I M A G I S C I E N C E was established this year by two high school students – Homin Kwark and Aaron Na – from Irvine, California under the supervision of Homin’s older sister, Candice Kwark.
One night, after sharing their memories of their grandfathers who have Alzheimer’s Disease, Homin and Aaron began to throw ideas for combating the disease. Ideas as immature as stimulating the circadian rhythm and as complex as activating endogenous stem cells bounced back and forth. Homin and Aaron soon found themselves inspired by imagination and creativity, fascinated by the new and unfamiliar, and excited by the scale and ambition.
Realizing that science is a lot more than textbooks and experiments, Homin and Aaron decided to establish Imagiscience, a high school student-founded and led, non-profit organization, aimed to inspire youth’s interest in science through programs, challenges, and competitions designed by students for students. Their hope? Student empowerment to solve the “science education crisis.”
According to the College Board, the number of students taking Advanced Placement tests in science has increased exponentially since the 1990s. Although students are receiving higher and higher levels of science education, science instruction is still heavily based on imparting a body of knowledge and having students apply this knowledge to some pre-defined problems. Recent studies have shown that U.S. high school students continue to slip further behind students from other nations in their ability to apply scientific concepts and skills.
According to Microsoft, 80% of the jobs in the next decade will require education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); however only 16% of the students will earn a bachelor’s degree in STEM fields. This is concerning because the future demands STEM. Thus, leaders of today – including President Barack Obama – are shifting their focus on starting nationwide, governmental campaigns to improve participation and performance of America’s students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Of course, educating the teachers and strengthening the curriculum are essential to improvement in STEM education, but Imagiscience believes that students should lead in inspiring other students interest in STEM, because students know what works and what doesn’t, what’s “cool” and what’s not, what’s effective and what’s isn’t. Students know what students want! Imagiscience’s goal is to inspire each and every student to lead the conversation in STEM, even if they’re not interested in STEM at all.
Although many other science organizations and competitions exist today, a recent survey revealed that participation is often limited to a small percentage of students. In addition, students actually feel discouraged by these very organizations and competition due to their exclusive and limited access and rewards. Imagiscience aims to inspire widespread interest in science. To reach students of all backgrounds and abilities, Imagiscience is thoughtfully guided by respected scientists and professionals, but more importantly actively led by high school students.
Few Facts for You
Goals for This Year
This year, Homin and Aaron have three main goals: