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Local student teaches STEM symposium

Though schools are out for the holidays, 16-year-old Divya Agarwala is using her school break to increase Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) awareness for her fellow students.

Though schools are out for the holidays, 16-year-old Divya Agarwala is using her school break to increase Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) awareness for students.

Agarwala, a student herself at the Science Academy of South Texas, organized a leadership in STEM symposium Wednesday at the at the Palm View Branch Library in McAllen. The event is part a program called For Teens By Teens.

While Agarwala’s symposium focused on STEM, she made it a point to teach other students the necessary skills to have when applying for a job.

"They not only get STEM skills, but also crucial public speaking skills because even if you have STEM ideas, you have to be able to convey those,” Argawala said. “And that's why it is important to embrace both STEM and public speaking together."

Some of the key points that local students have learned included the proper way of introducing themselves and posture, which goes a long way for job interviews. Agarwala hopes students use some of the leadership skills they have learned and will have greater interest in STEM.

“I hope to see students having fun first and foremost because I want this to be an enjoyable experience for them,” said Agarwala. “But, I also hope even if one or two students from this can pick up leadership skills, teamwork skills and have a renewed interest in STEM, that would be a success for me.”

You can sign up for Argawala’s Leadership and STEM camps by contacting the McAllen Public Library. The sessions will be held on Thursday, Dec. 28 and Friday, Dec. 29 at the Palmview Library from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Agarwala will also host a symposium at the International Museum of Art and Science (IMAS) from Jan. 3-5, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Correction: This article incorrectly stated the name of the branch library in South McAllen. It is the Palm View Branch Library.

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