Club Plans Guest Speaker Series to Add Relevance to Learning


Amanda Young, Editor-in-Chief

Academy X, a club that encourages students to use applications of math and science to develop solutions to real-world problems, will be hosting a monthly lecture series titled “Perspectives to Change Our World,” in which guest speakers will discuss the futures of their professions.

According to club president senior Armaan Jorhal, the club’s goal is to “bring relevance to learning.”

“In school, we often learn formulas and science and the structure, but I always asked myself why we learn those things. I created the club to bring relevance to those things and address those things,” Jorhal said. 

While in years past the club has done hands-on projects, including an autonomous grow box that used hydroponics to grow plants, they are transitioning “more toward the relevance portion” in inviting speakers to campus. “The whole point of this is to give students inspiration to pursue different things,” said Jorhal. 

Club member senior Max Campos said that the lecture series will help students be better prepared for the future.

I’m just excited to hear what advice business leaders and the people who are coming have to give us,” said Campos. “I think that students will gain a perspective on what the business world does and how they conduct themselves in their lives.”

The lecture series, which will have a format similar to that of Ted Talks, will be filmed and broadcasted to all of the high schools in the Acalanes Union High School District, according to club advisor Rene Gillibert.

“I hope that students who are interested in the topics that are going to be presented show up and learn some things that maybe guide them in their own decisions in the future,” Gillibert said. 

According to Jorhal, notable planned speakers include the CEO of Skin IQ, a company that uses artificial intelligence to help teenagers with acne, a product manager for the Google Home device, and an oncologist who is doing research and treating cancer patients.

“It’s all of these people who are really at the forefront of their professions, so it’ll be really interesting for them to come and talk,” Jorhal said.

Securing speakers has been challenging. Jorhal said he emailed 40-50 speakers from a variety of fields, ranging from medicine to literature, only to hear back from 5 or 6 thus far. “It was hard,” he said, but “that’s just the nature of it.” 

The 1st event, which is open to all students, will feature a lecture by Skin IQ Ceo Lidia Nistor-Reteneller during Academy on October 4.