Advanced Science Research

program Overview 

This program affords students the opportunity to participate in authentic, advanced scientific research and scholarship as part of their high school experience. It furthers excellence in performance and achievement while drawing from and developing scientific capabilities. Students taking the course accomplish the following: 

  • They choose and explore a topic of interest. It may come from any area of basic or applied science, mathematics, medicine, or engineering. They develop researching skills using professional databases and other research tools. 
  • They find and study numerous journal articles, using textbooks and other articles to fill in their gaps in understanding so that they are able to explain every detail of each article and its significance. 
  • Once they have read a critical mass of literature on their narrowly-defined topic, they use it to write a review article that outlines the background of the topic, the cutting edge of our understanding of it, and the outstanding problems. 
  • Students contact a scientist who has completed research in the field they wish to study and ask the scientist to serve as a mentor to assist them in carrying out a research project in their area of interest. Students will learn how to do this themselves.
  • Students then engage in an original piece of research under the supervision of their external mentor and their ASR teacher. This may be the student’s own project, or the student may assist the mentor in some meaningful manner. If the student works on the mentor’s research, it is the student's responsibility to acquire sufficient knowledge and skills to become a genuine asset to their mentor. Many students eventually know more about their highly focused topic than their teachers.
  • Once they complete a research project, students write a professional research paper and make a slide and poster presentation about it. They submit their project to science research competitions to get experience with presenting to and being questioned by expert judges. Although submission to science research competitions is a requirement, it is not the goal of ASR. The only goals are quality research and learning.


The goal of the ASR is to immerse students into original college-level STEM research. It is aimed at students who wish to pursue excellence and progress into advanced areas of original research. Emphasis is on both laboratory and bibliographic research. The course will develop and foster students' commitment to long-term focused research that demonstrates initiative, perseverance and creativity.