Galveston’s Ball High School and UTMB are collaborating on a program that might be the only one of its kind in the nation. For the past 15 years, the medical branch has opened the doors of its research labs to a select group of high-achieving juniors and seniors from Ball High School chosen to participate in a yearlong Scientific Research and Design Independent Study course. [Note: This article was written by Molly Dannenmaier of UTMB’s Office of Public Affairs. Send your story ideas to]