Scientific study exceeds expectations


Ruby Stillman

The day I went around school sticking a thermometer in the air, a lot of people gave me some skeptical looks, even after I explained it was for a scientific study.

Running around with a thermometer might not seem significant, but it was beyond meaningful to me. Dr. Michael Sheterensis, my biology teacher when I was studying in Israel, was a very peculiar guy. An immigrant and research scientist from Russia, he was animated and heavily accented. When he asked me to participate in an international study regarding thermal comfort, I didn’t know what to expect. A few months after my return home, he emailed me following up with specific instructions.

I was excited to be a woman involved in STEM. I was aware of the many boundaries young women face in STEM fields, and I couldn’t wait to break them.

My role was to collect data about thermal comfort by having my peers fill out surveys with questions about their sleep history, comfort level in regards to temperature inside a room, and more.

I borrowed a thermometer from the science department and recorded the temperature while they answered the questions.

I am appreciative of my peers who completed the survey and my teachers who were supportive of my endeavor by giving me some class time to have the class fill out the surveys.

I hope I can lead by example and encourage other girls to take advantage of opportunities to explore science and investigate questions.

I took a risk by doing something I had never done before, and went outside my comfort zone to explain the survey in front

of my classes.

Other research is being collected from Los Angeles, Australia, Israel, Ukraine and now Park. I really enjoy be- ing a part of something with people from all around the world.

Although I don’t know what will become of the findings, I am excited to see what ways I will take my newfound scientific confidence.