USC STAR Program

The USC Science, Technology And Research (STAR), directed by Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton, in existence for over 25 years, is a collaborative science education program between the University of Southern California (USC) and Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School. STAR students learn problem based science and math by conducting real science that really matters with a team of USC scientists.

STAR student research contributes to scientific publications and research grant proposals. 100% of USC STAR Students attend college, and 92% (vs 29% of their peers) attend top-tier colleges and research institutions including: USC, Harvard, Stanford, Duke, Columbia, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell, Brown, the Claremont Schools, and UC’s at Berkeley, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Davis and Irvine. 97% of STAR students receive academic scholarships to attend university and while in college 88% continue to conduct scientific research with declared majors in science and engineering. STAR students from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds attend research institutions and major in science and engineering at rates commensurate with students from represented backgrounds.

Collectively, the data indicate that the STAR Program is a critical conduit that begins with a high rate of participation among students who have been historically underrepresented in the scientific research pipeline, and keeps them in the pipeline—at the nation’s top research universities. (Brinton, Journal of Neuroscience 2007, 27(42):11163–11166).