HILLSBOROUGH: Triangle Elementary School pupil to participate in national youth leadership forum

Isabella Ruh

A local third-grader with a penchant for science and math was recently selected to join other like-minded pupils from across the country in an annual leadership forum this summer in Trenton.

Isabella Ruh, a Triangle Elementary School student and Hillsborough resident, will participate in this year’s National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Pathways to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program after she began exhibiting an interest in the sciences at her young age.

While participating in the program, Ruh and her contemporaries will learn by getting “six days of hands-on simulations and workshops, while making new friends and having unforgettable adventures,” officials said.

Ruh was nominated to participate in the program by her third grade teacher at the elementary school. She also participates in the district’s REACH initiative, which serves as Hillsborough’s gifted and talented program.

In addition to her academic interests, officials said Ruh also enjoys sports and plays baseball, field hockey, basketball, and flag football on local Hillsborough teams and is working towards her black belt in taekwondo.

According to the NYLF website, the Pathways to STEM initiative was created to serve as a “unique learning experience for bright, forward-thinking elementary school students who will evolve into next generation innovators, engineers, doctors, software developers, and scientists.”

Over the last few decades, STEM-based careers have become some of the most highly sought after throughout the world. According to the National Science Foundation, the science and engineering workforce has “shown sustained growth” for more than 50 years, with the number of workers in those occupations going from 1.1 million in 1960 to 5.8 million in 2011.

Since many careers today require some foundations in STEM, Andrew Potter, the chief academic officer of Envision, the company behind the NYLF Pathways series, said the annual program was a boon to high-performing students.

“NYLF Pathways to STEM is a great opportunity for high-achieving scholars to get outside the classroom and see, through hands-on interactive learning, how to innovate and think creatively,” Potter said. “These students, who have already proven themselves academically, are challenged to work on real-world, student-created projects to bring their studies and career interests to life.”