USC Science, Technology And Research (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 on average 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).

Click here to see program requirements.


August 1st, 2014 | The STAR Program Celebrates its 25th Anniversary!

High school students play key roles as members of the USC program Science, Technology and Research, better known as STAR. The teens take part in projects seeking solutions to some of the world’s most challenging illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and HIV/AIDS. On Aug. 1, the USC School of Pharmacy hosted a celebration marking the program’s 25th anniversary.
“Over 600 students have completed the STAR program since we started it 25 years ago,” said , R. Pete Vanderveen Professor in Therapeutic Discovery and Development at the School of Pharmacy and the program’s director. “These students have contributed to over 100 scientific publications, listing them as co-authors while still in Maria Torres-Flores, Thomas Sayles, R. Pete Vanderveen and Roberta Diaz Brinton celebrate the 25th anniversary of the USC STAR program. (Photo/Sarah Golonka) high school. And 100 percent of our STAR students have gone onto universities — many to the nation’s elite schools like USC, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton and Stanford."


June 16th, 2014 | 2014 STAR Summer Intern

Photo Credit:  ms.akr

Photo Credit: ms.akr

March 4th, 2014 | USC-Bravo Science Fair

STAR II Program Winners

STAR II Program Winners