From left, Nikhil Garg, Robert Young, Roian Egnor, Parth Chopra, Dhruv Gaba and Roy Rinberg, core members of Project BEST, presenting a t-shirt to one of the guest speakers Dr. Roian Egnor.
Photo by Olufemi Akinsitan/The Connection
The study of science and technology among youths was given a boost on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Langston Hughes Middle School. The Science Innovation and Inspiration Youth Conference (ScI2YC), a STEM conference aimed at encouraging the study of science and technology among middle school students was hosted by Project BEST.
“I hope to show the students that there are different ways to get to science."
Dr. Roian Egnor
Project BEST (Building Excitement for Science and Technology), the organizer of the event, according to the founder and CEO, “is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing students with education, enrichment and a joy for learning and understanding the exciting science and technological advances happening around us.”
Parth Chopra working with Robert Young, Nikhil Garg, Roy Rinberg and Dhruv Gaba—all juniors of Thomas Jefferson High School—came up with idea of the project, which he described as “100 percent student driven.”
Activities during the day-long event include forensic analysis during which students participated in finger printing, chromatography and DNA analysis. Classical mechanics in physics, such as centripetal motion, linear momentum, angular momentum and conservation momentum were also demonstrated using tools such as bicycle wheel gyroscope and spinning table.
One of the speakers at the event, Dr. Roian Egnor, a neurobiologist from the Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, demonstrated the vocalization and the behavior of mice. She said, “I hope to show the students that there are different ways to get to science.” Other speakers at the event included Mike Bruce, the president and CEO of Inscope International, who gave an interactive demonstration of how STEM can be applied to students’ lives.
In her comment, Joyce Matthew, the STEM chairperson of Walt Whitman Middle School, said “events like this are great, the focus is to get minority students and girls involved in science, and it’s great to see students running it.”
In attendance were students from Walt Whitman Middle School, Poe Middle School, Rocky Run Middle School and Lake Braddock Middle School. Also present were students from Langston Hughes Middle School, Robinson Middle School, Lanier Middle School and Longfellow Middle School.