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Posted On:
October 30, 2020
at 1:52 pm

Kelly Greene

Nature Inspires Intern to Learn All Aspects of STEM

The SciTech Institute is thrilled to have several students join us as interns this year. This is one of a series of blogs about these bright young students who aren’t just our future, they’re current leaders in STEM.


Meet Afzal, a junior at Sandra Day O’Connor High School]:


My journey in STEM was sparked by a pretty common first introduction to science- nature. I vividly remember the first time my kindergarten class got to play outside and surround ourselves

with the flora and fauna of our school. Interacting with wildlife truly shaped my understanding of

the world,and I knew that in the classroom I wanted to learn about science and the environment.


Over the next couple of years, I was at a crossroads: on one hand I was so captivated by the

natural world and I had developed a true love for science. On the other hand, most of my class

was not spent outside, but rather in a cramped classroom learning about abstract concepts that I had no idea how to rationalize. This was definitely a challenging time. While I was still not particularly interested in learning about atoms or the quadratic equation, I realized that these concepts can be connected to real-life things and ideas. Even though the content wasn’t riveting, learning about the more “uninteresting” part of STEM can allow me to build a strong foundation of knowledge so that I am equipped to learn about real-life processes. 


After this realization, I found a true motivation for STEM with the idea that my understanding of these concepts can help me outside of an academic environment. From my young years, I have constantly tried to find opportunities and STEM and been an active member of Arizona’s STEM community. For example, I have participated in the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair and have done the Fiesta Bowl Aerospace Challenge. Overall, my growth in STEM has been profound.


I think being a Scitech intern will be a valuable experience. Especially in light of the pandemic

and these new circumstances, there is an even greater demand for young people to get involved in STEM. I hope to bring more awareness to STEM activities and inspire people to learn more about the world around them. Not only do I value STEM academically, but I also think of it as a vehicle for helping others. 

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