Science is a major reason Coral Gables High School senior Erica Alonso has earned more than 1,000 volunteer hours.
As a freshman, Alonso organized a mini-science competition at the North Dade Center for Modern Languages.
“I’ve always been passionate about science,” she said.
Alonso said more kids would love science if it was taught in a more interesting fashion.
“I wanted to present it as fun,” she said. “Look at all those cool games you can play with science. I wanted to present it as a game rather than assignment.”
She would leave school at 2:30 p.m. and go to the Center for Modern Languages.
“Instead of working in a workbook, they would work with me and their teacher,” she said.
Alonso gave third to fifth grade students a list of potential experiments. The children chose projects and presented them. The winners received a trophy and a goodie bag.
“Last year, as a junior, I started another project that was similar,” she said. “Students who wouldn’t typically consider a math or science field, I’d mentor them. If I saw the child had an interest in math. I would encourage them to further it. We would play math games or science games.”
She also has volunteered at Fairchild Tropical Gardens at the Wings of the Tropics exhibit.
“It was really fun and it was really exciting and I learned a lot,” she said.
At school, Alonso is president of the Thespian Troupe and president of the Drama Club. The students in the Thespian Troupe participate at district and state competitions. Drama students participate in the three annual showcases.
She is vice president of the Robotics Club and a member of the varsity badminton team, playing singles. Alonso is a member of an Indian dance team that performs at cultural events and pep rallies. The group also raises money for an orphanage in India.
Next year she plans to study environmental science at Brown University.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfield