The Winn Science Center hosted its first major event since opening, as St. Mark’s welcomed four incredible guest speakers to its annual STEM Conference.
Dr. Taft Armandroff, astronomer and Director of the McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas at Austin, discussed the mysteries of the universe with students in the Winn Science Center’s planetarium. He presented age-old questions that he hopes future astronomers will one day answer and shared exciting news about the Giant Magellan Telescope, currently under construction in Chile.
Wyatt Smith, the Head of Business Development at Uber Elevate, shared his company’s vision for the future of urban mobility through aerial ride sharing. While this concept may seem far-fetched, Wyatt described how Uber is already developing and testing prototypes with aerospace companies like Boeing and Bell.
Gideon Powell, CEO of Autonomous Crypto Corp and a director at Cholla Petroleum Inc., spoke with students in both science and economics classes about humanity’s history of energy use and dependence and the evolving world of cryptocurrency. The discussions ranged from the theoretical to the practical, exploring the concept of currency and the cycles of energy use.
Dr. Kesha Harris-Henderson, a radiation oncologist with Texas Oncology, spoke with biology classes about some of the lifesaving treatments and breakthroughs occurring in oncology. Dr. Harris-Henderson explained the myriad options available for treating different types of cancer through radiation.
“It was so exciting to host the STEM Conference in the new building for the first time,” said Dr. Bonnie Flint, a member of the Science Department and STEM Conference faculty advisor. “Our guests were amazed at the facility, and it was great to have so many rooms for different audiences. This is really the first time we put the building to the test beyond a typical day of classes, and it easily met our needs and enhanced the Conference.”
Throughout the day, the four guests visited different classrooms and took advantage of the Winn Science Center’s spacious Lecture Hall. The entire Upper School gathered for a special assembly where students could ask questions to each guest. Middle Schoolers also had a chance to interact, as each guest attended one of the four class meetings held during the day.