Heights student attends congress of future scientists
Alex Gillooly, a rising sophomore at Cleveland Heights High School, attended the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders, held in Boston, June 28–30.
The congress is an honors-only program for high school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Its purpose is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be scientists and technologists, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide resources to help them reach their goals.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, science director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists, nominated Gillooly to represent Cleveland Heights High School, based on Gillooly's academic achievement, leadership potential and passion for science and technology. Gillooly enjoyed Aldrin's Q&A with congress participants.
During the three-day congress, Gillooly joined students from across the country and heard Nobel laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading scientific research. He was inspired by fellow teen science prodigies; and learned about cutting-edge advances and the future of science and technology.
"I enjoyed this inspirational experience—listening to people my own age speaking about their academic achievements,” Gillooly said. "The speakers said, 'Failure is inevitable. But with motivation, you can succeed.' One speaker, Shree Bose, said, ‘If you are truly interested in the subject, failure won't matter and you'll keep going.' As I have reflected on this advice, I realize how it will help narrow down the fields of science that I want to pursue." Gillooly currently is considering a career in genetic engineering.
"This is a crucial time in America when we need more nimble-minded and creative scientists and technologists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” said Richard Rossi, executive director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists. “Focused, bright and determined students like Alex Gillooly are our future and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him.”
The academy offers free services and programs to students who have the desire to learn more about their future in science or technology. Its services and programs include online social networks through which these future scientists and technologists can communicate; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored by tech and science leaders; and communications for parents and students on college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships and career guidance.
Kate Gillooly is a longtime resident of Cleveland Heights and mother to Alex and Benjamin, a 2015 Heights High graduate. She and her husband, Greg, both grew up, and met, in Cleveland Heights and are grateful to raise their family here.