Lovers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields

Many teenagers in high school have no idea what they will do once they leave high school. Some may not know what they are interested in studying; others may not even go to college.

I was interested in the natural sciences when I was younger, but once I was in middle school, I realized that my love for aircraft and flight transcended that. Considering this passion, I knew that I was destined to become an engineer.

Since then my interest hasn’t shifted at all. Having taken engineering and CAD classes at ARHS, my dreams have only been reconfirmed. People have asked me, “How could anyone know exactly what they want to do?” My answer: “I just do.”

It’s an odd answer, but is rooted in my childhood.  Like any other kid growing up, I played make believe. I built new worlds with Legos or imagined I was in a space vehicle on a space mission.

But regardless of what I spent my time doing, I was always  creating, innovating, designing. It turns out I was not alone. I spoke with ARHS students who have known for a long time just what it is “they plan to do” in adulthood.

“In middle school I found that I was interested in computer science,” said Declan Gray-Mullen, a junior at ARHS. Like me, Gray-Mullen was in middle school when he found something he was truly interested in studying for life.

He started to prepare in a big way outside of school. “I took a short GCC course in C++,” said Gray-Mullen. C++ is a programming language, allowing the user to create instructions for the computer to follow.

Neosha Narayanan, also a junior at ARHS, plans on going into a STEM field, but is not sure which field yet.  “I really like biology, I really like math, I really like environmental science,” said Narayanan.

Narayanan has put her skills and interest to good use outside of school.  “I work in a [biology] lab at UMass, and I am a volunteer at the Kestrel Land Trust,” she said.

Gray-Mullen has also put his skill set to use in the field, working at UMass as a departmental assistant. “I found out [about the opportunity] through my dad,” Gray-Mullen said. “[It was a] full time job over the summer, a very low level position. [I and other employees] ran errands for engineers, and helped to set up a new wireless wifi router system at UMass.”

For him, this involved having to take down the old system, and then install the new system in its place.  According to Gray-Mullen, “a fair amount was just measuring fiber rolls.”

Narayanan’s impressive resume also includes receiving a $2,000 grant to teach Python, a high-level programming language, to middle school and high school girls over the summer and fall. But while she has always been “interested in coding,” She said that she isn’t interested in majoring in it.

“I’m more oriented towards the natural sciences,” said Narayanan. As her father is a scientist, she feels that curiosity has always been encouraged in her home. “Science has always been my strong suit, [and it is] so fundamental to the world,” said Narayanan. “It demands understanding.”

Gray-Mullen is ultimately interested in dual majoring in finance and computer science, “with a focus on algorithms or artificial intelligence.”

“Ideally I would like to write a code for financial analysis, such as stock prices,” said Gray-Mullen. “I want to be right on the edge of the finance and software worlds.”

Narayanan and Gray-Mullen are just two examples of exemplary students preparing for future occupations in  STEM fields.  

While Narayanan may not have a definite career path, her love for the natural sciences shapes what she does outside of school.  Gray-Mullen’s interest in a specific niche gives him the opportunity to prepare for his future.

As for me, I still want to become an engineer.