Recognizing the Importance, Possibilities of STEM

Promoting STEM, educational outreach/Photo: Meg Kaufer

Promoting STEM, educational outreach/Photo: Meg Kaufer

Students in Mamaroneck High School’s four-year Original Science Research (OSR) choose a mentor for their own science projects or a more advanced version of a science project.

Max Schechter, 18, chose a mentor at Rockefeller University’s Summer Science Research Program.

“I’ve been working there the past two summers and will major in biochemistry,” the graduating senior and class valedictorian said last week during a break from volunteering at STEM-tastic. “Right now I’m thinking pure academic science research yet that might change to more clinical.”

He’ll attend the University of Pennsylvania and might one day become a physician.

Editor-in-Chief of The BrainSTEM — a peer-reviewed science publication featuring articles written by Mamaroneck High School students — Schechter shared his view on the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) outreach re the event and the New NY Bridge.

Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare explains that communication is key on major projects/NNYB Outreach

Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare explains that communication is key on major projects/NNYB Outreach

“The STEM Alliance (of Larchmont-Mamaroneck) came to our school looking for people to get involved with the event and with MHS Talks (roundtable discussions with students the Friday preceding it),” he said. Volunteers brainstormed ideas, reaching out to STEM professionals. “We really wanted people from the bridge project. They like outreach because STEM is alive and prevalent, and it’s important. I emailed (state Senator) George Latimer’s office, and was referred to Brian.”

Students appreciated that the panels were more than career discussions.

“We didn’t talk as much about the bridge; we talked more about the job of a communicator and how important it is to get people to talk with one another,” he said. “I didn’t realize how many professions it takes to do a huge project like that.”

Making a presentation at MHS/Photo: Meg Kaufer

Making a presentation at MHS/Photo: Meg Kaufer

Schechter feels people will think differently about the project in the coming months because now that the foundations are in place “you’re actually going to see the bridge come up.”

What does this future physician find most fascinating about science?

“It’s really nice to be exposed to all the things you can do with science and engineering and technology,” he said. “The bridge project shows there’s so much you can apply science to besides medicine, and it’s important for kids to know that science has other applications.”

This is why he believes educational outreach is important. “At Rockefeller it’s a lot of science outreach in terms of medicine and the medical research they’re doing. It’s really important to have community outreach for STEM and not just medicine.”

MHS is looking to start a STEM Alliance Club next year, and while Schechter will be at college, perhaps he’ll be asked to be a MHS Talks guest speaker.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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