This year, there is a new student organization at Concord Academy: STEM Council. One of the first things this group is planning to establish is a STEM peer buddy system. This project will pair underclassmen interested in STEM with upperclassmen who are familiar with the STEM courses at CA.
The idea of a STEM peer buddy program started floating around when the founders of STEM Council, Nathan Dang ’23, Joanne Oh ’23, and John Oh ’23 were discussing potential initiatives. In an interview with the Centipede, John explained the importance of such program for STEM students at CA, “In my opinion, a lot of people with STEM interest can benefit a lot from some guidance, whether it’s signing up for tests [including the American Math Competition, F=ma Physics Competition, and the United States of America Computing Olympiad], knowing about tests, or just navigating through the CA STEM courses, which could be really confusing [with regards to] deciding on which courses to take or what courses are like.”
Another highlight of the STEM peer buddy system is its co-heads’ commitment to its practicality and reliability. According to John, compared to the peer buddy system at CA, the STEM peer buddy is more similar to the advisory system. John describes an ideal peer mentor to be someone that “we could actually rely on, who is verified to be trustable to whatever they are talking about. We want an actual system that’s pragmatically helpful for the students.” John also noted that, as an underclassman, he was helped by former seniors who were interested in STEM. With this program, he hopes to extend the help that he has received to the future CA students.
So far, STEM Council has begun collecting information about people’s interest in the program. The next step will be for STEM Council to start matching peer buddies and assess whether they will need to expand the program based on the number of people who sign up. John is hopeful that the program will be launched by the beginning of November.
As a school known for arts and humanities especially (among a diverse curriculum), CA will benefit from the STEM peer buddy system and the vibrant STEM community the system could foster.