Hello, my name is Abigail Pronovost and I’m attending Springfield Technical Community College this year. It is my first semester here, and it was so much fun. Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in the STCC’s Celebration of Student Work event on November 28th. The event was truly remarkable, drawing in a large crowd of students. The guest speakers taught us about the significance of renewable energy. This was my first big college presentation and it was an exhilarating experience. My team and I started researching this topic at the beginning of the fall semester. It brought me immense joy to see my grandparents participate, appreciate my hard work, and be proud of me.

Abigail Pronovost with her poster at the Celebration of Student Work event.

There were 4 panelists, Dr. Timothy Randhir, Dr. David King, Amanda Klehr, and Dr. David Bloniarz from UMass. David King explained that solar panels can provide habitat for many nesting bird populations. The spaces underneath solar panels may offer sheltered areas for birds, and the overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from solar energy can contribute to habitat preservation. Amanda Klehr discussed the advantages of offshore wind turbines, highlighting their capacity to generate more energy. David Bloniarz advocated for increased tree planting, emphasizing their contribution to air quality. Timothy Randhir delved deeper into energy issues and the need for renewable energy transition and efficiency to mitigate climate change. The event provided valuable insights into renewable energy, and I found the discussions highly informative. I now have a new perspective about environmental issues and I look forward to attending again next year.

After the panel discussion, it was time for the exhibition and presentation of students’ work. STCC students proudly displayed their hard work and creativity. The anticipation and excitement was intense. There were a lot of high schoolers that came and I was happy to see them taking notes so that they could look back and remember the importance of what the panelists discussed. My research poster title was ‘Investigating how the Gut Microbiome Affects the Brain’. I chose this topic since we studied this in my human anatomy and physiology class and I was always interested in probiotics. The gut-brain axis is a two-way communication system between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system which is important for digestion and even mental health! My research indicated that maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is crucial for our brain and overall health. Careful dietary choices, proactive self-care, and judicious use of antibiotics are essential for physical and mental health.

To conclude, this event was a big hit! My family members loved it and appreciated STCC students’ work. It was a memorable experience with the dancing, food, projects, etc all made it worthwhile to attend. I thank the speakers, STCC, and all the students who made this event amazing. I feel more confident in my abilities now and this project helped me make several friends. I can’t wait to see what the next speaker event will be about, since I know that it will be very intriguing and informative.