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A-RISEAndover’s STEM Society
Written by Sparky Yoo | Published. 2017.05.13 16:47 | Count : 1197
The Abbot Research, Innovation, Science & Engineering Society (A-RISE), was recently created by Sydney Marler ’18. It plays a vital role as Phillips Academy’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) community. This student-run organization covers a diverse array of science topics ranging from astronomy to biology to general research. A-RISE’s official mission statement is “[h]elping every student obtain access to life changing opportunities in STEM.”
The Logo of A-RISE

Sydney Marler, the founder, was motivated by her own experience when creating A-RISE: “My own interest in science began with participating in science fairs, but it was a huge struggle to find out that those opportunities existed. I think there exists an ‘opportunity gap’ even within the same school, like Andover.” Her goal for A-RISE was to “create a really open, inspiring, and supportive community on campus” and to “open up opportunities for even one person explores STEM.”

The club’s uniqueness originates from its mission statement. Student-run clubs in most schools have the motive of simply furthering student interests in a particular topic. However, A-RISE takes it a step further. It gives more students the opportunity to research topics specifically related to the STEM field.

Photo of some of the A-RISE members

According to Merriam-Webster, research is the “investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts.” Research is the foundation upon most science disciplines; the ultimate goal of science is to explain the world around us. Nonetheless, many high schools lack the resources and funding to provide their students with opportunities to research. At Andover, however, A-RISE exposes such students to numerous opportunities to further their learning and experience.

A-RISE has accomplished many things to further students’ exposure to research. A-RISE has given students the tools for finding research opportunities. In the first meeting, the club leaders presented on methods of landing summer internships under professors. After describing their experiences working in labs, writing papers, and being published in science magazines, they outlined steps and provided tips on finding a mentor for the summer. They described the two methods of finding a mentor: through summer programs or through direct email to a professor.

After giving the tools for finding these opportunities, A-RISE has also triggered students’ interests Through the weekly journal meetings on Tuesday nights, students are able to dive into a STEM topic that interests them and present on it In mid-February, senior director James Jusuf ’17 explicated a research paper called “On the Maximum Amplitude of Harmonics of an Asteroid Light Curve” by A. W. Harris. In this meeting, we learned about stars and analyzing graphical representations of their frequencies.

James Jusuf ‘17 Presents “On the Maximum Amplitude of Harmonics of an Asteroid Light Curve” by A.W. Harris
The final part of A-RISE’s plans is to bring more research opportunities to students at Andover. A-RISE has introduced students to research competitions, such as the TSA TEAMS national competition. This high school competition consisted of a written research paper, as well as an engineering design challenge. Through this event, students explored ways of better conserving energy within their respective states. For instance, my group focused on harnessing subway vibrations into electrical energy in order to supply power to trains. This research competition developed a passion in many students to continue the process or research and explore science from another lens. In May, A-RISE is even hosting a research symposium, in which guest speakers Vicky Wu Davis (Entrepreneur and Founder of Youth CITIES) and Li-Huei Tsai (Director of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory) will come and hold student workshops.

Thus far, A-RISE has served a vital role in giving more students the opportunities to explore STEM areas. It has provided a unique and significant experience for our members.


Sparky Yoo
Phillips Academy Andover

Sparky Yoo  student_reporter@dherald.com

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