Science Students Take Politics


Rachel Klein ‘17 looks forward to working at the polls on Election Day.


This year has fostered one of the most heated and controversial elections in history. Even in school, it is nearly impossible to walk through the hallways without seeing a campaign sticker on someone’s locker or hearing the phrase “I’m With Her,” or “Make America Great Again.”

As Election Day approaches, Bronx Science students become involved in politics beyond casual endorsements of candidates. Though only a few students will be able to vote on November 8th, 2016, many students have found alternative ways to promote candidates and encourage people to vote.

Students such as Sanjeeda Mowla ‘17 and Izzy Karten ‘18 have supported candidates by working for their campaigns.

Sanjeeda Mowla ‘17 volunteered for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last spring. Mowla assisted the campaign with phone banking, or calling people to rally support for Clinton. Mowla also canvassed, which involved setting up stands to explain the campaign to passerbys.

“I learned a lot about the election process, and how social media and actually reaching out to the voters helps to get the word out,” Mowla reflects.

Izzy Karten has worked for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign since its early stages. Karten was originally an unpaid intern, but now he is an employee of the campaign’s social media department. The job includes working on the campaign’s commercials, email blasts, and social media pages.

“I have learned about the political world in general, and what it means to be a conservative. I work in an office setting, so I have to be professional when sending emails and delegating work,” Karten said.

Another way for students to become politically involved is by volunteering at the polling stations on Election Day. Rachel Klein ‘17 is part of a pilot program for high school students that allows her to take part in the election by checking in voters and answering questions about the ballots. “There are so many people around the world who have no say in their governments. Americans are lucky to live in a country where we have the right to vote, and I want to help people take advantage of that right,” Klein said.

Bronx Science students have also immersed themselves in politics outside of the presidential election through internships and clubs. Avery Ostro ‘17 spent Winter break of 2015 in Washington D.C., volunteering for New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Ostro evaluated policy proposals that were presented to the Congresswoman, and analyzed each proposal’s pros and cons. The final project Ostro completed through his internship was the draft of a paper on stem cell research, which was read by Congresswoman Maloney and her team.

“After that internship, I realized how many components make up the political process. Taking part in it made me want to study Political Science and Economics in college,” Ostro said.

A group of Bronx Science students has even brought politics right onto campus by starting Bronx Science’s first Young Democrats club. The club’s Secretary Jonathan Liao ‘18, helped launch the group after Co-President Jason Qu ‘17 encouraged him to read political articles on BBC News. Despite being more of a “science kid,” Liao looks forward to conveying messages to and sharing events with the other members. “I just want to be friendly toward everyone so they feel welcomed,” Liao said.

Whether it was working for politicians, assisting voters at the polls, or promoting student awareness, Bronx Science students have gotten involved in political causes outside of the classroom and have become educated about the world around them.