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Wisdom from students



San Antonio Convening of STEM Learning Ecosystems taps ideas from those closest to learning

More than 30 students attended and spoke at the semi-annual convening of the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, offering advice and thoughts for STEM leaders throughout the world.

Alicia DeHoyos, a seventh grader from San Antonio:

  • “We now have flying cars and cell phones, but our education system has stayed the same for over 100 years.”
  • “Our education system needs to change. We need to do more than just memorize facts and prepare for tests and many schools do not have the resources or the curriculum to support the needs of students today.”

Emmet Decker, a ninth grader from Northeast San Antonio:

  • “Students are mostly expected to give administration an easier time.”
  • He emphasized the need for higher expectations and shares that when he is the CEO of a billion-dollar industry, he will give back to students, so they have the resources and support to create.
  • He said it is critical for educators and others to “inspire wonder” and advocate for a school-wide Project Based Learning approach in order to increase access to innovation, invention and entrepreneurship.

Shreya Chaudhary, a tenth grader from San Antonio:

  • “In order to best support student’s momentum in innovation and STEM leadership, one of the most important demonstration of student support is for adults and educators to listen to children.”



Leslie Goodman, an 11th grader from San Antonio:

  • “If you know anything about coders, you know we never ever give up.”
  • Teachers need to realize that students need to be able to pursue various channels for learning and be able to display their learning in different forms.

Rey Vela and Nathanael De León, seventh graders from Donna, TX:

  • Rey and Nathanael with support from their teacher, Daniel Gonzalez, designed and produced a robotic hand for Nathanael, who was born without his hand.
  • The students said that collaboration and empathy, when combined with support from teachers, can lead to life-changing advancements.


Conrad Fellows, Olivia Bangs, Roberto Martelli, Divyesh Khatri, 12th graders from Houston TX:

  • The inventors of VoxLion, a platform that uses AI to help students improve their presentation skills, advise educators to teach more than what is in curriculum. “Soft skills including teamwork, and collaboration, are things we will use every day in business, but they are not being taught in school.” They stress the importance of “supporting students by providing coaching while allowing them to maintain their independence, including their independent ideas.”
  • “Local companies can play an important role by providing internship opportunities while major, national organizations can provide access and exposure to their businesses and facilities, to really learn the inner workings.