My Nonprofit Reviews

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Review for Society For Science & The Public, Washington, DC, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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