Neval Erturk and Converse College’s STARS (Science, Technology and Research Scholars) high school mentoring program have received the 2018 Ibrahim Janajreh Young Innovator award. The award was established in 2005 to recognize existing, successful South Carolina programs that engage, encourage and acknowledge young people in the areas of science, technology, math and innovation.
The award was presented during the 2018 InnoVision Awards dinner.
The STARS program encourages Upstate youth to develop interest in STEM fields, to pursue STEM majors and go on to graduate school and/or a career in a STEM field, according to a news release.
“We are an enthusiastic partner in cultivating the next generation of STEM professionals,” said Erturk, who is chairwoman of the Department of Chemistry, Biology and Physics at Converse, said in the release.
STARS pairs high school students with Converse faculty for long-term, in-depth science and technology projects. High school students are individually mentored in one of the Converse laboratories in biology, biochemistry, psychology and computer science. Participants also have the opportunity to participate in special-topic workshops that cover topics like writing research proposals and designing experiments; to receive training in responsible conduct of research, laboratory safety and professional public presentation skills; and to report their findings at local, regional and national meetings at the high school and college levels.