Advice for Future STEM Innovators

Field Trip to the Museum of Science


Cameron Curney

David Edwards ’20 pointing eagerly at the MIT cheetah during a field trip Mr. Jaykamur’s students took to the Museum of Science on January 18, 2019.

Cameron Curney and Ayman Elhannawi

On Friday, Jan. 18, Mr. Jaykumar, Abington’s computer science teacher, took students from each of his four classes to Boston’s Museum of Science.

The Museum of Science hosted a panel for local science technology engineering and math (STEM) innovators from the surrounding Boston Area.   A panel with four of these innovators, as well as a more intimate table talk, gave students the chance to listen and ask these innovators questions about their professional lives.

Mr. Jay, as students call him, decided to take his students to the Museum of Science because, “it exposes them to different areas of science, so whether they where into physics, mechanical engineering or computer engineering, or whatever type of science they were interested in, it gives them some exposure to the subject. It gives them insight on how that’s being used in the following scenario.”

Start doing your own research, understand what it takes to get into that field, and start doing things now that can increase your chance of success.”

— Sabra Botch-Jones

John Mueller ’20, a student in Mr. Jaykumar’s Web Development class, found the innovators helpful for his future endeavors. Despite Mueller not currently wanting to pursue a technology career, he said it was helpful to “see what they [the innovators] have done to get to the point in their career as successful people,” adding that mentors should be an important pillar in a young person’s life.

Fellow class member David Edwards ’20, said, “It was nice to hear from people in the fields I would potentially be interested in.  The machine learning was interesting.  Possibly seeing them will help me be successful in the future.  Not having someone to look up to or some figure as a model, you’ll end up a lot worse off.”

There were four innovators from the event: Mr. Dhariya Dalal; Mr. George Papayannis, the head of school at the Cathedral School in New York; Ms. Sabra Botch-Jones, an analytical drug researcher at Boston University’s School of Medicine; and Dr. Supriya Rao, a gastroenterologist in Lowell, who composed of the panel, while Dr. Melissa R. Landon was an innovator that was available for the table talk.

Mr. Dhariya Dalal, works as a data scientist at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) company Talla, which looks to create AI to assist in business enterprise. Dalal spoke about his experience getting into computer science.  Dalal explained how in college he was actually terrible at math, but after being bored at several jobs decided “to reinvent myself and work on problems I actually found interesting.”

Each spoke about their job and how they got into the field.  The most highlighted point in their talk was a central idea that was best said by Botch-Jones. “Any field that you’re interested in, start now.  Start doing your own research, understand what it takes to get into that field, and start doing things now that can increase your chance of success.”

For those wishing to visit Boston’s Museum of Science, Wicked Smart: Invented in the Hub, is a permanent exhibit showcasing different local innovators and their innovations.