GMS Alumni Inspires Science Students

GMS Alumni Inspires Science Students
Posted on 12/28/2018
A Gifford Middle School Alumni spent two days of her vacation speaking with GMS eighth graders to get them excited about science!

Ashley Villars attended Glendale Elementary, Gifford Middle School, and Vero Beach High School. In her words, “Gifford was my first exposure to many sciences, and I think my love of science really bloomed as a result of Gifford's gifted science classes.”

gms studentsAs an eighth grader, she read a book by Neil Degrasse Tyson that got her interested in astrophysics. She also became involved with Mu Alpha Theta and Mighty Mu. Her coach, Mrs. Presti, encouraged her to continue with Mu Alpha Theta at VBHS. She remained an active Mu Alpha Theta participate throughout high school.
Ashley’s dual interests in science and math led her to M.I.T. where she graduated with a major in physics and a minor in math. Currently, she is an astrophysics PhD student at Harvard. Specifically, she studies the explosive deaths of stars called "supernovae". 

gms alumni speakerThe students enjoyed hearing about her journey from Gifford to Harvard but, they were most excited about her research on stars. She described a “typical” day as a scientist as well as not so typical days when she traveled to remote locations to stay up all night looking at the sky through a telescope. They were also impressed to learn that worldwide, there are not many scientists that research supernovae.

How fortunate the GMS family is that our alumni are willing to come back to GMS to encourage a new batch of potential scientists.