Catalyst is a Gilmour Academy upper level science elective in which students are paired with scientist mentors at prominent institutions throughout the greater Cleveland area. Serving as apprentices, students spend a minimum of four hours per week working on authentic research at their assigned sites. In addition to honing communication skills, weekly journal entries and feedback from their Gilmour instructor allow students to reflect upon and analyze their experiences while discovering the nature of science. Writing a newspaper article about their research and participating in a symposium at the end of the semester help students to adjust communication style to audience. The program is designed to help students develop the desire, confidence, and foundational abilities necessary to one day assume leadership roles in the creation and dissemination of knowledge.