A Monroe Township student will be learning from Nobel Prize laureates at the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Lowell, Massachusetts, June 29 through July 1.
Marah Faye Rice, the daughter of Jon and Christy Rice, will be among students from across the country who will hear Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science recipients talk about leading scientific research. The students will receive advice from the deans of the world’s top technology universities and learn about cutting-edge advances and the future of science and technology.
The purpose of the event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be scientists and technologists to stay true to their dream and to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal after the event.
Rice, 13, is a rising junior at Laurel Springs Cyber School/Gifted and Talented Academy of Ojai, California. She took her first advanced placement class this year with plans to take AP Calculus, AP Physics and AP Psychology next year.
Rice is also a competitive swimmer with WSY Swimming and with the varsity swim team at Cumberland Valley High School.
Q. How did you receive the invitation to attend the congress?
A. I was nominated for the congress by John Mather, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, who will be speaking at the Congress. He sent my invitation in the mail.
Q. What are you most looking forward to at the congress?
What I’m most looking forward to at the congress is meeting the speakers and being introduced to their creative twist on modern technology. I never thought I would have the chance to meet Nobel Prize winners.
Q. What STEM fields do you find most fascinating?
A. What I find most interesting in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) field is robotics and the mechanics behind them. All my life, I’ve been so curious to learn how everything works that I was, in fact, willing to lean out the side of a ride at Hershey Park and risk falling out just to watch the wheels and gears turn under me.
Q. How will attending this event help you to attain your goals?
A. I think that attending this event will broaden my understanding of technology and engineering. There’s a chance that, by seeing what all of these incredible people developed/discovered, I can gain more self-confidence in my work. I’ll be able to say, “If they can do it, why can’t I?”
Q. Why do you think it is important for students your age to explore STEM fields?
A. I think it is important for students around the world to pay more attention to STEM because no matter what we’re doing, we use science every single day. Furthermore, when we use science, there’s almost a guarantee that you are going to use math at the same time. Developing new technology that can make someone’s life easier — for instance, helping a paralyzed veteran to be able to hug their family again — is just as beneficial as becoming a police officer or a doctor. The main difference is that there are less people working in the STEM field. Some call people like me nerds, but I like to think of it as being a dreamer; a dreamer that strives to allow others to have a better day than the one before.