Speakers to Extol STEM Education at HPHS

Over 40 STEM professionals will descend upon Highland Park High School tomorrow to impart their wisdom via a sometimes very uncomplicated form of osmosis — talking to teenagers — at the tenth annual Science Festival.

Students passionate about engineering, theater, computers, animals, medicine, or space, will learn how they can turn their interests into careers.

Returning for a third year to speak is HP grad Audrey Thompson Burks. She was leaning toward pursuing a degree and career in business, but everything changed when she took a chemistry class with Laurie McDonald her sophomore year at HPHS.

“I took basic chemistry, I didn’t take Pre-AP, AP, anything like that,” Burks said. “And I found that I was good at it and that I really had a passion for it.”

McDonald and her other science teachers really helped change her mind about her future. She went on to major in petroleum engineering at Texas A&M and now works at Pioneer Natural Resources. Burks said she relishes being a role model for the female students in particular.

“I just want them to see that hey this is a place for us too and this is a place we can thrive and fit in,” she said.

Sponsored by the science and technology faculty and organized by parent volunteers, the mission of the Science Festival is to encourage and inspire students to pursue STEM careers and classes. We’ve been asked to ask you to remind your students that attendance will be taken.

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