Current Topics and Research Symposium

Six seniors present science and technology topics at the annual event

From embryonic stem cells to the origins of the universe, the Lindberg-Serries theater housed STEM instead of Shakespeare on the evening of January 25th. 

For one month, the six seniors in Dr. Cataldo’s Current Topics and Research course each explored their own field of interest before culminating their findings into a comprehensive presentation on the night of the 25th. The bulk of the project involved creating deliverables, including an annotated bibliography, intensive notes from dozens of sources, and a visually appealing presentation slideshow. Partway through the process, the Director of Digital Engagement, Ms. Whitney, taught the class how to deliver a captivating elevator pitch. She edited and posted these clips to the school’s Instagram story the day prior to the event to gain some interest. Among the six topics were “Dopamine: How Our Brain Rewards Us” and “Tiny Technology: Redefining Drug Discovery with Organs on a Chip.” Leading up to the big day, the CTR class practiced their presentations countless times: at school in front of the class, and at home for family, dogs, and computer screens.

All six members of the Current Topics and Research course gathered after the symposium.

Modified for COVID-19 precautions, the audience this year consisted of BB&N community members and a restricted number of guests per student presenter. However, for the first time, the event was also live-streamed to viewers via Vimeo. Dr. Cataldo welcomed the group with an overview of the year so far and introduced the symposium. Following each speaker, the audience asked the students questions about curiosities, the future of these topics, and how the research process changed their initial perceptions. 

Kira Tian ‘22, a student presenter who studied implicit bias, remarked, “The symposium project gave me the opportunity to delve deep into a subject that always intrigued me—implicit bias. I have heard this buzzword thrown around many times, but no one ever really explained to me in detail what exactly it is, what are its implications, and what are ways we can prevent them.” 

The Current Topics and Research class is now diving into a collaboration with the Latymer School in London but hopes that the BB&N community is already looking forward to next year’s symposium!