CGUHS Science Student to Present at State Sci-Tech Conference
Author: Kelly Greene
CASA GRANDE — Casa Grande Union High School sophomore Chloe Buchanan is passionate about science. She loves talking about science and sharing her passion with others.
On Friday she’ll take the stage at the Mesa Arts Center to talk science with hundreds of educators, science fans, students and others as a presenter at the Arizona SciTech Festival and Conference.
She’s the youngest person presenting at the conference this year.
“It’s exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time,” she said. “I enjoy presenting but I do get stage fright sometimes.”
Chloe is on CGUHS’s robotics team and she’s a member of the Chief Science Officers of Arizona, an organization that aims to increase student voices in school and community STEM discussions.
At the annual sci-tech conference, she’ll lead two sessions. In the first, she’ll moderate a panel discussion about women in computer science and engineering focused on the societal barriers faced by girls and women in the tech industry.
“We’ll talk about how to overcome the barriers to inspire the next generation of girls to consider computer science and engineering,” she said.
Chloe will interview panelists, field audience questions, moderate the discussion and give opening and closing remarks.
In the second session, she’ll give a presentation about how robotics can be used in any classroom setting.
“I’ll talk about how to get kids interested in robotics and science and also discuss what lessons can be learned from working with robotics,” she said.
Robotics projects foster teamwork, communication, cooperation and lifelong skills beyond basic science know-how, she said.
“I’ve learned so many things from robotics like how to talk to people, how to work on a deadline and handle stress,” she said. “It’s not just mechanics and science.”
The opportunity to be a presenter at the SciTech Festival came last summer when Chloe met the event organizer.
“She asked if I’d like to be a presenter at the conference,” Chloe said.
The Arizona SciTech Festival and Conference is one of the largest science and technology festivals in the nation. It attracts people from the business, industry, education and government sectors as well as non-governmental organizations, community leaders and students. It includes 50 sessions and more than 60 exhibitors.
This year’s theme is “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem.” It begins Thursday at the Mesa Arts Center.
Chloe said she’s excited but nervous. As a singer with the choral group the Blue Notes, she’s been on stage before and has also given science presentations to small crowds. But her presentation at the science festival could draw about 200 people.
“This is a big deal for us,” said John Morris, engineering and mathematics teacher and robotics team coach at Casa Grande Union High School. “She is the only young person leading a session.”
Morris and some students from the robotics team will travel to the festival with Chloe. The school will have a STEM presentation table at the event.
As well as preparing for the science technical festival, CGUHS’s robotics team is gearing up for another year of competitions.
The team expects to take part in two statewide competitions this year, one in the fall and one in the winter. Fundraising efforts are underway.