ARP presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity for African-American students to pursue hand-on research in STEM, while receiving mentorship from world-class scientists and engineers in the Illinois area. This program is designed to enrich students’ classroom knowledge, encourage more in-depth exploration of STEM concepts and expose students to different careers and opportunities in science, technology engineering and mathematics.


By participating in ARP, students can:

  • Develop technical skills and gain real-world research experience
  • Develop leadership abilities by driving the design of their own research project
  • Learn and get advice about career paths and research opportunities by connecting with real life scientists and engineers
  • Improve upon and build confidence in existing skills and talents
  • Be in the running to receive scholarships and other prizes by competing in the regional and national ACT-SO competition
  • Connect with peers with similar interests


Over the course of six months, ARP students are responsible for developing a hypothesis, testing their hypothesis through experimentation and collecting and analyzing the results of their experiment. Students must then report their experimental findings and summarize their work by writing a 5-page report and creating a poster to present in the DuPage County ACT-SO. The paper and poster will include:

  • Purpose
  • Hypothesis
  • Materials
  • Procedure
  • Data
  • Results and Analysis
  • Conclusions

While pursuing their research project, students are expected to attend six group sessions with their peers. During the first half of each session, students will participate in enrichment activities, such as presentations that teach students about various career options within STEM, workshops on how to deliver presentations and write papers, and talks that review laboratory safety procedures. During the second half of each session, students will meet one-on-one with mentors to discuss their project. Along with these sessions, students are expected to communicate with their mentor regularly (at least once a week) in-person or via phone, Skype, Google Hangout, etc.

Available Resources

Argonne’s Learning Center provides various resources to support mentors and students in the ARP, including three fully equipped lab rooms, as well as a scanning electron microscope, GC-mass spec and spectrometers. Mentors and students are welcome to schedule time to use the space and mentors can bring small portable instruments from their own labs use in within it. ARP also provides computation resources to students as needed, including access to LoggerPro software.

DuPage County ACT-SO Award Recipients 2017

Gold medalists will move on to compete in the 2017 national competition, which will be held in Baltimore, MD.

Gold Silver Bronze
Biology/Microbiology Jalen Timms Imani Porter Erica Brooks
Chemistry/Biochemistry Cristal Johnson Mariel Thompson Symone Robinson
Computer Science Whitney Ford Nneka Onwuta Reaghan Young
Earth & Space Science Riziki Covington
Engineering Joshua Lambert Veronica Lee
Medicine & Health Allyson Amegashe Arkayla Burks Trey Whitaker
Physics Jalen Crump Kevin Bryson John Williams