I have been privileged to be a member of Team Canada-ISEF for the past two years. Participating in ISEF has been one of the most transformative and influential experiences of my life. I can think of no other event or organisation that has had such a profound impact on that number of people and inspired them to enter a career in the STEM fields. Additionally, there is no other event which has the capability to connect such a diverse group of like minded individuals at the high school level.
Science News provides current scientific information to share with my students. Young, pre-teen students are so eager to learn more about their world, and Science News offers everything I need to springboard into a unit of study. Science News makes science relevant and real, not just a sci-fi/imaginatin world. It helps me to convince my students that Science is LIFE.
This year I participated in Intel STS as well as another fair, and Society for Science and the Public made both experiences fantastic. The impeccable organization allowed me to focus on meeting professional scientists and other interested students, broadening my understanding and appreciation of a variety of topics. In addition, SSP's publications are filled with fascinating articles that pique my interest and keep me abreast of contemporary research. I only wish I had discovered their programs sooner!
This past year, I had the opportunity to participate in two of Society for Science & the Public's high school research competitions (Intel STS and Intel ISEF). My experience with SSP has been nothing short of amazing. The organization not only offers the two most incredible science research competitions available to high school students, but also provides two science magazines (Science News and Science News for Students) with up-to-date and fascinating articles. SSP has a tremendously positive impact on middle and high school students and their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math because they want to make science relevant, stimulating, and fun-- and they are very successful at their goal. Society for Science & the Public is achieving what few (if any) other organizations can achieve-- they are connecting with students, engaging them with science, and giving them the opportunity to share their discoveries with the world. I can't think of a more rewarding, wonderful organization, and I'm so grateful to have had the chance to work with them over the past year.
Society for Science and the Public has proven to be unparalleled in its efforts to encourage young people to engage with scientific research. As a participant in the SSP-affiliated research competitions, I found that SSP gave access to a host of free resources, including its Science News and Science News for Students publications that I regularly use. Whenever I contacted them with questions or concerns, whether it was before, during, or after the competition, the SSP staff was happy to help. I hope to have more interaction with SSP in the near future!
The Society for Science provides excellent support for independent STEM research in the form of the International Science and Engineering Fair as well as the BROADCOM Masters program, to name just a few. Without the Society for Science, thousands of students each year would not be able to share their science research with the entire globe, thus promoting one of the few globally active student collaborations on the planet.
In 1979, I was one of the top 40 winners in the Westinghouse competition, run by SSP. I had been motivated to enter when I learned that an earlier student of my mentor at University of Maryland had made the top 40. Participation in the competition changed my life.
Making the top 40 was affirming, but what really made the big difference was being motivated to enter the competition in the first place. The research I did (in astronomy) gave me a direction and a chance to excel. My project probably got me into MIT and Caltech (I went to MIT).
My experience made me a life-long believer in engaging youngsters in science. I volunteer in local science fairs every year as a judge, and encouraged both of my children to enter (my youngest went to ISTEF). At MIT I routinely hired undergraduates with science fair backgrounds, because these were individuals who had the motivation to take a project from start to finish.
If you want to have hope for the future, all you have to do is go meet with the students participating in SSP events.
I was a Broadcom Master which is a program run by SSP. It was really life-changing and I made a lot of new friends across the country. SSP has really inspired me to look forward to working in STEM related careers in the future. Thanks SSP for all you have done!
When I was in high school, I was a promising student - passionate about the sciences - who came from very challenging circumstances. My mother was mentally ill and my father had only a fifth grade education. I was the fourth of five children, so they never could have afforded to send me to college, much less help me through the process of applying and choosing. A teacher at my public high school suggested I apply for a summer research scholarship, which I won and completed. Another teacher suggested I enter my work from that experience in what was then the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, which was administered by this nonprofit. I placed in the top ten winners, which came with a four year college scholarship to the school of my choice. Because I won this competition, I was invted to attend schools to which I had and had never applied, all on nearly full scholarship. I graduated from a highly competitive university with degrees in engineering and less than $1000 in college debt, thanks to this nonprofit. I practiced as an engineer for many years and then decided to enter the field of K-12 education in order help other students who come from challenging circumstances change their lives with science education. I earned a Ph.D. in science education and have led several foundation and government funded science and engineering education projects for underserved and disadvantaged K-12 students. I can say with complete confidence that my life would have been quite different if not for the opportunities afforded me by the Westinghouse Science Talent Search and this nonprofit. I work to change the lives of other students because this nonprofit changed mine.
I was given the chance to showcase my high school research over the years because of the tremendous work this group does to put on the Intel ISEF and Intel STS competitions. Because of my participation, I made new friends, helped pay for college, and ultimately decided my career goal and college major. After winning a few major scholarships from ISEF, I was brought into contact with the school I am currently attending, Drexel. This changed my entire plan for undergraduate study and also paid for my attendance. I would not be where I am today, with the friends I have, without the Society for Science and the Public.