HIGH POINT, N.C., July 31, 2017 – Caroline Dau, a rising senior at High Point Central High School, stood beside a poster that displayed her summer research and confidently explained the discoveries she’s made as a Draelos Scholar at High Point University.
Dau knew that she had an interest in chemistry when she applied for the Draelos Scholars for Science program.
In its second year at HPU, the program began June 12 and concluded on July 28 with a research symposium that featured informational posters by Draelos Scholars and presentations by HPU summer research students.
“I definitely didn’t know any of this before this summer,” said Dau pointing to her research display, a poster packed with photos of fluorescent-filled tubes. “I knew I had an interest in chemistry, but this program has confirmed it. I’m really considering a career in pharmacy now. You can learn from textbooks in school, but being introduced to these tools before college has affirmed my interest and given me a leg up.”
The Draelos Scholars for Science program is made possible by Zoe and Michael Draelos in partnership with HPU and the High Point Community Foundation. Zoe is an internationally known and respected researcher who works with major corporations all over the world. She is particularly well known for her work with the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, and her state-of-the-art research center is located in High Point. Michael is a well-known and respected gastroenterologist who has practiced medicine for 30 years in the community.The Draelos’ goal for the program is for high school students to find discovery through research projects, which is exactly what Harrison Strag did.
Strag, of High Point Central High School, says that this program allowed him to better determine the type of science he’d like to study. Zach Schall, an exercise science major and rising senior at HPU, worked alongside Strag in the labs as his mentor.
“I wanted to conduct a research study because I thought it would help me decide what kind of science I’d like to study someday,” said Strag. “Having Zach as a mentor through the process definitely helped me better understand and identify my interests.”
And, while Strag was there to learn, Schall also made new discoveries through aiding him.
“It definitely helped me reinforce the things I’ve learned in order to teach him,” said Schall. “When Harrison came in, he showed a lot of maturity and excitement to learn. It’s hard to jump from high school to the level of work we’ve done this summer. It’s been a great experience for both of us to work through that.”
Also during the symposium, HPU students who participated in the Summer Research Program in the Sciences (SuRPS) presented their findings before a body of their peers. These programs paired students with faculty mentors who guided their work across a range of academic disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics and exercise science.