Avondale Students attend Congress to be Future Scientists

Four Avondale High School Students Selected to Attend Congress Focused on STEAM-related Studies

Tapped for their academic achievement and interest in exploring and networking career pathways in science, four Avondale High School students were invited to attend National Academy Congress sessions at University of Massachusetts this summer. Juniors Meghan Parkinson and Ryan Feng attended the Congress for the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologist; while sophomores Alexis Naylis and Amarae’ Robinson attended the congress for the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.

Avondale High School Principal, Sharon Hyde, (middle) presents certificates to students (l-r) Ryan Feng, Meghan Parkinson, Alexis Naylis and Amarae’ Robinson

Avondale High School Principal, Sharon Hyde, (middle) presents certificates to students (l-r) Ryan Feng, Meghan Parkinson, Alexis Naylis and Amarae’ Robinson

The focus of the Congress sessions is to provide opportunity for promising high school students considering medical or STEAM-related careers to network with their like-minded peers as well as noted people in their field of interest. The high school students, from around the country and numbering in the thousands, attend presentations from a variety of speakers sharing their experiences and perspectives. In addition, the students received extensive information and guidance relative to entering medical, technical or science –focused careers.

For sophomore Alexis Naylis who has been interested in the sciences from a young age, attending the Medical Scientists Congress was reinforcement to continue working toward a career in medicine. “The speakers weren’t only doctors and scientists, there was a variety of perspectives – even someone who shared his personal story of suffering concussions. Since I hope to study neuropsychology after high school, hearing his story was important to me,” she said.

In addition to hearing from speakers at the Medical Scientists Congress, students also had the opportunity to watch a live-streamed medical surgery as it happened. Sophomore Amarae’ Robinson appreciated the chance to observe the surgery since she hopes to be a cardiologist one day. “The speakers were helpful and they had a lot of information and ideas but watching the surgery made thinking about studying medicine very real for us,” she said.

Real-world application was also the focus of the Scientists and Technologists Congress attended by juniors Ryan Feng and Meghan Parkinson. The students saw demonstrations of cutting-edge technology and heard from industry leaders encouraging the students to pioneer in areas not even conceived of to date. Ryan, who is a member of the Avondale High School robotics team, the RoboJackets, is considering a career in Mechanical Engineering; Meghan is undecided about her future plans but was prompted by attending the Congress to continue her path of STEAM-related studies. “The speakers all had different experiences to share but for most of them there was a common theme of not succeeding the first time they tried something,” Meghan said. “That meant something to me – it gave me confidence to keep going even if I don’t succeed at something the first time.”

Avondale High School Principal, Sharon Hyde, presented the students with certificates recognizing their participation in the Congress sessions and celebrating their commitment to the sciences. “These students are passionate about their future and are looking at how they can make their mark in this world,” she said. “It’s telling that they saw the Congress sessions as an opportunity to explore and learn so they can have as much information as possible as they move toward their futures – it demonstrates true commitment to their goals.”

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