MAUHS student nominated for STEM conference

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WOODFORD — A local student will represent Mount Anthony Union High School at this summer's Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders.

Kaity O'Brien of Woodford, who is a junior at Mount Anthony Union High School, was selected to attend the three-day conference, which is held in Lowell, Mass. from June 29 through July 1. Students who are chosen for the program must have a 3.5 GPA and an interest in science and technology. Typically, about 4,500 students from around the country attend the event.

O'Brien, who plays basketball and softball for MAUHS, said that she has been interested in science and engineering since about third grade. While she plans on going to college to study engineering, she doesn't know where she'll be going just yet, although she hopes to stay within New England.

The conference is hosted by the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists, which was founded in 2014 with, "the belief 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 these vital careers," according to the organization's website, scitechleaders.com.

The academy says that students are recommended by their guidance counselors or teachers for, "leadership ability, academic achievement, and dedication to science and technology."

According to other students who have been selected, the cost to attend the series of seminars is $1,585, including hotel accommodation. The academy offers scholarships based primarily on financial need, and offers advice for fundraising for the event on their website. Some students start GoFundMe pages to raise money to attend.

"I want America's brightest students, our future STEM leaders, to see biggest possible future for themselves," said Richard Rossi, executive director for the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists. "These focused, bright and determined students are our future and they deserve all the mentoring and guidance we can give them."

Reach staff writer Derek Carson at 802-447-7567, ext. 122 or @DerekCarsonBB

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