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High school students tackle health research in their communities

Woodrow Wilson HS student/HSTA project/flu shots

A Woodrow Wilson High School student posts a notice about flu shots in the WVU HSTA study on why so few high school students get them.

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What’s the News?
A group of motivated high school students across West Virginia in the Health Sciences and Technology Academy program partnered with WVU medical students to find out why so few high school students get flu shots each year. They are among hundreds of high school student research groups who will present their findings at West Virginia State University in Institute April 29 and at Fairmont State University May 6. Science presentations and hand-on activities will be ongoing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at both locations.

Quotes and Comments
“While HSTA students are not trained health professionals, during the last ten years, they have demonstrated a motivation and a power to bring research and health literacy to their communities.” Ann Chester, Ph.D., WVU assistant vice president for health sciences for education partnerships.

In 2016, HSTA students from 22 schools in 19 counties in rural West Virginia participated in the flu research project. Over the course of three months they surveyed 2,559 of their fellow students.

West Virginia high school students who complete the HSTA program are eligible for college scholarships across the state. HSTA grads have a high success rate in college and many go on to graduate and professional schools.

Photo available for download

WVU Health Sciences

Target Audiences
• People interested in health and STEM

• People interested in education

• People interested in the growing gap between science and the public

• Parents with school-aged children


For information about the Research Symposia at West Virginia State University and Fairmont State University:

CONTACT: Summer Kuhn MPH, HSTA community research associate

For general information about HSTA:

CONTACT: Ann Chester, Ph.D., assistant vice president for health sciences for education partnerships,