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Princeton Magazine: STEM educators Dr. Ronah Harris and Alicia Testa featured in September issue

Princeton Magazine: STEM educators Dr. Ronah Harris and Alicia Testa featured in September issue

As you flip through the recent issue of Princeton Magazine, you'll see some familiar faces!

The magazine features interviews with AP Psychology and Upper School Computer Science Teacher Dr. Ronah Harris and Alicia Testa, Middle and Upper School computer science teacher and the coordinator of STEM and Stuart Institute of Finance and Economics (SIFE).

Below are excerpts from their interviews:

Dr. Ronah Harris
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Q: Discuss your efforts towards diversity in technology as it relates to your work at Stuart.

A: I have always thought that our humanity has many challenges. From global climate changes, to our needs for a very growing and aging population, or needs for more renewable resources — we have a lot of problems to solve. I believe that we cannot afford to lose one voice, or one person, who can contribute to solving these issues.

Diversity to me is about ensuring that all possibilities are explored and that we don't overlook the potential for the next Nikola Tesla or Albert Einstein to participate in bettering our human condition. We throw away potential genius through institutional hurdles, and cultural barriers. We tend to ignore those who do not fit the ideal caricature of those who we feel should be an inventor, or scientist, or genius. There is greatness in all parts of our society and we cannot afford to overlook those potential contributors because they come from poverty, are born a female, or look other than what we have historically seen in the media.

Alicia Testa
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Q: How are your students better prepared for continued STEM study at the college level and beyond once they graduate from Stuart?

A: Our students have continually reported being extremely prepared for their STEM classes. They have a strong understanding of the material and can balance the workload. Students have indicated that they were more aware of newer technology thanks to the MakerSpace. As a faculty, we work hard to stay up to date with the latest research and best practices. We give students experiences that build confidence, utilize creativity, and encourage independent thinking. My colleagues and I try to lead by example and take risks with our own learning as we build an amazing community that fosters the whole child.

Former students report feeling well prepared for all fields based on their education at Stuart. We aim to build resilience that will prepare them to face each and every endeavor. Stuart is an amazing place that fosters creativity, education, and leadership in each individual student.

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