We first got the idea to start a research competition when we realized the lack of research opportunities for high school students interested in the humanities. However, still recognizing the value STEM brings and being deeply involved in STEM ourselves, we did not want to leave this aspect out of the competition completely. We realized that the bigger issue was that there were not competitions that encouraged interdisciplinary research that allows students like ourselves to bring these so-called disparate interests together. Our hope is that in creating this competition we demonstrate the importance of interdisciplinary research and the truly unique and nuanced perspective it provides, emphasizing its necessity and resisting the increasing polarization of these fields.
We are recent graduates from Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, California, now attending UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley. At Canyon Crest Academy we were members of the Envision Conservatory for the Humanities, an application based after school program dedicated to the study of philosophy, theology, civics, and ethics through interdisciplinary and collaborative projects and university level research, which provided us with a deep interest in the humanities. We also love science and have taken numerous high level science classes and participated in laboratory research. However, we have noticed a lack of recognition of the value of integrating humanities fields such as ethics into science curriculum. We first became involved with the intersection of STEM and the humanities through research we conducted regarding the correlation between the normative ethical schools of thought of biological researchers and their opinions on varying applications of genetic engineering technology. We, along with the Institute of Biomedical Sciences and the Conservatory for the Humanities, hope to provide a platform for other high school students across the nation to explore their interests in STEM and the humanities and to gain valuable experience in producing college level research.
My name is Aditi Desai, and I am currently a senior attending Livingston High School in New Jersey. I was fortunate to be a finalist in the 2019 Stemanities Research Competition and was able to join the Stemanities team as an intern this year. As an initial science enthusiast, I delved into a variety of science related organizations and activities throughout the first two years of high school. Science summer research programs truly helped propel my blossoming interest in the field. However, after encountering supportive teachers and experiencing a sense of fulfillment, I decided to dive into the realm of creative writing. After participating in a plethora of science and writing competitions, I was sincerely surprised to find Stemanities: a competition which encompasses two aspects of knowledge which seem to be always be isolated. Participating in this competition gave me the incredible chance to integrate the two fields of study which I am interested in pursuing in the near future! I look forward to assisting the Stemanities team during this upcoming year and for another amazing research competition!
My name is Viktoriya Anissimova and I am a senior in Triangle Math and Science Academy, a charter school in Cary, North Carolina. I started research in the summer after my sophomore year at the Meredith Emerging Adulthood and Longitudinal Studies (MEALS) laboratory at Meredith College. Throughout my time as a researcher, I have been fortunate to study grit and resilience in student populations, work in a collaborative team, and participate in several research conferences. In the same year, I started working on a project for the Stemanities 2019 competition. I wanted to pursue a discipline that I was extremely interested in, Mars colonization, and examine it in terms of societal formation. Although previously having no experience in the topic of Mars colonization, this competition presented me with an opportunity to dive into this realm, synthesize my research into a paper, and even present my findings in La Jolla, California. In terms of future directions, I want to continue my studies in the field of psychology, integrating it with physics, specifically interactions of atoms and particles and their effect on human interactions. Pertaining to this year, as an intern for Stemanities, I want to advance the opportunities provided by this competition and inspire new generations of researchers to submit their ideas here!