Professor Seshaiyer Makes Impact at X-STEM NOVA
X-STEM NOVA held their second annual free conference on October 20th, sponsored by the U.S. Air Force, at the national Conference Center in Leesburg. The conference was a great success, with approximately 2000 middle and high school students in attendance. It featured presentations and workshops on a wide variety of areas, including oceanography, aerospace engineering, cybersecurity and more. These presentations were given by experts of their respective fields– and thanks to the open-question sessions offered after each presentation– the students had the privilege to draw directly from the knowledge and experience of the exclusive and diverse group of STEM role-models present.
The opening speaker, George Mason University Mathematics Professor Padhu Seshaiyer, started things off with his talk, “Understanding the World through the Lens of Math and Data.” He reported that he was “blown away” by the creativity of one of the students. The student gave him a piece of artwork she had made during his presentation on mathematics and data, showing an ability to relate to the important topic. “I am so glad our future is in good hands!” Creativity was certainly encouraged at this event, which held a series of hands-on workshops. This included two catapult challenges, where students worked in teams to design, test, and display their products, as they gleefully competed for the highest amount of target points.
Near the end of the event, participants broke for lunch. The event was able to remain free, due to the accommodation of the National Conference Center, which allowed students to bring their own food. Afterwards, students were gathered for group photos and opportunities to speak with some of the presenters. Speakers and organizers alike were thrilled to contribute and participate in the conference and are eager to see the promising ingenuity of this new generation.