Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
68° Rockville, MD
The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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JDS hosts fifth annual STEM day

Sophomore Amalia Netter uses magnetic granite power to uncover her fingerprint in the Forensic Crime Scene Investigation session
Gila Safra
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The CESJDS high school gathered in the auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 8 to kick off the 5th annual STEM Day conference. Everyone had the opportunity to hear from keynote speaker Maya Lieber (‘12), a civil engineer and superintendent at Clark Construction. 

JDS hosted 26 speakers throughout the day, including seven alumni and at least five parents. According to Director of Upper School STEM, Alexandra Brown, she has been planning for this day since her first day on the job this past summer. 

The day consisted of Lieber’s keynote presentation, followed by two blocks where students got to choose which sessions to attend via a survey sent to them a few weeks prior. This year, the STEM day schedule was adjusted to only fill a half day whereas in previous years it replaced a full day of classes. 

“[Most students] got sessions that they’re interested in, and there [was] a lot of very varied and interesting speakers,” sophomore and STEM fellow Lucy Ginsburg said. “I hope that everyone, even if they didn’t get their top choices, [found] something they’re at least a little bit interested in.”

Topics included Civil War Medicine, Meteorology and even opportunities to participate in community service projects. Brown said that STEM day was planned with a twofold vision: for students to see the variation in STEM professions, and to find something that interests them. 

STEM fellows, all high school students, helped Brown by facilitating and introducing the presentations throughout the day. They also got to know the speakers on a more personal level by having lunch with them.  

“I think, especially for people who are interested in working in STEM-related fields, it was very powerful to see so many different careers that people had chosen that were related to STEM,” junior Aliza Lesser said. “And I think for other people too, it’s a way to connect some stuff that we learned in school to real professions in real-life situations.”

Lesser attended the “Unlocking Ancient Texts with New Tools: A Data-Centered Study of the Mishnah and Midrashei Halakha” and “Sports Physical Therapy” sessions. She said she was grateful that students could request sessions because she was able to attend topics that interested her outside of school. She said that, for her, the day served as a career day of sorts, allowing her to explore and envision her passions. For others, it was also a way to discover new passions. 

“[It’s] really exciting because all of the speakers that are coming in, they’re volunteering to do this, and to share their time with us and share their expertise with us,” Brown said. “They [were] all really excited to come, and it’s kind of adorable to talk to them and hear how much they want to share about their lives with the students.”

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Gila Safra
Gila Safra, Reporter

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