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Ana Roda was a participant in the Society’s Discovery Middle School Program in 2003 and 2004 (pictured next to her 2004 project), and a finalist in the Intel STS 2008. Her senior project examined the environmental impact on the water quality of two streams near a nuclear power reactor. She is now concentrating in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard.
“I think science is so important,” she says, but she is concerned about how few other people also appreciate science. “I’m majoring in science in college now and I think a lot of people are deterred from majoring in science, which is really sad.” She thinks people can be turned off when they perceive it as too hard and not interesting. “I think the way people are taught science a lot of the time focuses too much on little technicalities or memorizing rather than just how overall cool a lot of science is.”
This is part of the reason that Roda recently reconnected with the Society, offering herself as a volunteer and becoming a member of the Society: she had had a great experience with science research, especially through the Society’s programs. “Anything that encourages people to stay in science is a good thing, and something that is worth doing.”
Through the Society’s three leading STEM competitions, we’ve come across many ideas worth sharing.
Alexander the Great had Aristotle, Quincy Jones had Ray Charles, Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan Kenobi—the mentor-mentee relationship is something that runs deep in human culture.
Having “scientist” associated with your name would normally be impressive on its own, but the following Society alumni have “published author” under their credentials as well.