Canyon Crest Academy’s Translational Science Club is hosting the first annual CCA STEM Conference on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9-3:30 p.m. in the Proscenium Theater. The free event will be an opportunity for middle school and high school students to learn about different careers in STEM from doctors, researchers, engineers and more.
CCA Translational Science Club juniors Nithya Krishnamurthy, Taraneh Barjesteh and Emily Kogan couldn’t help but notice how successful the CCA Writers Conference was in the spring and wanted to provide something similar for those interested in science, technology, math and engineering.
Congressman Scott Peters, one of the event sponsors, is scheduled to kick off the conference by speaking on legislative policy that will promote STEM careers here in San Diego.
“I’m excited about Congressman Peters getting out into the community and reaching a far larger base of people and getting people interested in STEM, which is our goal,” Emily said.
The packed line-up for the day includes speakers Dr. Carolina Quayle of Li-COR Biosciences; Dr. Samuel Ward, a UC San Diego orthopedics professor; and Claire Remillard of SAP Software solutions, who will host a panel discussion on technology and business.
After a break, participants will hear from Dr. Sheila Rao of the Nomis Center for Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis at the Salk Institute; Ana Sanchez and Dina Steinke from ID Analytics speaking on Women in Technology; Raj Krishnan, CEO of Biological Dynamics; as well as a presentation on the Be the Match Bone Marrow Drive with both a donor and a recipient.
At the break between speakers, there will be booths from conference sponsor Nothing Bundt Cakes, the Girls Who Code Club and the Caring for Cancer Club. Nithya not only founded the Translational Science Club last year, but also founded the Girls Who Code Club and Caring for Cancer Club, a group that raises funds to do care packages for cancer patients in collaboration with the UCSD Moores Cancer Center.
The girls have been working on putting this conference together since March. They admit it was a challenge to bring all of these talented speakers together but they worked every contact they had—Nithya was able to land Congressman Peters as she is a former intern.
At CCA, the Translational Science Club’s mission is to foster an interest in research and the applications of research in clinical medicine and other scientific fields. The club has collaborated together on a research project, but they have also all explored research fields on their own outside of school. Emily, club secretary, has done research during an internship with biotech company NuVasive as well as shadowed doctors at Scripps; club treasurer Taraneh has worked in a lab at UCSD and Nithya had an internship at Salk last year—her mentor Dr. Rao is one of the conference speakers.
“Our goal after the conference is to get as many sophomores and freshmen involved in the club as we can so that after we graduate, the conference will be an ongoing event,” Taraneh said.
“We hope to get all of the community’s support in this maiden venture which we hope will carry on for many years,” Nithya said.