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Spotlight On: Sabrina Shih

Sabrina Shih is a 16-year old junior at Rhinebeck High School who was the driving force behind the creation of the new Science Club.

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What classes are you taking this semester?
Junior year is very hectic! I’m taking AP Bio, Statistics, AP U.S. History, Pre-calculus, Honors English, AP Spanish, and Psychology.  

How long have you been interested in science and what got you interested?
I’ve always been interested in science since I was a little kid, but it wasn’t until I got into 6th grade that I really found a passion for it. In 6th grade, we had Mrs. Breger as our science teacher. At first I didn’t like her because she was really strict, but I grew to love her as she pushed us to the limits and encouraged us to discover more. I feel like I just took her class yesterday because I still remember everything we learned in that classroom. It was upsetting to hear about her retirement because she really was inspirational, and she will be missed. 

What are your personal goals and plans for school and beyond?
I definitely want to go into the field of science in the future. I’m not sure exactly what career path I want to follow, but I do know that I want to make an impact in the world either through an invention or a discovery.

What motivated you to form a science club?
I’ve always had a passion for science and I didn’t want to confine it within the walls of the classroom. I wanted to create a place outside of class where students can learn and explore the world of science without the pressure of exams or being afraid of making mistakes. Without the stress, I hope more students will be encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and learn something new.

What kinds of things do you hope the Science Club can achieve? Where do you hope it is in, say, 5 years? 
This year, I hope each student can find a topic that they have the most interest in and present their ideas and research at science fairs. I want to start local by doing experiments in the classroom and local science fairs, then work our way up to bigger presentations and competitions such as the Science Olympiad, which involves many students from a variety of schools. It is a great competition to be able to participate in and I believe we can learn a lot from it. It will take a lot of hard work and resources to get to that level, but I know it is definitely a possibility for the near future.

Does social media play any role in your interest in science? If so, what platforms do you use, and how do you use them? 
I frequently get distracted from my homework and end up on Facebook or YouTube. However, every time I scroll, I always find an interesting link or video that catches my eye. Oftentimes I learn something new about various topics, especially science. MinutePhysics is probably my favorite science YouTuber. 

Is there anything particular that inspires you?
I think my curiosity is my biggest inspiration and perhaps my biggest flaw. I was always the kid who asked “Why is the sky blue?” and would not stop asking questions until I knew every little detail about the subject. Nonetheless, my parents are always supportive of not only my interest in science, but everything else I do (except for when I forget to do my chores).

Do you have any interests, activities or hobbies that are related to science? That are unrelated?
Besides Science Club, I am also in the Environmental Club. In addition, I also do sports, which I guess are kind of related to science if you count the physics involved. My sports include volleyball and rowing. I also like to do all different kinds of art, such as clay, painting, and drawing. I like to share my hobbies with Chancellor Livingston School by teaching after-school electives. I have taught various classes from clay animals to volleyball, and I always enjoy working with the little kids, especially because of their huge imaginations and curiosity.