Program Requirements

Program Admission Criteria

  • Enroll in Bravo Medical Magnet High School.
  • Demonstrate achievement in science and mathematics classes (i.e. grades in chemistry, biology, and math).
  • Demonstrate interest in science and research (i.e. extracurricular activities, science fair).
  • Demonstrate ability to execute experiments in science (i.e. chemistry lab).
  • Provide letters of recommendation from teachers (preferably science teachers) regarding student's ability to conduct themselves in laboratory setting and maintain high standard of excellence.

STAR Science Education Objectives

Provide high school students in grades 11 and 12 the opportunity to learn science and inquiry-based scientific analysis through an intensive hands-on mentored research experience in a USC research laboratory during the senior academic year as part of their science curriculum and to continue their mentored research experience during the summer months with a paid stipend.

Provide technologies and supplies necessary to prepare high school students in grades 10 and 11 to conduct scientific research in a USC research laboratory;

Provide students the opportunity to conduct a mentored inquiry-based research project as part of their academic science courses and to participate in the USC sponsored USC-Bravo Science Fair;

Provide hands on science learning experiences to students around the community.

Educate teachers in the integration of science into their entire course curriculum and in science and engineering literacy. Educate elementary, middle school and high school teachers in the efficacy of using community resources to enhance their students' classroom experience and learning and provide hands on science and engineering learning experiences to elementary, middle and high school students;

Provide USC graduate students and STAR students mentorship training to enable them to become effective partners with elementary, middle and high school science students and educators thereby creating the next generation of research scientists who will bridge the gap between scientific research and science literacy of our nation’s children and educators and to provide mentorship training and positive role modeling to elementary school children.

2013 CIRM STAR Program: STAR students attend Public Policy Forum on Stem Cell Research

2013 CIRM STAR Program: STAR students attend Public Policy Forum on Stem Cell Research

2014 CIRM STAR Interns at a forum on Ethics, Oversight and Public Policy in Stem Cell Research

2014 CIRM STAR Interns at a forum on Ethics, Oversight and Public Policy in Stem Cell Research

STAR Critical Issues

Through the components of the STAR Program, six critical issues of science education for grades K-8 and 9-12 are addressed:

      1. The quality and nature of science and engineering education;
      2. Science and engineering literacy of elementary, middle school and high school students and their teachers
      3. The development of inquiry-based learning;
      4. Science education and curriculum integration for elementary and middle school teachers:
      5. Construct a multicultural and gender balanced base of persons educated in the principles of science and
          engineering and in the discipline of scientific discovery;
      6. Development of the future generation of research scientists with a commitment to mentoring and science
          education in the community.

                           STAR Achievements


The majority of STAR students are the first in their families to attend college. Of those that are not the first in their family to attend college, the majority are the sibling of a former STAR student;

Jose Garcia, Class of 2015, with STAR Program Founder, Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton.

Jose Garcia, Class of 2015, with STAR Program Founder, Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton.

100% of STAR students attend and graduate from a prestigious college/university. 2013 STAR graduates will be attending USC, Princeton, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Williams College with full scholarship. In the past, students have attended Harvard University, Yale, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, UC Davis.

81% of STAR students who have graduated college/university have go onto graduate or professional school, 92% in science and health related fields;

USC STAR students have won more awards in the categories in which they enter at the Los Angeles County Science Fair than any other group of students from either public or private schools.

Previously Funded Programs


The CIRM-STAR High School Summer Research and Creativity Program is an 8-week summer science research experience. CIRM-STAR Program is conducted at the USC Health Science campus and is integrated with USC’s existing STAR Summer Research Program. The CIRM-STAR Program focuses on stem cell and developmental biology. In the first week of the program, students engage in a 5-day stem cell course that prepares them for conducting leading edge stem cell research. CIRM-STAR summer interns join research teams of the CIRM USC Broad Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Here CIRM-STAR interns conduct groundbreaking research as a member of a scientific team that includes USC faculty, CIRM pre-doctoral, postdoctoral and clinical fellows and CIRM Bridges to Stem Cell Research interns.