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Science, Symposiums, and Sushi

September 13, 2021


Caroline Huang

This article was written by Caroline Huang, a grade 11 high school student at Abbey Park High School. 



At a Let’s Talk Science Symposium, you can expect stirring discussions between STEM leaders sharing their careers paths, a community of youth tuning in from all around Canada, and maybe even one of Charles’, an awesome Let’s Talk Science moderator, brilliant food analogies.

Perhaps Charles felt the need to make so many food jokes because it’s a universal connector of people - or perhaps it was nearing lunchtime. 

Or maybe, just maybe, there’s a link between food and STEM.

To share my own example, pursuing STEM studies can sometimes be like the sushi bar at a buffet. Especially for someone like myself who hasn’t tried much seafood, I find myself thinking: So many options! What do I choose? Isn’t it all just fish?... 

Attending the symposiums has been paramount in instilling my confidence towards trying all different types of sushi— I mean STEM.  

About the Symposiums

Over the summer, I attended Let's Talk EnvironmentLet's Talk Health, and Let's Talk Engineering, three insightful and impactful summer symposiums!

From the keynote to panel Q&A, interactive activities to prizes, each was full of engagement and knowledge.

I enjoyed listening to scientists explain their research and profound impact on our planet throughout the presentations.

One presentation which really resonated with me was around Dr. Catherine Ferbia’s work towards a solution in the race against climate change during  Let’s Talk Environment. 

She engages with farmers to rethink agriculture by restoring biodiversity, promoting carbon sequestration (a natural process that captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere), and working with Indigenous communities across the world so our farms and waterways can be more sustainable.

It was so cool to see the verbatim memorized from my science textbooks used to create powerful change in the world; it’s even cooler to know that could be a career option for me!

What I love about symposiums

Whether it’s environmental, health, engineering, or one of the MANY fields of science, who doesn’t get excited about combating pressing challenges? It’s hard not to get excited about sequencing the DNA of viruses or developing energy systems to power humanity into a green future!

But what I love most about the symposiums is that the discussion frames these careers in STEM as attainable goals. The speakers shared pathways I could actually envision myself pursuing and the stepping stones from high school to get there. They inspired me to keep classes like biology and calculus on my course schedule.

It was also fascinating having such a diverse panel of scientists, from recent graduates to mature students to laboratory heads. Hearing from individuals from different backgrounds and roles demonstrated that there is no one conventional path to succeed in STEM!

Craving more about a future in STEM

As the final symposium wrapped up, I closed the Zoom room feeling like I had opened the potential of STEM in shaping a career path for me.

STEM can often be intimidating for high school students when staring down a chemistry exam and the concepts can seem far-fetched. But the Symposiums helped me put STEM in context. I realized that STEM is a rewarding pathway to making a meaningful impact. 

And if you’re overwhelmed by all the different career options, that’s okay! Symposiums are inclusive and welcoming spaces perfect to experience different fields, find what really resonates with you, and explore what real STEM jobs exist! 

While I'm stuffed full of knowledge, I think I can hear my stomach growling (hey, no judgement, I missed lunch!) And, as I consider my dinner options, I have to say that sushi (like STEM) sounds pretty awesome.

Visionary Symposiums are coming this fall. High schoolers have a unique opportunity to participate in discussions around leading-edge technology while engaging and learning invaluable tips from STEM leaders. Prepare for the demands of tomorrow today! Register for free now