STEM Day unites students with common interests

Risa Mori

A collaborative effort of all STEM-related clubs on campus, Lynbrook STEM Day was primarily organized by Science Club with the objective of unifying students with STEM interests. Held on Monday, May 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. in Rooms 001 and 007, the event, open to all Lynbrook students and incoming freshmen, featured guest speakers, science competitions and club booths.

Although Science Club hosted the event, the club reached out to other STEM-related clubs — Pre-Medical Club, Astrophysics Club, Math Club, Neuroscience Club, Science Olympiad Club, HEAL and Women in STEM — to plan and organize the event.

“The initial idea was to have it become an inter-school event, where all the various schools’ science clubs would be meeting together,” said senior and Science Club President Abhinav Naikawadi. “Each of the last two years, we were too overwhelmed with the idea when we tried to start planning it. That’s why this year, we decided to start off smaller by expanding it to all of the science-related clubs on campus.”

The objective behind STEM Day was to create an event where students involved in various different STEM-related clubs could not only expand their understanding of science, but also connect with other students. Experts and professionals were present to share their experiences in the STEM field. Dr. Ali Gurel, a Math Olympiad Summer Program instructor, demonstrated math puzzles and problems, while Dr. Zhirong Huang, a professor from Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), presented the mechanism and history of SLAC. Later, event attendees were able to walk around club booths while enjoying food to learn more about STEM opportunities at Lynbrook. Additionally, a competition was held in a Science Bowl-style format, where teams of two or three people participated in a buzzer-based jeopardy contest. The questions not only included general science knowledge, but also had content specific to certain fields to ensure fairness in the competition between members of all clubs.

STEM Day drew Lynbrook students as well as many students from Miller Middle School, who learned about the event through their science classes and clubs. Interested middle school students and parents were able to explore their club options in high school. For freshman and Science Olympiad Club president Michael Zhao, the event held a personal significance.

“Science Olympiad has 23 events covering subjects ranging from the nature of science to engineering,” said Zhao. “Because of this, I think there’s something for everyone in Science Olympiad, and I hope people are able to get more exposure to STEM and find people who share similar passions and interests as them through this club and program.”

Communication throughout the planning process was conducted primarily through the presidents of the participating clubs. The coordination between clubs, however, was not always seamless; the club officers met some obstacles along their way.

“One challenging part was getting all the clubs on the same page, because it’s so difficult to make sure that everyone understands exactly what we’re doing,” said Naikawadi. “Initially, it was kind of difficult to get the idea across to other clubs about what they would get out of this experience, so we had to explain to them where they would fit in.”

Nonetheless, with the success of its first STEM Day, Science Club is looking to continue such events in the future.

“This year, our goal was just to get something established and to have a successful event where people are able to learn more about other communities,” said Naikawadi. “But in the long run, the goal would be to eventually expand this to invite other schools.”

After weeks of planning and coordination, the organizers of the event have finally seen the product of their hard work. As one of the largest club collaborations at Lynbrook, STEM Day connected passionate students and provided a welcoming atmosphere for education and learning.