King School STEM Club connected with tech giant IBM for three information-packed virtual sessions on artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and sustainability. The series began with IBM researcher Dr. Stacy Hobson, who surprised the students with a viewing of a horror movie trailer and later revealed that the entire trailer was created by AI software. The software was trained with snippets of the film and a database of other horror movie trailers to create a film montage designed to invoke similar human emotions from the other trailers, such as shock, fear, and surprise. “It was interesting to learn about so many different technologies in such a creative and fun way,” said Nicole Guido ’24, after watching the presentation.
The breadth of knowledge and expertise required of individuals working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is increasing as the skills and problem solving strategies necessary to address the world’s challenges become more interdisciplinary and complex. Today, elementary school, middle school and high school students all must learn both the concepts and content that are typically addressed in core disciplines such as biology, physics, mathematics, and computer science, while also understanding deeply how these disciplines influence one another. King’s PreKindergarten-Grade 12 STEM program encourages the depth of interdisciplinary preparation necessary for college and for success in the 21st century.
All King students are deeply immersed in the study of STEM. Learn about the exciting, new Innovation Lab. Students passionate about STEM can elect to graduate with a Certificate of Distinction in STEM. These STEM scholars pursue challenging courses, club activities, project development and/or research opportunities, culminating with a Capstone Project. Students learn first-hand the real-world skills used by today’s researchers and innovators, such as literature review, experimentation or project design, modeling, data analysis, and information presentation.
"This experience has definitely impacted me greatly. I am truly motivated by the fact that my own research, though one small step in the overall process, could advance treatments for cancer patients, and I am very excited to continue my research throughout the school year via the ASPIRE Program."
While many in our community use the school's Spring Break to rest and recharge, five of the Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering (ASPIRE) students excelled in the final rounds of the 2021 Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF), which had over 365 student participants this year.
Students in the Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering (ASPIRE) competed virtually in the final round of the Connecticut/Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) research competition on Sunday, March 7, 2021. Wafa Nomani '21, Joseph Winterlich '21, and Billy Bernfeld '22 previously qualified for the finals round by presenting their research projects via video submissions back in January 2021. Students who placed in the top-five spots qualified for the National JSHS competition.
Juniors John Russell '22 and Giovanna Armetta '22 placed 2nd and 4th, respectively, in the 2021 Connecticut State STEM Fair (CT-STEM Fair) last weekend.
The CT-STEM Fair is a statewide science research competition that began in 2001 with a mission of providing students with an opportunity to present their research work to like-minded scientists and professionals who currently work in the field.
"As part of the ASPIRE program, working with a real laboratory and helping conduct original research while I am still in high school is beyond my wildest dreams," says Billy Bernfeld '22. Billy is one of nine King students in the Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering (ASPIRE) who has passed the preliminary round and has been selected to present at the CT/Regional Junior Science & Humanities Symposium.
Hands-on learning and technology come together in the after-school STEM classes. Students in grades 1-3 tinker with legos and motors to create simple machines. Students in grades 3-5 learn how to create stop motion movie shorts with animation.
Sammy Hillenmeyer and Joe Winterlich have been recognized among the top 300 scholars in the 80th Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS), the nation's oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high school seniors. As scholars, they are in the running to make the top 40 finalists list (to be announced on January 21).
As students in King's Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering (ASPIRE), Sammy and Joe are both conducting original, impressive research as interns in a R01-level research laboratory.
JC Fredette '21, Ronnie Harvey '22, Sammy Hillenmeyer '21, Nick Jiang '22, Nadia Kucher '21, and Joaquin Silvani '21 are all studying multivariable calculus with Mathematics Faculty Dr. Laura Toniolo. Recently, these six students had an opportunity to collaborate together to transform the theoretical material they learned in class into an actual product, a Quadrics Mobile. Nadia describes the hands-on project, sharing, "Graphing quadrics in 3D is much more challenging than you would think, so by printing them, we were able to visualize what we had learned. Not only were we able to visualize our quadrics in a physical object, but we had to overcome several obstacles to ultimately balance our quadrics and create a functional mobile."
Jenna Du Puis, Mathematics Faculty and Middle School Mathematics Coordinator, is in awe of her students. Mrs. Du Puis reflects on the wonder and joy she feels in helping Grade 7 and Grade 8 students learn to think and work as mathematicians and demonstrate their understanding as critical thinkers. Bruno Reinhoefer Ribeiro '26, a Grade 7 student in Mrs. Du Puis' Geometry class, describes the biggest challenge as "using new algorithms such as substitution, same base/same altitude, etc. My favorite thing to learn in this class is probably proofs since they are always logical and satisfying to do."
A unique co-curricular STEM project geared toward life-science is taking place in the Upper School. Students, guided by Acting Chair of the Science Department Nick DeFelice, are constructing a living, biologically cycling ecosystem – a vivarium. Ian Marsh '21 describes his enthusiasm in addressing this challenge, saying, "To be able to help make a habitat for a species that is near endangerment is a great experience that I am so happy to be a part of."