A St. Clair High School sophomore recently was selected as a delegate for a prestigious science and technology honors program.
Austin Twichell received a letter stating he was nominated to participate in the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders program for later this summer.
“I was surprised,” Twichell told The Missourian upon getting the letter.
“I didn’t really expect it, but I’m really happy about it.”
He was nominated by John C. Mather, a Nobel Prize winner in physics and a science director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists, to attend the program and receive an award of excellence in the field of science and technology.
Twichell was nominated based on his academic achievement, leadership potential and passion for science and technology. St. Clair High School is among the schools represented on the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists’ website.
The program will be a three-day event June 29 through July 1 in Lowell, Mass., in addition the award ceremony. Twichell will have the opportunity to hear Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners’ lectures on leading scientific research, receive advice from deans from top universities and more alongside other nominated students from around the country.
“It’s pretty nice to be recognized for all the hard work and stuff that you put in,” he said.
He added that he is “pretty proud of myself and makes me confident.”
Twichell said he hopes to learn more about specific career options during the program.
“I don’t really know exactly what I want to do in the science and technology field, so I hope to kind of narrow that down,” Twichell said.
“And also meet some people and gain some knowledge from them.”
Twichell became involved in St. Clair High School’s engineering class at the beginning of this school year.
“It’s one of my favorite classes for sure,” he said.
“It lets me be creative in the way that I like to be creative. I really like science and the aspect of that.”
Twichell’s interest in engineering was sparked by his freshman science teacher Jennifer Bulger.
“I had her (for) physical science freshman year and I was pretty good in that class, so she mentioned to me about this (engineering) class, and then I started researching and figured that it was pretty cool,” he said.
About the Program
The following is a press release about the honors program.
The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The purpose of this 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, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.
“This is a crucial time in America when we need more nimble-minded and creative scientists and technologists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” said Richard Rossi, executive director for the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists.
“Focused, bright and determined students like Austin Twichell are our future and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him.”
The academy offers free services and programs to students who have the desire to learn more about their future in science or technology.
Some of the services and programs the Academy offers include online social networks through which future scientists and technologists can communicate; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored by tech and science leaders; and communications for parents and students on college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships, career guidance and much more.
The Academy was founded on the belief that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education plays a critical role in enabling the United States to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century and that we must identify prospective talent at the earliest possible age and help these students acquire the necessary experience and skills to take them to the doorstep of vital careers.
Based in Washington, D.C., and with an office in Boston, Mass., the Academy was chartered as a nonpartisan, taxpaying institution to help address this crisis by working to identify, encourage and mentor students who wish to devote their lives to advances in society as scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.