On the bright and sunny morning of May 4, Archer Honors Research and Environmental Science students, faculty and guests gathered to celebrate the school’s first ever Student STEM Symposium.
The symposium, which sought to expose the extraordinary work pioneered in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math on the Archer campus featured select students and a keynote presenter.
Throughout the morning, students gave presentations about the original research they executed in the Honors Research in Science class.
The class allows motivated juniors and seniors to pursue independent biological, chemical and/or engineering research in a state of the art, on campus lab. Environmental Science students, who were 2013 Siemens We Can Change the World national finalists, also delivered presentations about their class projects.
The keynote address was given by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, the New York Times bestselling author of Zoobiquity and the mother of Jenn Horowitz ’14. She is a prominent UCLA cardiologist with an interest in exploring the connection between human and veterinary medicine.
The tailored presentation discussed adolescent risk-taking in animals and the correlation with human teenagers.
Natterson-Horowitz described how erratic behavior, which increases the mortality rate of the age group, actually allows the adolescent animals the opportunity for individual growth and learning experience. She made the correlation between animals and humans evident by suggesting that because of this neurobiological willingness to take risks, teenagers make the best scientists.
Senior Geffen Treiman’13, who studied the efficacy of natural mixtures on inhibiting the growth of a bacteria found in acne, commented, “The keynote presentation was fascinating and I learned a lot.”
After the inspiring address, students continued to present their work to the community. Cassia Sonderleiter, the Archer STEM coordinator and Science Department Chair, was “extremely happy with how the day went” saying both she and teacher Hanna Shohfi are “very proud of the students and their exceptional work.”
“Many guests were impressed by the ambitious projects and commented on how poised and professional the presenters were,” Sonderleiter added.
Research Students Remi Bennett ’13 and Isabella Neuberg ’13 said, “It was wonderful to see everyone come support women in science,” a sentiment echoed by Joy Taira ’14, who said the symposium was “a really great experience for students to share their passion and work with the Archer community.”
The Archer STEM symposium proved an inspiration for students, parents, teachers and guests alike.
Several members of the community commented that they look forward to future installments of the newfound school tradition.