriculum, with its known outcomes, and into the role of scientific researcher.

The mentored internships are designed to give undergraduate students in the natural sciences an opportunity to perform their own research and learn about careers in their field. Students apprentice with scientific mentors to build their confidence as researchers and become members of the scientific community. Students also work closely with each other as they develop their field and lab skills, learn how to communicate their results to professional and lay audiences, and discover the professional possibilities available to natural science majors.

Contact Erin Mittag to find out about current program offerings.