Old with the new: Building bridges in the STEM community
By Alkene and Botany
8 September 2021
Over the school break, students from UWCSEA Dover’s Alkene and Botany and UWCSEA East’s STEM team have been communicating with the UWCSEA alumni, over a variety of STEM fields including aerospace engineering, biochemistry and even neuroscience. Planning to have a STEM Conference for this year, the members have been actively reaching out to more alumni in hopes of representing the diversity of STEM fields all across the spectrum.
Set to take place from 27 September to 1 October, the conference will be one that’s virtual to suit the ever-changing climate of school while also adapting to cater to everyone with varying time differences. The discussions planned will give students plenty of time to interact with and ask questions to all the guest speakers!
The motivation behind Alkene and Botany reaching out to UWCSEA East was to encourage cross-campus participation in STEM.
Our magazine provides a platform to unite the students in UWC, forming an environment where they can learn from one another, and explore their passions with different individuals.
These goals aligned with the East Science Society, which hopes to foster a spirit of scientific inquiry and participation in STEM among the East community.
Last school year, during the annual High School Science Fair, the Science Society fostered a scientific experiment by East Campus students through successfully collaborating with all 6 STEM clubs in East Campus’s High School, inspiring Alkene and Botany to contact them, hoping to spread this event to UWCSEA Dover. By working together, the East Science Society aims to expand its involvement beyond the walls of the UWCSEA campuses to include the worldwide STEM movement, as Alkene and Botany has been doing.
By collaborating with the East Science Society and uniting it in the mission Alkene and Botany has in Dover, individuals are able to connect through their passions of STEM, despite being from different campuses.
Both our societies have been planning a conference where we are inviting professional UWC Alumni in fields of STEM, to give students an insight into what pursuing a STEM career is like, what students can do in High School to get involved and to speak about where their degree has taken them. In hosting this conference, we hope that students will become more exposed to the diversity that exists within STEM, but also understand through the range of research, they find that truly anyone anywhere can be a part of a STEM dialogue.
During this conference we will be launching an alumni platform within the student community, we hope to encourage direct connection between UWC alumni and current UWC students. By giving students the opportunity to form relationships with alumni, we hope that they can receive more individual support and mentorship from alumni even after the event on any projects students are carrying out or any further questions they may have.
By inviting UWC alumni, we hope to rekindle the connection between our guest speakers and UWC, not only uniting students across campuses but also these alumni to UWCSEA.
In addition to our collaboration on the UWC alumni event, we are also looking at other possible avenues to build a strong cross-campus STEM tradition, such as by expanding the annual East Science fair across both campuses.
Both Alkene and Botany and the East Science Society are looking forward to UWC students and alumni alike coming together for this common passion in STEM. We look forward to seeing the curiosity, passion and collaboration from these different, diverse individuals over the week of the conference. During this conference, individuals have the chance to be curious about different areas of STEM, exploring the specific areas that interest them, while also fostering interests in completely new fields. We hope students leave the conference feeling inspired to delve deeper into the STEM fields they are interested in.
In addition to the talks at the conference, we are hoping to follow up this discussion with willing alumni individuals by connecting them with passionate STEM students in our communities. We are currently in the process of exploring options with the alumni office, such as through the Alumni hub, and we have been planning for students to find a way to work with alumni learning from them through mentorship opportunities.