How did you first learn about the Children’s Science Center?
I first learned about the Children’s Science Center from just walking in the mall. Behind the glass I saw children experimenting and I wanted to try it out. I signed up for one of their programs at the time called the Youth Leadership Council, and immediately started to admire the great community of learners that the Center had built. I started volunteering on the weekends in my free time. Since then, I have always been looking for more opportunities to involve myself at the Center. Today, I am one of the co-chairs of the Youth Advisory Board, and I am excited to contribute to the Center’s growing community.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where are you from, school, family, pets, etc:
I am currently a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia. I love to play volleyball, watch horror movies and hang out with my friends and family. I currently do not have any pets, but I often dog sit my neighbors’ and friends’ pets. My other interests include computer science and art, especially the interdisciplinary combination of them. In my free time, I enjoy venturing further into those interests or new subjects and learning new skills.
Why did you get involved with the Children’s Science Center?
The Children’s Science Center has a diverse community of learners with a unique environment that immediately resonated with me. I have held a previous leadership position at the Children’s Science Center, operated the Center’s booth at Techstravaganza, and showcased my Scrambler projects from Virginia Science Olympiad at the Lab. The more I volunteer and participate, the more I want to help and contribute. I have been able to meet and work with new people while giving back to my community by volunteering at the Children’s Science Center, especially through the Youth Advisory Board. I am really grateful to have this unique volunteer opportunity where I can inspire younger students once in my position.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering with the Center?
Coming to the Lab has already massively helped nurture my passion for science. Specifically in the Youth Advisory Board, I have had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other students passionate about STEM which further developed my understanding of STEM. I especially love that STEM allows people to be ambitious and impels people to ask themselves questions like: what would happen if…? or why does that …? I appreciate the efforts in helping me explore all that interdisciplinary learning has to offer. Watching how students get involved in experiments and ask questions makes me feel so excited to join them. I am amazed at how they manage to make simple experiments more fun and interactive. The different zones and changing experiments always fuel my mind with curiosity. Being part of an open hands-on learning environment that is dedicated to teaching children and instilling a love of science, is a great opportunity that I will gladly take. Also, who doesn’t love making slime?
What scientist do you admire and why?
One scientist that I admire is Carl Jung, one of the most influential psychiatrists of all time. He created some of the most well-known psychological concepts, including the collective unconscious, the psychological complex, archetypal phenomena, and extraversion and introversion. Carl Jung is a founder of a branch of psychology called analytical psychology. Not only did his work impact psychology, but also many other fields including psychiatry, anthropology, literature and philosophy.
How can we inspire young people to become interested in science?
Students must be interested and motivated to learn before learning can take place. The success of learning one topic can further lead to an increased motivation to learn more. We can inspire young students to be more motivated by exposing them to interactive activities and experiments that make science more fun and interesting. By providing real world applications and passionate instructors, young students can explore useful fields in their future. The Children’s Science Center is a great space for young people to be exposed to such interactive activities and creative environments.
What is one scientific question you would like to see answered in your lifetime?
A scientific question I hope to see answered in my lifetime would be how our conscience works/was developed and how that makes us human.
The Children’s Science Center’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is made up of Northern Virginia high school students who contribute to the Children's Science Center's goal of inspiring a love of STEM through student volunteerism, leadership, and collaboration.