Just the Beginning

Written by: Megan Watson

                Last year I did not know what to expect when I started school at Stratford STEM Magnet High School.   I was part of the first group of students to take classes taught by Vanderbilt University professors.  The interdisciplinary science and research course was not your average science class.  It was like a college course.  Although rigorous at first, I learned more from this class than any other science class previously.

                This year, Stratford is a STEM Magnet High School that offers career pathways in the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies and the Academy of Science and Engineering.   Of course, I chose the Academy of Science and Engineering.  I love science and I am a hands-on person who learns better through experimenting.  The Academy of Science and Engineering is perfect for me.  I had a chance to go to a sewage plant to learn about water quality, to create a chicken body farm modeled after the Body Farm in Knoxville, Tennessee and to study forensic science.

                The interdisciplinary science and research classes continue to offer opportunities that I would not have experienced being in another school.  My first internship will start this summer.  I will have the chance to work with scientists in a science laboratory at Vanderbilt University. This experience will prepare me for a career in science and will prepare me for college courses and laboratory research.

                As the STEM Academy Student of the Year 2010-2011, I cannot imagine calling anywhere but the Academy of Science and Engineering home.  Last year was amazing and this year will no doubt be just as memorable and inspiring.  I have wonderful teachers at Stratford.  One day I plan to have a career in science.   I am grateful to the Academy of Science and Engineering and my teachers and professors for helping me to get a head start in making it happen.