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SLU Professor Assists High School Student with Award-Winning Research Paper

October 11, 2010
Parks College News, Research

Saint Louis University professor Grigoriy Yablonsky, Ph.D. assists high school student on award-winning research project. Through a computer software program based on Yablonsky’s research, Cathryn Pherigo was able to receive hands-on experience in a lab and win an award for it.

Pherigo, a Francis Howell North High School senior, was the recipient of the LMI Aerospace Inc./D3 Technologies Award for Excellence in Research. Twenty-three of the 62 students who participated in the 2010 Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) program earned the award.
The STARS program introduces high school juniors and seniors to the various aspects of the scientific profession.

For six weeks, the students worked with professionals and heard lectures by leading scientists in the St. Louis area.

”It was a really great experience,” Pherigo said. “It gave me a chance to have hands-on experience in a lab.”

Each student wrote a paper based on research he or she conducted during the program. Senior scientists from Monsanto, LMI Aerospace/D3 Technologies, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Washington University reviewed the papers. Winning papers best exemplified qualities that included the difficulty and complexity of the research, appropriateness of the research methodology, and the overall quality of the research process. 

During the program, Pherigo wrote a computer software program in a Washington University laboratory in order to replicate research being done by Yablonsky. Simply put, Pherigo’s award-winning research paper involved studying the kinetics of a reaction in efforts to make systems run more efficiently. “I would definitely recommend attending something like this program. It’s not just doing problems in a book; it’s applying it to the real world,” said Pherigo.

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