On May 8, 2014, nine high school students from Ivymount School in Rockville, Maryland and three students from Friendship School in South East Washington, DC spent a morning at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) listening to presentations about the various efforts of AAAS to engage with human rights issues, congressional legislators, space and earth scientists, media specialists, and individuals like themselves.
The students asked many questions and were extremely attentive to every presentation. They appeared to learn many new things, enjoyed NASA videos, and gobbled up a pizza lunch before leaving with AAAS T-shirts, tote bags, pens, and books – Feathers, by Thor Hanson, Digital People, by Sidney Perkowitz, and Temple Grandin: How the Girl who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, by Sy Montgomery. These books were winners of the AAAS/Subaru Science, Books, & Films prize. We wanted the students, not only to understand the importance of science, but to hold in their minds that they could be the next individuals to contribute new ideas and inventions to the scientific enterprise.
These students have the potential to be tomorrow’s leaders, and, by the way, they were all students with disabilities.
Thanks to Adam Abroseda of the American Association for People with Disabilities and to Theresa Harris, Joanne Carney, Bob Hirshon, and Maria Sosa, for making Disability Mentoring Day a true success.