Honors STEM Research at Vanderbilt

Harpeth Hall offers an Honors Stem Research course for selected juniors and seniors interested in conducting scientific research. Qualified students are placed in research laboratories based on their particular interest. With laboratory work beginning in early September and ending in May, the course requires on average 8 hours of project-based work per week. Students present their scientific findings at two regional science and engineering fairs in the spring. The course enhances personal development by providing students an opportunity to navigate a university setting, work as part of an academic research team, and communicate results effectively to the scientific community and the general public. 

In the current school year, there are 14 juniors and seniors placed at laboratories at Vanderbilt University and other organizations across Nashville. The complete list of placements are as follows:

  • Harpeth Conservancy
  • Peabody College, Department of Special Education
  • TN Environmental Council
  • Vanderbilt Imaging Institute
  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
  • Vanderbilt University Department of Biological Sciences
  • VU Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • VU Department of Chemical/Biomolecular Engineering
  • VU Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • VU Department of Electrical Engineering & CS
  • VU Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • VU Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • VUMC Department of Bone Biology

Highlighted Projects

2018-19

Using Molecular Dynamics to Study the Assembly of Patchy Alkane-Tethered Nanoparticles by Caroline Spindel ‘19 under the direction of Dr. Clare McCabe, Department of Chemical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. Caroline was the Grand Prize Winner, 1st Place in Chemistry, in the Middle Tennessee Science and Engineering Fair (MTSEF.) Caroline was selected to participate in the 2019 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
 
Mapping the Landscape of Cancer Immunotherapy by Prim Wiphatphumiprates ‘20 under the direction of Dr. Mia Levy in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University.

Measuring the Rotation of Galaxy Groups in the Universe by Caleigh Dennis '19 under the direction of Dr. Andreas Berlind in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University.
 
Evaluating the Roles of FLT3, DHRS11, ZNF420, and CSGALNACT2 in the Development of Tourette Syndrome Using a Large Electronic Database by Annemarie Allos ‘18 under the direction of Dr. Lea Davis in the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

2017-18

Sustainable Vertical Hydroponics by Ashley Hawkins '18 under the direction of Dr. Yu-Xi Haung in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University.

Developing a Graphical Software Interface for Image Guided Surgery with the daVinci Robotic System by Kaili Wang '18 under the direction of Dr. Robert Webster in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. Kaili has a patent pending for her work.
 
Measuring the Rotation of Galaxy Groups in the Universe by Caleigh Dennis '19 under the direction of Dr. Andreas Berlind in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University.