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STARS (Science Technology & Research Scholars) STEM Program
for Minority Students

August 19-30, 2019
Held on the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory campus and at the DNA Learning Center

STARS is a two-week summer research experience designed to support the next generation of minority scientists, doctors, and other health professionals. This program provides students with state-of-the-art laboratory and computer science skills needed to succeed in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in college and beyond.

Students will conduct hands-on science and computer projects and participate in enrichment activities including discussions with researchers and tours of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Stony Brook University campuses. After the two-week program, students will also have a line of communication to mentors who can provide advice on finding future research experiences and preparing for college.

Classes will run Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Stony Brook field trip day will conclude at 6:00 p.m.). No transportation will be provided; parents are responsible for on-time drop-off and pickup.

Students will build skills in three areas:

Molecular Biology

  • Acquire basic biological/biomedical laboratory skills such as laboratory safety, DNA extraction and analysis, DNA sequencing, and other molecular biology techniques
  • Work on a complete research project using DNA barcoding to identify species of invertebrates, insects or plants in their environment

Coding and Data Science

  • Learn the basics of computer coding (in the Python language) and fundamental data science skills
  • Learn how to write code in order to analyze biological data

Science and Career Skills for Success

  • Understand how to develop science research questions
  • Communicate the results of research, including writing, speaking, and presentation skills
  • Explore career opportunities in science and understand how to prepare for success (writing a resume, finding a mentor, effective study techniques)


The STARS program is limited to students who are underrepresented minorities in STEM (defined by the National Science Foundation as Black or African American; American Indian or Native Alaskan; Hispanic or Latino; and Native Pacific Islander); eligible students will have completed the 9th grade.

All accepted students will have the $1200 tuition waived. As part of their service as scholars, students will have a community engagement responsibility, including a presentation at the end of their research experience and helping to recruit and support future STAR scholars.

How to Apply

Required materials (have these ready before applying):

  • Students must prepare a short personal statement on why they want to apply (500 words or less).
  • Students must provide a copy of their latest report card OR a letter of recommendation from a science, math, technology or other STEM teacher.

Apply using this Google Form (http://tiny.cc/DNALCSTARS)

Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis until July 31st, or the camp is full. Qualified applicants will be typically approved within 7 days (usually on Fridays). Applications submitted after the camp fills will be waitlisted.

If you have questions, contact Jason Williams at the DNA Learning Center at williams@cshl.edu.


DNA Learning Center

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