Science, Technology Festival Relaunches After Cancellation

Event originally scheduled for February took place March 25 with altered lineup


Photo by Matteo Winandy

During a session titled “Cyber Attack Simulation,” Chief Revenue Officer for cybersecurity company Cymulate Brian Stone explains a chart to students. Stone’s presentation covered the history and potential future of cyber attacks as well as what his company does to prevent them. “I felt like his presentation was extremely intriguing, and I now look at cyber crime in a different way,” freshman Keira Airey-Bufford said.

The annual Science and Technology Festival was held March 25, after snow and icy road conditions caused organizers to reschedule from Feb. 4.

“I wish it didn’t happen,” parent volunteer Wendy Zhao said. “We were very fortunate because we [had] school support to postpone and reschedule SciFest for [March 25], and we really appreciate the support from the science, [Moody Advanced Professional Studies] and technology departments to make this happen again in March.”

The festival started in 2006 and hosts speakers with professional experiences to explore a wide variety of subjects in science and technology. Rescheduling the festival meant 12 speakers were no longer able to attend. However, three new speakers joined the roster, and the sessions of students were made larger to compensate. 

This year, there were 100 speakers at the festival, one of those being Manish D. Assar, who is the medical director of electrophysiology at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital.

“I try to make the presentations interactive by bringing props and a lot of the devices I use at work for students to try like catheters and pacemakers,” Assar said. “I think it sparks a lot of interest in people.”

Organizers often find speakers from the community through parents and friends.

“Most of them enjoy coming and speaking at our festival and have good experiences, so they usually stay and it helps attract new speakers,” Zhao said.

The process for figuring out which speakers could speak for certain class periods was time consuming.

“It’s a big spreadsheet and we list out all the periods we have available and from there, we try to figure out how many classes we need to cover that period,” biology teacher Meredith Townsend said.

Zhao believes that the speakers especially impacted students as professionals who practice the work they spoke about locally in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“They really excel in their respective fields and they’re coming from [diverse] backgrounds and they all have different paths, so they have rich experience,” she said.

Choi said she supports the festival because it encourages students in the school to pursue science and technology related careers in the future.

“I’m so glad we are able to do this for the students,” Choi said. “We have some wonderful ideas that we implemented this year and we hope that it will only continue for years ahead.”