Mar 22, 2014

Holyoke Catholic student wins science prize; Microsoft exec visits school



(Photos courtesy of Holyoke Catholic High School)

Staff report

HOLYOKE – In spite of the record-breaking cold and frequent precipitation during the recent winter season, students at Holyoke Catholic have not been hibernating. In fact, one might say the school’s science department has been a hotbed of activity.

On Friday, March 7, Holyoke Catholic High School senior Samira You (picutured above) was awarded one of two first-place prizes in the Massachusetts Science Fair Region 1 at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. 

Under the tutelage of science teacher Lise LeTellier, Samira's winning independent research project, “Developmental Effects of Correlated Color Temperature of Artificial Light on Painted Lady Butterflies Vanessa cardui,” makes her eligible to not only attend the Massachusetts State Fair but also the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2014  in Los Angles in May.

You, who will be graduating in June, is a student from Hebei Province, China. While she has not finalized her college selection yet, she plans to study environmental science and policy or sustainable development and hopes to work at the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya one day.

Regarding her Catholic school education, You said, “Holyoke Catholic is a very welcoming community. It provides me the opportunity to try different things and helps me to discover my potential.”

You continues to be a busy student. On March 27 she will be an oral presenter at the Southern New England Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire.

A visit from ‘Major Nelson’

On Friday, Feb. 28, Microsoft’s Larry Hryb, director of programming for Xbox Live, visited Holyoke Catholic High School to speak with students during the school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Day observance.

Hryb (pictured with students John Hannoush and Ryan Lukomski), best known by his gamer tag “Major Nelson,” gave students an insider’s look at the videogame industry, technology and Microsoft. Regarding preparing for a career, he said, “Find your strengths. Play into them and that’s how you will be successful. Whatever you do, then, you won’t look at your career as a job.”

Hryb, a native of Connecticut and a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse, N.Y., is based in Redmond, Wash., and was recently highlighted as having “One of the Six Coolest Jobs at Microsoft.” He is globally recognized as a videogame industry expert with over 650,000 followers on Twitter.