Hi everyone! I’m taking a break from the ED100 summaries and doing another one of our member spotlight interviews. However, you can expect a Module 6 summary to be up within a week. For this spotlight I reached out to Sami Morse, one of the newest members of Project SCIFI, and asked him a few questions pertaining to the organization. Sami is an executive associate and has been diligently pursuing grant funding as well as other side tasks. An interesting fact about Sami is that he is the goalie for the Cal Ice Hockey team. Hope you enjoy the article!
Michael: Why did you join Project SCIFI?
Sami: My science courses throughout my primary and secondary education have influenced my life outlook, career choices, and passion for learning. Personally, I believe that individuals from all walks of life deserve the opportunity to have a comprehensive educational experience in their scientific classrooms, and be impacted the same way I have.
Michael: Out of all the resources Project SCIFI provides classrooms (lab coats, career books, science experiments, etc.) what resource appeals most to you and why?
Sami: Science experiments are definitely the biggest thing Project SCIFI has to offer. For me, hands-on learning really hooked me on science, and I know that it’ll have the same impact on any kid. There is just something special that comes seeing scientific concepts play out in front of your eyes.
Michael: What got you interested in STEM?
Sami: As a child, all of my science courses captivated my interest. STEM courses has real-life implications, and my teachers did a great job conveying that fact to me and my classroom, providing experiments and coursework that apply to everyday situations. I really do think that the excitement and passion that teachers bring to the classroom are what gets students initially interested in science, more so than just the material itself.
Michael: What do you think are some barriers that are preventing underprivileged students from pursuing STEM careers?
Sami: Unfortunately, STEM classes are underfunded in underprivileged areas, so they can’t afford the equipment that is necessary to watch science play out in the lab. Thus, it’s harder for students in these communities to be captivated by science in general. I believe that with the proper guidance and resources, these underfunded communities can foster young scientists who bring about positive influence and changes in the future.
Michael: What to you is the most exciting thing happening in science right now?
Sami: Definitely cancer research. Contemporarily, the world’s premier doctors are working together to find a cure and effective treatment for the biggest medical issue of our time. Just recently, a cancer researcher (who conducted some of his research at Cal), Dr. James Allison, won a the Nobel Prize for his work on this subject.
Michael: Who’s your favorite hockey player?
Sami: Obviously Sidney Crosby.