Dr. Lisha Cabral, Superintendent
50 Oliver St.
North Easton, MA 02356
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 29, 2019
Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Easton High School Student Receives International Recognition for Organizing STEM Event at Middle School
Junior Olivia Pierce named 24 Under 24 Leader and Innovator in STEAM and Space by The Mars Generation
EASTON — Superintendent Lisha Cabral is pleased to announce that Oliver Ames High School student Olivia Pierce was recognized last week by the international non-profit The Mars Generation for her efforts in organizing a STEM conference for Easton Middle School students.
On Tuesday, April 22, Pierce was selected to receive one of The Mars Generation’s 24 Under 24 Leaders and Innovators in STEAM and Space Awards for 2019. The 17-year-old junior was selected as one of 24 teenagers and adults from across the United States, Puerto Rico, India, France and Brazil to receive the award.
“The group is comprised of young people from around the world who are breaking barriers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) fields and bringing the sciences to the public through multidisciplinary interests,” according to an announcement by The Mars Generation.
When Pierce was a seventh grader at Easton Middle School, she attended a STEM summit for girls at Regis College in Weston. The conference was led by several inspiring women presenters who piqued Pierce’s interest in STEM, propelling her to pursue a career in mechanical and aerospace engineering.
Wanting to inspire other students to gain the appreciation for STEM that she has, in 2018 she worked to bring a similar conference to the middle school as a way to introduce students to the many career paths that STEM offers.
The result was the Easton Middle School STEM Discovery Conference, which was held on Oct. 13 last year. Pierce organized the event, booking eight presenters to speak to the students about their respective STEM fields in space, engineering, math, computer science, nanotechnology and medicine.
Speakers who came and presented at the conference included STEM experts from Yale University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Stonehill College and Northeastern University.
Pierce also promoted the conference herself online, creating a Twitter account and website for the event, and pitching the idea to local media outlets. In addition, she had to present her idea in front school faculty and Superintendent Cabral.
About 75 Easton Middle School students attended the free conference in the fall.
“The Discovery Conference was an engaging and informative event that Olivia put together and was truly an inspiring testament to what a student can do when they put their mind and heart to something,” Superintendent Cabral said. “When she came to us last year the conference was just an idea. To now see her honored for her efforts by The Mars Generation is truly amazing. Thanks to Olivia, over 70 students who attended the conference were introduced to STEM in a unique way that may have helped to spark their interest in the vast and versatile world of STEM.”
Following up on her success with the Discovery Conference, Pierce is now working toward expanding the program to other high schools so that even more students can have hands-on STEM experiences. After graduation Pierce plans on attending college to pursue her degree.
Others who won the 24 Under 24 award designed mobile apps for social causes, founded nonprofits for science education and inclusion, built open-source lead detection technology, 3D printed prosthetic limbs, developed multi-state star party programs and facilitated in-class programs in areas of the world where science education is undervalued.
About The Mars Generation
The goal of the organization is to advance public interest in human space exploration and advocate for NASA’s journey to Mars. The Mars Generation will also serve as a catalyst to identify students with an interest in these areas and nurture their study in STEM education.