Next Generation of Researchers

A new LSU program offers high school students valuable research experience


Seven high school students will participate in the pilot "Year Zero" program aimed to give students an early introduction to research.Photo Credit: Eddy Perez, LSU

BATON ROUGE – A new program that opens the doors of research to students kicked off today. The President’s Future Leaders in Research, or PFLR, has expanded to include local high school students. PFLR pairs LSU undergraduate students with research faculty mentors. Over the past 15 years, students have received valuable research experience by working side-by-side with faculty in the lab and field. The best practices developed by PFLR over the years will be extended to high school students to give them the advantage of a head start in academic research at a top tier university. In addition to the hands-on research experience, the high school students will take a course called Introduction to Research, which aims to support their educational and early career goals.

Seven high school students are part of the new pilot program titled, Year Zero. They include:

o   Mary Catherine Lorio from St. Joseph’s Academy

o   Julia Rogers from St. Joseph’s Academy

o   Laiba Iqbal from Lee Magnet High School

o   Nancy (Wanqi) Liu from Lee Magnet High School

o   Fiona Roberts from Lee Magnet High School

o   Samantha Smith from Lee Magnet High School

o   Ben Vinson from University Laboratory School



Mary Catherine Lorio, a student at St. Joseph's Academy, speaks about her experience conducting research at LSU with Professor Jonathan Dowling in the Department of Physics & Astronomy.Photo Credit: Eddy Perez, LSU

These students will be paired with a faculty member in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, the LSU College of Engineering, the LSU College of the Coast & Environment or the LSU College of Science and formally will begin conducting research in the fall semester. In the spring semester, a new dual enrollment Introduction to Research course will launch at the three participating high schools. To qualify for the program, the students must have received a 33 ACT composite score and must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. In addition to valuable research experience, they will receive a $1,550 stipend each year.

A breakfast event was held today at the LSU Student Union in the Atchafalaya Room to kick-off this new pilot program. About 100 people attended including dozens of current and future PFLR students, parents, teachers and school administrators.











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Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations