Young Scientist Program celebrates 20 years

The Young Scientist Program (YSP) will mark its 20th anniversary with a day-long symposium at 8:30 a.m. Monday, June 6, at Washington University School of Medicine.

In 1991, a group of Washington University medical and graduate students created a program to attract high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds into scientific careers through activities emphasizing hands-on research and interaction between young people and scientists.

The program, still entirely run by more than 100 graduate and medical students, invites fellow students, alumni, teachers, scientists and the public to its symposium to mark 20 years of success.

“We hope to encourage connections and discussions among those who have helped YSP become the success it is today,” says Kate Chiappinelli, YSP graduate student director. “As students and scientists, we hope that sharing our enthusiasm for what we do will encourage younger individuals to also pursue careers in science. Each year, our program reaches hundreds of high and middle school students in the St. Louis public schools.”

The free event will feature morning sessions with YSP founders, instructors, former students and their high school teachers. These sessions will take place in the Farrell Learning and Teaching Center. Afternoon keynote speakers will present in the main auditorium of the Eric P. Newman Education Center. The day will be capped at a barbecue dinner on the Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza at the BJC Institute of Health at Washington University School of Medicine.

Keynote speakers are Bruce Alberts, PhD, professor emeritus of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, and editor-in-chief of Science; Yolanda George, deputy director and program director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science education programs; and Barbara Schaal, PhD, the Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor of Biology at Washington University and a mentor for YSP’s Summer Focus program.

For a complete schedule and registration information, go to Registration deadline is June 1.