This morning, the annual Bright Students Training as Research Scientists (Bright STaRS) poster session took place, followed by a luncheon for the Bright STaRS students with Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success in Earth System Science (MS PHD’S) students and AGU Fellows. This afternoon, Bright STaRS students partnered with Fellows to visit scientific sessions.

The students hail from a wide variety of middle and high schools, and many are members of special internship programs that take place at universities and science centers. Bright STaRS has been taking place for several years, and this year we were thrilled to welcome back several returning local groups along with new students from California and beyond. It’s wonderful to see this program growing in scope, as nurturing the next generation of Earth and space scientists is a key factor in ensuring that we’ll have a geoscience workforce of the future.

Student projects were similarly varied, covering topics such as air quality monitoring, intertidal and freshwater environmental monitoring, and nanotechnology. The students enthusiastically presented their work to scientists in the poster hall, and many relayed their plans for continued research throughout their high school years or talked about their next steps as they prepare to attend college. When asked about their favorite part of the program, students mentioned that collecting and analyzing data made them feel like ‘real’ scientists, and followed up with an enthusiastic “I love science”!

We in AGU education look forward to seeing the results of current studies that are tracking some of the students after they graduate from Bright STaRS. This program is vitally important, and we are committed to helping it to grow.