LIA Showcase - World Science Festival

LIA Showcase - World Science Festival

My LIA with the World Science Festival in New York impacted me in so many ways it is hard to describe. I will carry with me the experiences and lessons from that summer for the rest of my life. It was probably the first time I have ever made a real impact on the world, on others lives and witnessing it first hand was both satisfying and motivating. It opened my eyes to things beyond science and academia.

I was beyond thrilled to be working in science outreach with the World Science Scholars. I have always wanted to make science more accessible, and the scholars were the most amazing group with so much aptitude and potential. It was so fun to see them engaging with the programme and learning and forging friendships with other scholars. I was put into the strange position of being the mentor rather than mentee, answering questions about research opportunities, college applications and physics questions. I took this job very seriously and hope that I have been of some help to them. 

I wore a lot of hats during my time at WSF, from working on a new astrophysics course with a Nobel laureate, grading applications to the programme, and engaging alumni, but the work I am most proud of was the lecture and workshop I designed and delivered. This was my opportunity to have complete control on what to expose the scholars to and how they would engage with the content. I decided to do a short lecture, with interaction from scholars, followed by a team based competition. I had great feedback from the scholars and staff, especially about how it made them feel at ease and promoted interaction between the scholars. 

In terms of long term impact, apart from the course which I worked on which will be used for years to come, I influenced the application process. WSF is an incredible opportunity and it is truly available to any and all bright young minds around the world, however not every applicant will have access to the same opportunities. Some applicants have competed in international maths competitions, or started companies or charities, whereas others would not have had these opportunities. It is just as, if not more, impressive to have self taught complex mathematics and science through online resources than to have attended a prestigious maths camp. This was heavily discussed and the application process will attempt to assess the degree to which they have utilised the opportunities given to them and shown initiative and  passion for science and mathematics. I have also ensured that the programme has gotten its first Irish applicants by promoting it in the Trinity Walton Club and the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland. 

I enjoyed the fact that the LIA gave me the opportunity to put all of the things I had learnt in my LEAD days to use. It was extremely rewarding to be given free rein to design and produce my own project and I learned how to make decisions and update my superiors accordingly and relay my needs to those working alongside me to plan the scholars conference. It was an incredible opportunity and I am very proud of the work I completed during my LIA and I hope to continue to pursue other science outreach projects in the future.

Below are some highlights of my time with WSF and the scholars festival, including Times Square, Manhattanhenge, filming the John Mather course, the fires, and of course the beautiful view from the office.

The World Science Scholars at Times Square


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Go to the profile of Princess Agina
19 days ago

Wow, this sounds like it was such an incredible experience! Your passion for making science accessible and mentoring young scholars shines through every word, and it's inspiring to see the difference you're making. Well done! 

Go to the profile of Karl Nicholson
19 days ago

Thank you very much, it was truly amazing and I am very grateful for the opportunity that the Laidlaw team have given me. My experience with WSF was so enjoyable that I am going to continue some of the work this summer online and of course staying in touch with some of the scholars as they apply for Uni in the coming years : )