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CCTSI > Education & Training > Denver STaRS

Denver Student Training in Research Science (STaRS) Program

Student in Lab pictureThe Denver STaRS Program brings partnerships between the University of Colorado, Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) and the Office of Inclusion and Outreach at the Anschutz Medical Campus. The program provides an opportunity for highly motivated high school students in their junior or senior year from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to explore careers and educational options in the areas of research, biomedical and clinical fields and translational sciences. Students from Denver East High School, Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) Stapleton and Green Valley Ranch Campuses, and the Career Education Center (CEC) Middle College of Denver depending on track are invited for a series of lectures, trainings, mentoring opportunities and research experiences designed to broaden and encourage applications to undergraduate, medical and graduate school programs at the University of Colorado system.

Track 1:
Research Experience

Track 2:
Exploratory Research Workshops: Basic Science & Research Inquiry

Students Attending: Denver East High School and DSST

Students Attending: CEC Middle College of Denver

Goal: Expose to biomedical, translational and other research fields to increase awareness of areas and career options.

Goal: Exposure to basic research principles through exploratory workshops and simulations activities. Increase research and career options awareness.

Target Audience: Underrepresented high school juniors and seniors

Target Audience: Underrepresented high school juniors and seniors

Duration: 8-10 weeks, 8-10 hours per week, year round (Summer term is blocked for Denver East students only)

Duration: Spring Semester (Jan-May), research exploratory activities, visits to CU Medical Campus

Trainings: Chemical Waste Management, Blood Borne Pathogen, Professionalism, and Lab Safety (other trainings based on research, HIPAA, Laser Safety, etc.)

Trainings: HIPAA, Professionalism

Skills Gained: based on research experience-pipet, gel electrophoresis, Immunocytochemistry, DNA extractions, etc.

Skills Gained: DNA extractions, basic dissection, suture, etc.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (preferred 3.3)
  • Complete application and essay
  • *Must be at least 16 years of age (only for students conducting research)
  • *Must be available for 8-10 consecutive weeks, for 8-10 per week (no weekends)

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students must be enrolled in the Medical Careers course
  • Complete application and essay


Participating Schools

CEC Middle College of Denver
As Denver's only comprehensive career and technical magnet school, the Career Education Center (CEC) has been providing students with real-life learning experiences since 1976. This Denver public high school allows students to earn academic credits toward a college associates degree in a variety of fields while completing CEC's career program requirements.

Denver East High School
East remains a model of a highly mobile but integrated community which allows its students to experience people of different cultures, races and economic backgrounds, attracting over half its population from out of district enrollment. In this way, East High prepares its young people to live successfully in a pluralistic world. In 1957 East was honored as one of the country's top high schools. Later in 1968 East was selected as one of America’s Top Ten Schools. In 2000 Newsweek recognized East as one of America’s top one hundred public high schools. Although there has been a great deal of change since East first opened its doors, it remains a place where the total education of the student is held foremost.

Denver School for Science & Technology (DSST) - Stapleton Campus
DSST: Stapleton High School’s program has a college preparatory focus, with an emphasis on developing core liberal arts skills in reading, writing, mathematics and science. The main curriculum also focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, which prepare students to enter high demanded areas. Students succeed through a highly structured classroom environment with clear academic and behavioral expectations. This program and environment prepare students for the challenges of college without remediation classes. DSST’s yearly goal is to graduate 100% of its class and all students enrolled in institutions of higher education.

Denver School for Science & Technology (DSST) - Green Valley Ranch Campus
The DSST: Green Valley Ranch campus is the second campus in the DSST Public Schools network. Started in 2010, DSST: GVR is located in far northeast Denver and serves students from the Green Valley Ranch and Montbello neighborhoods. Designed to help meet the demands of the rapidly growing Green Valley Ranch area, several years ago DPS, in partnership with Oakwood Homes and the Foundation for Educational Excellence, began planning the design of an innovative, state-of-the-art educational facility for students from preschool through high school. Like their counter part campus in Stapleton, Green Valley Ranch has a college preparatory focus, with an emphasis on developing core liberal arts skills in reading, writing, mathematics and science. The main curriculum also focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, with an additional concentration of health careers.


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