Passionate Science Seniors Start Their Own Club To Forward STEM Education


Jennifer Rosen

Seniors Emma Alexander, Chris Morale, and Julianna Rose have created a club dedicated to STEM education.

Jennifer Rosen, Associate Editor/Features Editor

On Tuesday, September 21st, WHS seniors Emma Alexander, Christopher Morale, and Julianna Rose held the first meeting of their new club Wantagh Foundation for Furthering the Sciences (WFFS). Morale said, “WFFS is a club based on science-based service. We want to serve as an outlet for high school students to serve the community through educational opportunities such as labs and activities.”

From Living Environment, to Modern Food, to AP Physics, these students have long been fascinated by the structures and behaviors that make up the physical world. Alexander said, “What really drew me into the sciences was learning about infectious diseases in Living Environment. It was the first time I can remember in any class where I wanted to read ahead in the textbook – and I fell in love with it immediately.” 

For Rose, it was the lessons she learned in Mr. Mulè’s Modern Food lab that allowed her to appreciate the world’s natural intricacies. She said, “Taking Mr. Mulè’s Advanced Sustainable Agriculture elective last year allowed me to discover how much I enjoy this type of science….In this class, with all of the hands-on experience, I truly understood the value of scientific procedures and the application of experimentation to everyday processes.”

It was moments like these that inspired these three students to start their club. Morale said, “[We] were really impacted by our experience with Mr. Mulè. We were particularly struck by his commitment to his students and to the lab- a commitment so strong that he frequently goes into his own pocket to both upgrade the facilities and make sure its basic needs are met. The three of us were discussing this while walking back from his Modern Food II class, and Julianna suggested that we start our own group that focuses on science education and immersion for kids throughout the district.”

Last year, with COVID-19 causing numerous school restrictions, it was difficult for students to receive the full Wantagh science experience. In an attempt to lower infection rates, labs across the science department were limited to individual projects or virtual demonstrations, resulting in difficult science concepts being harder to understand and appreciate. Alexander said, “Opportunities to conduct research or experiments outside of the school building were completely cancelled. For example, last year in AP Physics, we were supposed to go to an amusement park to measure the velocity, acceleration, etc. of the different rides, but this was cancelled due to the pandemic.”

With Wantagh returning back to in-person learning, it is Alexander, Morale, and Rose’s hope that their club can fill this gap and provide more opportunities for young, inquisitive students. Rose said, “We felt Wantagh High School was missing a sense of connection to the younger students in the district as well as the appropriate funding for science-based endeavors around the school. We want to ensure that from a young age, students are learning about scientific principles, experimenting, and enjoying learning.”

WFFS’s founding marks the third science-based extracurricular at Wantagh High School with Science Olympiads and Science Honor Society having helped students engage with science first-hand — all clubs Alexander, Morale, and Rose are active participants in. Alexander said, “With Science Olympiads, I have participated in events in everything from ornithology to genetics to geology. Our club, while still invested in the sciences, is more focused on education and awareness rather than being competition-based.”  

At Tuesday’s meeting, members across academic science levels were enthusiastic about contributing to this club.  Rose said, “We are in the process of planning a Wantagh Science Night where high school volunteers run different workshops and experiments within the high school. For example, in our chemistry rooms, students can learn about pH and chemical reactions while in the biology rooms, students can view cheek and plant cells under microscopes to learn more about the parts of a cell.” Through these kinds of activities, it is Morale’s hope that, “WFFS will be an outlet that disseminates both a love of science and an opportunity for kids to have access to it.”

To any students interested in getting involved, be sure to follow @wffs2122 on Instagram and attend the next meeting in Ms. Gordon’s room on Tuesday, October 5th!