High School principal Iswari Natarajan was recently interviewed by Hill.TV as part of their series, “Powered by STEM”. The series focuses on players in the world of science, technology, and education and their ideas about how to get more women interested and integrated into STEM fields.
Iswari noted that the gift of education created her own love for STEM. In turn, she focuses her teaching efforts beyond the subject content stating that it is not about the actual test scores but about having fun and making connections. She makes sure students know that it is okay when things are challenging stating, “it is okay to be perfectly imperfect”. Iswari stresses the importance of giving students permission to fail and teaching them that when they encounter discomfort that is where the learning happens!
In this interview, Iswari explains that there is so much pressure on students to perform at a high level but SMA pivots to teach them grit and tenacity which is so much more valuable than aptitude and talent.
The new High School internship program for 11th-grade students, launched in spring, 2019, allows SMA students to expand their learning outside the classroom. It expands their view of STEM and other fields and sparks interest in future careers. One SMA graduate who recently graduated from college and is now working in a STEM field stated, “I am ready to change the world in a hard hat and heels!” This is a shining example of the St. Mary’s Academy’s vision of “Inspiring leaders to act with integrity, seek justice, build community, and change the world”.
To view the full interview, click HERE.
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