Society for Science & the Public
September 3, 2010
I taught at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology since it first opened in 1987. Over the years, I taught Creative Writing and AP Language to gifted science, math and technology students. Some of my best writers were students who were winners or finalists in the Westinghouse/Intel Science Talent Search. I began to realize how closely related the arts were to the sciences. Parade of students over the last twenty-five years brought their final papers to me to proof before they submitted them to the competition. I didn’t always understand the science in their work, but I could help them make their writing clear and accessible.
It was not until I retired and put on another hat that a realized how much Intel influenced our school. I have been working for two years at writing a book that tells the school’s twenty-five year history. My research from the beginning told me how much the Westinghouse/Intel competitions directed and transformed learning and achievement for our most gifted young scientists. We have hundred of semifinalists and finalists in our school’s history.
I recall times in my writing classes watching students in deep conversations about their Intel research and their writings. They were some of the leading math wizards in the school. These kids were just as talented in math and science as in the humanities, but I realized then that they were living proof that we haven’t evolved to be mathematicians and/or statisticians. This is the way we must think if we are to make progress in understanding how the world works and, for that matter, how we ourselves work. Students who think these topics are unnatural subjects are right. It isn’t how humans think naturally. But it is how humans think rationally. And it is how scientists think. This is the way we must think if we are to make progress in understanding how the world works and, for that matter, how we ourselves work. These students were gifted and Intel was providing opportunities for all of us to nurture them and use their brilliance to push their boundaries so they could be part of the change that I knew through their creative and personal writing they wanted for our world. I applaud SSP and Intel for helping to make us successful.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I felt the power and influence of this organization the entire time I was teaching at TJHSST. Now that I am retired and writing a book about our school's twenty-five year history, I am amazed at their influence.
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Professional with expertise in this field & I taught at TJHSST and am now writing a book on the history of the school.