Closing out Massachusetts STEM Week, middle- and high-school students gathered at the Newton Free Library yesterday for Think Big! — an opportunity to meet and learn from 18 STEM mentors with ice cream donated by Cabots! This was the fourth such event hosted by the Library, NewtonSTEM, and the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club. Thanks to all the mentors for offering their time, insights, and enthusiasm. Thanks also to the Newton LigerBots for helping out.
The mentors’ fields included microbiology, running-shoe design, software development, biomechatronics, computational biology, ecology, chemistry, drug design, solar entrepreneurship, 3D animation, manufacturing science, applied physics, genomics, and more. Questions discussed in these informal discussions: What’s exciting in your work? What do you do all day? What impact do you want to make in the world? How did you get to where you are, and what would have done differently? How do you make an origami solar light? What’s important in running shoe design? Can planting a trillion trees save the planet? How does math drive drug design? Why is learning how to code important, if you’re not going to be a programmer?