A-RISE Creates Opportunities For Students to Pursue STEM Research

Abbot Research, Science, Innovation and Engineering Society (A-RISE) is a new initiative at Andover that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects on campus. As Andover’s first-ever science research society, this new program will look to engage in team-oriented, collaborative science and engineering projects that will be recognized on a national and international level through various STEM competitions.

Sydney Marler ’18, the founder of the A-RISE initiative and recipient of a 4,300-dollar Abbot Grant, saw a lack of accessibility to student-driven science research opportunities on campus. During her Upper year, she took the initiative to make such research a possibility for the Andover community.

“The idea arose out of observing the polarized inequality in access and opportunity for scientific research. For example, formal summer research programs cost upwards of thousands of dollars and students living in rural areas with no access to nearby research facilities are effectively shut out of the entire experience,” said Marler in an email to The Phillipian.

Using the Abbot Grant, A-RISE will fund conferences and host events that facilitate STEM research, as well as pay for publicity and entry fees into outside competitions and events.

Marler said that A-RISE is currently undergoing the process of selecting a seven-seat Board of Directors and several committee leaders.

“Some students simply have never heard of anything like [A-RISE]. A-RISE seeks to make the entire process of STEM-based projects more accessible to all PA students and we hope to provide engagement with the world of science that transcends the classroom,” she said.

Students with interests in STEM fields have been well-receiving of the project. Varun Roy ’18, A-RISE’s Society Research and Mentorship Coordinator, believes that A-RISE gives him the opportunity to expose his ideas to a greater market.

“A-RISE gives opportunity [for scientific research] to many students… where I can go and do actual commercial level research as a high schooler to bring forth new ideas to the whole community as the world. I wanted to help other people spread their own knowledge and their own wanting to spread the findings of their research to the world,” said Roy.

The society looks to compete in a number of competitions this year including the Toshiba ExploraVision, TSA TEAMS, and Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams.

“There’s always been a large wanting for people at Andover who are interested in STEM to spread STEM around campus. [The project’s purpose] is to educate the campus about STEM… and to compete in competitions… Ideally, the work at the competitions should further the project’s goals and provide strong results,” said Nick Masri ’18, a participant of A-RISE.

Marler said that A-RISE plans to bring a STEM conference to campus this Spring, allowing for the Andover community to hear from experts in the Scientific fields and compete in several competitions.

“As a new organization this year, we are looking to put on an interscholastic science conference in May, reach out to alumni and professionals to create mentorship and networking opportunities for students, and tentatively participate in several science and engineering competitions,” said Marler.

Peter Frank, Instructor in Chemistry, had been looking to form a group like A-RISE for a while, and when Marler approached him with the idea for the initiative, Frank assumed the role of Faculty Advisor.