Plano ISD Teacher, Three Students Participate in UT Southwestern STARS Program
July 18, 2023
Plano ISD was well represented in the 2023 UT Southwestern STARS Summer Research program.
Out of 900 student applicants to the program, 55 were selected for participation, including three students from Plano ISD. The UT Southwestern STARS Summer Research Program is an eight-week, non-residential program designed to give teachers and students an opportunity to work side by side with a faculty host in a research laboratory. Participants present the results of their research at the end of the summer.
The program encourages students in North Texas with excellent academic records and a love of science to pursue science-related fields. High school juniors completing the Summer Research Program act as emissaries at their home school by giving presentations outlining their research experiences. Applicants had to be at least 16 years old by June 1 and be a rising senior enrolled in high school in the United States.
2023 UTSW STARS Summer Research Program Teachers, Students, and Administrators
Shashank Gangaram, Plano East Senior High School Student
Jayanth Mokkapati, Plano West Senior High School Student
Alanna Polyak, Plano West Senior High School Student
Additionally, Plano West Senior High AP Biology Teacher Julia Drake was one of seven teachers from around the state who were selected to participate in the teacher research program. Through participation in the Summer Research Program, teachers not only learn new techniques, but also rekindle their interest in science, which positively affects their students. In addition, teachers use their newfound knowledge and skills to develop hands-on classroom activities that relate to their areas of research to take back to their classrooms.
Julia Drake, Plano West Senior High AP Biology Teacher