A Summer of Enrichment: EHS Stem Students Take Full Advantage of High-Profile Programs

Special to the Independent

A group of enterprising Everett High School (EHS) students spent a portion of their summer immersed in high-visibility STEM programs with renowned educators and at world-class institutions, another indicator of the district’s commitment to providing students with exposure to the latest and greatest in technology and science.

“Our students want to learn, and they will do whatever is necessary to accomplish their goals,” said veteran EHS science teacher Nancy Cianchetta, who has been instrumental in connecting students to prestigious internships and summer opportunities.

To begin the summer of 2022, EHS students took a field trip to the laboratories of MIT, including the NSF Center for Brains, Minds & Machines. The trip was made possible by Mandana Sassanfar, Ph.D. Diversity and Outreach Coordinator for MIT, Superintendent Priya Tahiliani, and Everett Public Schools CFO Anu Medappa Jayanth. EHS students from a variety of grades and pathways had the opportunity to meet scientists, tour labs, and imagine themselves as researchers at a top-tier college. 

For those craving more in-depth work, EHS students pursue highly competitive internships that allow them to engage directly with professionals and students from across the state in academic settings and work environments. One of the most desired STEM internships is the Leah Knox Scholars Summer Project, and this summer EHS boasted seven participants in the program hosted by the MIT Biology Department: Nicole Mumbi, Lakisha Kirnon, Dyna Louis, Breetika Maharjan, Chris Mumbi, Kirtsy Hall and Darian Ventura.

The Leah Knox Scholars organization and its partners created expanding opportunities for students to learn from researchers in some of the area’s best Biotechnology labs, colleges, and universities. Participants complete a paid, four-week intensive summer research experience that exposes rising juniors and seniors the skills required to conduct biomedical research and the chance to meet scientists and experience the excitement of scientific discovery.  Students conclude the internship by presenting research on a variety of biotechnology topics.

The Lea Knox Scholars is funded in part by MassBioEd, BioBuilders, and the Massachusetts Life Science Centers partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In addition to the Leah Knox interns, EHS rising senior and STEM Academy student Kien Lau was a member of MIT’s Broad Summer Scholars Program. He concluded his summer by sharing his research on Polygenic Risk Scores related to Type 2 diabetes.

Rounding out Everett’s impressive list of summer scholars is Allied Health Academy student and rising senior Isabella Sousa joined the Forsyth Student Scholars Summer Internship Program. During this eight-week internship, students are paired with, and mentored by, a faculty researcher. Sousa and her mentor completed work on diabetic bone disease.

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