Steven Castellano Recommends Ways to Improve Scientific Literacy
Steven Castellano is a senior at High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey, and is one of Big Think's "10 under 25" young experts.
At High Tech, he was the vice-president of the Key Club, vice-president of the National Honor Society, and a member of the senior class council. He also served as the secretary for the New Jersey state Technology Student Association that works to promote technological literacy in schools throughout the country. He has developed a deep interest in behavioral neuroscience research throughout high school and has worked on projects investigating the effects of acupressure on alertness and visual attention skills.
His research has won first prize in the MIT THINK competition, the Delaware Valley Science Fair, the Jersey Shore Science Fair, and the New Jersey Academy of Science. In addition, Steven has been named an Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist and has presented his research to the American Junior Academy of Science division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Human Factors and Ergonomics division of the Federal Aviation Administration, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association. Most recently, his research has been published in Imagine magazine.
In 2009, Steven and his teammates won $20,000 in the 2009 Moody's Mega Math Challenge, an applied mathematics competition sponsored by the Moody's Foundation and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. During the challenge, his team had 14 hours to analyze and submit a paper on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The team was also featured on Bloomberg Radio's Taking Stock with Pimm Fox and Karen Moscow. His paper and presentation can be viewed at 2009 Winning Papers.
After graduating from High Tech, Steven plans to attend Columbia College of Columbia University to study neuroscience and physics.
Question: How can we increase scientific literacy in America?
Steven Castellano: All right. So when it comes to technological literacy I kind of think that it's just a matter of getting expose to being aware of it. I mean I really have likened the classroom at least in my class is being able to like see how torque is related to like a car and building like a mouse trap race car or different projects that you may do. So just with regard to that I think bringing projects to the classroom is definitely cool. Being able to make discoveries for yourself, see a different areas of science are connected, how frictions really related to intermolecular relationships and chemistry so just more interaction in the classroom, more projects in the classroom, I definitely think that maybe there are technology courses at many schools and maybe increasing that requirement might be productive in terms of increasing technological literacy. I know it is predicted that the jobs for technology teachers there is less and less teachers and demand is increasing greatly so. Looks like a very stable job but there's also not a lot interest in it. So I know, like the way of a technology student association in New Jersey, we were trying to increase funding for that and definitely increase funding for more technology teachers and I feel like it's part of the education spending, that we're looking into definitely put some of that spending into increasing the teachers and technology because that's definitely something that kind of concerns me for the future that what I found to be some of the most interesting classes and the most enlightening in terms of making discoveries that they might not be as successful in the future when I feel like they should be more success in the future as technology continues to grow exponentially each day.
Recorded on: May 8, 2009
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