Every child. Thinking critically. Solving problems.


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Students Taking Advantage of Research

STAR Lab is a collaboration between SARSEF and the University of Arizona Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology that provides mentorship, consultation, research supplies, and lab space for high school students to complete their own authentic research projects.

Are you committed to in-depth long-term research?

Do you have 5-10 hours a week to dedicate to a research investigation with a mentor?

Are you 16 years of age?

If you answered yes to all these questions, please consider applying to the STAR Lab Program!

For the 2023-2024 academic year, the STAR Lab Program will be available in-person and remotely. Accepted student researchers interested in participating in-person will work at the STAR Lab in Biosciences West on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson. Alternatively, accepted student researchers may participate in a remote STAR Lab mentorship via Zoom. This means you can live anywhere in the state of Arizona and participate in STAR Lab!

All STAR Lab student researchers, whether in-person or remote, will participate in a weekly online lab meeting.

Please email Cindy Bujanda, Manager of High School Programs, at with any questions or mentorship opportunities.

Apply to be a STAR Lab mentor

Mentors will meet with student mentees for at least an hour once a week. Some students will come to the UArizona campus STAR Lab to do their research, others will work remotely, so the weekly check-ins may be in person or via Zoom. In addition to mentoring the research process, mentors will review student written work: research proposal, research paper, poster or slide deck research presentation. Students will be coached and supported in the writing process by STAR Lab Facilitators. The program will run from the end of September to the beginning of March.

2023-2024 STAR Lab

Applications for the 2023-24 STAR Lab is OPEN!

Important Dates

  • September 4, 2023 – STAR Lab application closes
  • September 19, 2023 – applicants will be notified of their status and accepted students will register for MCB103B at the University of Arizona
  • September 25, 2023– early March, 2024 – STAR Lab Program runs
  • February 2024 – March 2024 – All STAR Lab participants will enter their research in the SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair or local fair

Application Requirements

  • A recommendation from a nominating teacher who will support your participation in STAR Lab
  • A completed STAR Lab application
  • A 300-word written response to one of the application prompts
  • An Unofficial Transcript

Accepted STAR Lab research students will work with their assigned mentors for the duration of the program, meeting at least once a week to collaborate on the research process. This fabulous program will support you as you nourish and grow your inner scientist/engineer!