Science, Technology, and Research Scholars (STARS)

Science, Technology, and Research Scholars (STARS)


Science, Technology and Research Scholars (STARS) encourages interest in scientific research careers by pairing outstanding high school students with Converse faculty for long-term, in-depth science and technology projects. High school students are individually mentored in one of the Converse laboratories in biology, biochemistry, psychology and computer science. During the 2016-2017 academic year, a research grant supporting the STARS program expanded the project areas to include the humanities and arts.

In addition to mentored research projects, STARS have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in workshops that cover topics like writing research proposals and designing experiments
  • Meet other curious, motivated high school students during field trips and activities, like the Science Challenge Bowl
  • Report their findings at local, regional and national meetings at the high school and college level

“This research opportunity has been an incredible experience. It has allowed me to be part of competitions, experience different types of projects and has exposed me to a broader range of scientific careers.” – Avi Borad, junior at Spartanburg Day School

Some of the awards won by Converse STARS include:

  • Piedmont III Region Science Fair, Overall Winner (2011, 2012 and 2013)
  • Piedmont III Region Science Fair, Converse College Outstanding Young Women in Science Award (2013)
  • Piedmont III Region Science Fair, University of South Carolina Scholarship (total $5,000)
  • South Carolina Junior Academy of Science, Best Oral Presentation Award
  • South Carolina Junior Academy of Science, Second Place among all South Carolina State Winners
  • South Carolina Upstate Research Symposium, Best Poster Award (2011, 2012 and 2013)
  • South Carolina Upstate Research Symposium, Best Paper Award (2012 and 2013)

“This is something that undergraduate kids dream of getting the chance to do and my son is just a junior in high school!” – Eddie Schrieffer, father of past participant Stewart Schrieffer

High school students may apply to participate in the STARS 8-week summer research program or for the year-long academic program on the Converse campus. Applications are being accepted for the 2016-2017 academic year through August 31, 2016. Four students will be accepted for the academic year program.

Juniors and seniors from Spartanburg County high schools are eligible to apply. Students who complete AP courses in biology and chemistry will receive special consideration. We encourage applications from traditionally underrepresented groups in science careers, such as women, first generation college students, and students with disabilities. The goal of the program is to give students the opportunity to explore research careers in the sciences by acquainting them with the resources of a College. Students must be able to provide their own transportation.

Applications for the 2016-2017 academic year are due September 2. The program is competitive. Applicants are not guaranteed a project will be available, and will need to list more than one area of interest. Each applicant must submit one letter of recommendation from a current or past teacher and participate in an interview with a Converse faculty mentor. Acceptance notifications will be communicated by September 15, 2016. For questions please contact Dr. Neval Erturk.