Brighton High School
Rochester, New York
Laura Arnold’s interest in math and science blossomed at an early age. As a child gazing at the stars above Lake Ontario, she fell in love with astronomy. When Laura told her 7th grade social studies teacher that she wanted to be an astronaut, he helped her research how she could become one. She credits her high school physics teacher with inspiring her “to learn and love to be nerdy.”
As an undergraduate, Laura grew to see life “as a research opportunity.” When she took an education class, she looked at the reasons physics majors choose their subject. The results showed that the greatest factor was a student’s high school physics teacher. “This affirmed for me the difference a teacher can make in a student’s life.”
Laura has volunteered as a Science Olympiad coach, has interned at an observatory in Germany working on Gamma Ray Burst data, and has had her astrophysics research published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. Passionate about public radio, Laura was actively involved with the University of Rochester’s radio station as DJ and music and programming director. She took great pride in “being responsible for every wavelength of information.” Laura earned a BS in physics and astronomy from the University of Rochester.
Laura is excited about the challenge of preparing students for an uncertain future. “High school students yearn to be taken seriously and given independence and responsibility.” She plans to teach in Rochester so that she can contribute “to a brain gain and help educate and empower students in my hometown.”