Due to current, unprecedented circumstances, mentorship 2020 will be held virtually through Google Meet every Saturday.

Overall Structure

How will this work?

Each of our qualified and trained mentors will work with a small group of participants, guiding them in a collaborative setting to understand biological concepts and formulate research questions through interactive experiments.

To allow participants to explore which aspect of biology they are most interested in, we will facilitate a rotation system of 4 major topics in biology, which will extend throughout the first 8 weeks of the program (2 weeks per topic/lab). This exposure to various topics will act as a stepping stone to later guide their personalized group research project.


The 4 topics will include*:


Learning and analyzing how the natural ecological environment and competition between organisms affect barnacle and bacterial populations.
Bacterial Transformation:

Learning how to make bacteria fluoresce by inserting plasmids in DNA via bacterial transformation.
Immunology and Epidemiology:
Learning about coronaviruses, how it spreads, and how to prevent transmission through mock labs and activities.
Learning about the evolutionary relationships of various organisms’ nucleotide sequences and their ancestors using BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) created by NIH.

For the last 4 sessions of the program, mentors will assist participants in writing a formal research paper, which we will post on our website at the end of the program. On the last day of the program, one representative of each group will share their research question with everyone, and later we will have a guest speaker who will engage participants in various biology-related topics and current research. They will also be open to answering any questions you may have about high school or STEM in general.


Our program will start on September 4th with the orientation and end on December 18th with our symposium. Please refer to the calendar below for specific dates. You can add our calendar to Google Calendar if you press the “+” button in the bottom right corner.


Arya Sapra


Arya Sapra is a rising junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Arya is an active member of his school's Lincoln Douglas Debate Team, and currently serves as the Publicist of TJ LD Debate. Arya has a deep passion for biology, and can be found attending meetings of various different clubs related to biology such as Neuroscience Society. Arya also holds a passion for music, and has participated in multiple piano festivals. Overall, he hopes to be able to share his love for biology with other students.

Isra Satiar


Isra Satiar, currently attending Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, is a rising junior. She has a strong interest in improving the mental health of her community and serves as the President of TJ Send-a-Smile. Her zeal and energy couple towards her passion for biology, which has motivated her to also lead TJ’s Biology Olympiad club. When she’s not dedicating her time towards these activities, she can be found engaging younger children in STEM through TJ KAST and teaching Quran and Arabic calligraphy at her local mosque.