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Lee leads science tutoring club EpiSTEMe

MON. | 10-31-22 | FEATURES

     During high school, students are often asked ‘what do you want to do after graduation?’ Some scholars might not have an answer to this, but Rose sophomore, Jiah Lee, has always had a passion for science. This passion has led to her goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. Lee has already taken honors biology, honors chemistry and is currently taking Advanced Placement (AP) biology. 

     After seeing many of her classmates struggle to grasp concepts in science, Lee wanted to find a way to give them easier access to the help they needed.


Photo by Rachel Nelson

     At the end of last year, she officially started EpiSTEMe, a tutoring and application program to promote science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM) at Rose. Episteme is Greek for understanding and knowledge. 

     “I started the process to make EpiSTEMe an official club last year after seeing how many of my fellow students and friends needed help with their science courses and how some had not yet discovered their interests and what they were passionate about,” Lee said. 

     EpiSTEMe has two central components. One component, the tutoring program, offers face-to-face sessions with student mentors. These sessions occur during Refresh once a week. 

     “[EpiSTEMe’s]  mission is to encourage student scholarship, promote confidence and to build strong teamwork amongst our other students,” Lee said. “We want to basically give students easier access to learning opportunities.”

     The second component, the publishing program, allows student members to write and post publications on their own using Rose’s EpiSTEMe website. Some of the topics Lee has written about include neuroscience, anatomy, physiology, astronomy and ethics. 

     “Publication gives students opportunities to review research papers and submit short publications of their own,” Lee said. “We are trying to create a community where students from all backgrounds have equal opportunities and where they can really discover their passions.”

     Lee faced many challenges during the process of starting EpiSTEMe.

     “Some challenges in the beginning were that I knew that this was the kind of club, this kind of community, that I wanted to create but I didn't know what the process was,” Lee said. 

     She also had to get in contact with mentors in the science community that could help student members write publications of their own. Some of these experts work within the state, but others are from across the country. 

      “It can be hard to find a person who is a great fit for the students and the topics that they are interested in,” Lee said. “I want to help these students get connected with a mentor who is a great fit for the topic they are researching in and can help them the best.”

      Lee received help from her sister, Jiwoo Lee, who aided her in coming up with ideas on how to improve the club. She also receives guidance from Rose chemistry teacher Jerri Lynn Cox. 

     “I chose Ms. Cox as my advisor because she is really supportive of all her students and always helps us whenever she can,” Lee said. “She's very enthusiastic and very passionate about what she does.” 

     As the first year of EpiSTEMe is underway, Lee hopes it will provide students with the help they need and the inspiration to discover their interests in science. 

     “It's my hope that EpiSTEMe will create a community with passionate scholars who delve deeper into the world to learn more about it,” Lee said.

     For scholars looking for a club in the science department, Lee says that they will find an open community that motivates and excites them to learn and strengthen their knowledge in STEM. 

     “This is a place where their diverse interests are going to be fully supported and encouraged and it's a place where they can serve their community by learning and teaching their fellow students,” Lee said. “EpiSTEMe is a club meant to foster their diverse interests and to unite a diverse community of students through the universal language of science.”

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