Senior Research Symposium Spotlights FAU High School Students’ Science at MPFI

May 17, 2023

Twenty-two remarkable students from Florida Atlantic University High School – Jupiter Campus were recognized for extraordinary academic achievements at the Senior Research Symposium held on April 25 at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience.

The students are the latest group to benefit from a partnership between FAU High and Max Planck Academy, one of the world’s leading scientific research institutions.

During the symposium, seniors shared posters and oral presentations of their research. An awards ceremony followed to highlight their achievements, including:

  • More than $10,000 in grant funding to support their research
  • Several presentations delivered at university, state, and national conferences

A Foundation for Scientific Excellence
“These students have immersed themselves in cutting-edge research projects and have worked tirelessly to develop innovative approaches to studying everything from our coastal ecosystems to the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system,” said David Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., chief scientific director and CEO of MPFI.

FAU High School – Jupiter Campus partnered with Max Planck Academy to welcome the first group of students in 2020. The program provides an early university entrance high school experience for high school juniors, and seniors focused on STEM fields in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

This unique partnership expands upon similar opportunities for FAU graduate and undergraduate students by providing high schoolers access to MPFI laboratories. There they participate in world-class research opportunities and cutting-edge science as part of their studies.

These students are actively contributing to research being conducted at the highest level,” said Dr. Joel Herbst, Superintendent of Schools at FAU Lab Schools. “Their novel approaches and views, coupled with the incredible breadth of knowledge attained inside research labs at MPFI and FAU, truly set these young researchers apart in their chosen fields.”

Educating the Next Generation of Scientists

FAU High students who successfully complete the program earn a high school diploma, Max Planck certificates, and at least two years of no-cost college credit. These benefits and the unmatched research opportunities at MPFI lead to distinction in the FAU Max Planck Honors Program and an accelerated bachelor’s degree at FAU.

“The fact that we have such a concentration of talented students is not an accident,” Dr. Fitzpatrick added. “It is the result of many dedicated educators and administrators who have supported these students in their educational journey and helped them reach this point.”

To learn more about FAU High School – Jupiter Campus and its partnership with Max Planck Academy, visit their website.

About the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, a not-for-profit research organization, is part of the world-renowned Max Planck Society, Germany’s most successful research organization with more than 80 institutes worldwide. Since its establishment, 30 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists including five in the last three years alone.

As its first U.S. institution, MPFI provides exceptional neuroscientists from around the world with the resources and technology to answer fundamental questions about brain development and function. MPFI researchers employ a curiosity-driven approach to science to develop new technologies that make groundbreaking scientific discoveries possible. For more information, visit


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