Laura Garavito

NY, USA & Colombia
FST 2019

“I was impressed by the diversity of thought in these sessions, making the learning possibilities endless. I really enjoyed engaging with students who approached problems and topics differently than I do. We took part in simulations. This was one of the most complicated yet fulfilling projects I have ever taken part in. We pretended to be a team of mathematicians helping astronauts in trouble on Mars. I really enjoyed the feeling of being able to apply what I learned in class to a real-world (or, rather, out-of-this-world!) situation.”

When COVID cancelled all extracurricular activities and forced my schooling to move online, I was left with more free time than ever before. A week into quarantine, three classmates and I decided to start a weekly science club, “Super Science Friends,” over Zoom. We recruited more science enthusiasts and met every Wednesday at 8 PM. As club founder, I presented on the history of physics, mining in space, finding supermassive black holes, galaxy formation, and star formation, before opening up “the room” for discussion. Every week, more students joined our meetings, and we invited our math and science teachers to join as well.

One of the strengths of meeting is the power to connect with anyone around the world. We started inviting people from other schools across Colombia and in other countries to come speak to our club. A Brazilian pharmacist spoke to us about his research, and my chemistry teacher invited an American medical student to discuss her educational journey. Super Science Friends continued throughout the summer, and this term, we have focused our sessions on discussing current science events such as life on Venus and mining on the moon. This month we are investigating the possibility of conducting physics experiments – all still over Zoom.

Ambassador Year: