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Connor Sam, The Dalles Middle School, and Marileisi Castillo Palacios, Hood River Valley High School, at the United States Capitol.

Two Gorge students represented Oregon in Washington, D.C., earlier this month at the second annual Chief Science Officers International Summit.
Chief Science Officers are middle and high school students who are elected by their peers to become STEM ambassadors at school and in their communities. The CSO program aims to cultivate a pipeline of diverse STEM leaders, enrich school STEM culture and career awareness, and amplify student voice in STEM conversations in the community. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math, said a press release.
Marileisi Castillo Palacios of Hood River Valley High School and Connor Sam of The Dalles Middle School attended the summit, along with Christy Christopher, director of the Columbia Gorge STEM Hub.
Additional students in attendance included four CSOs from Eastern Oregon and others from Arizona, Maryland, Georgia, Michigan, Kuwait and Mexico.
While in D.C., the CSOs worked together to advocate for STEM education with representatives on Capitol Hill, learn about agencies involved in STEM work — such as NASA and the Defense Intelligence Agency — and discuss the future of STEM education with leaders at the National Science Foundation.
Castillo and Sam returned to the Gorge with a fortified passion for increasing STEM opportunities for all students, said a press release.
“My goal is to help encourage students to learn how to become the next STEM leaders,” said Sam.
To learn more about the Chief Science Officers program in the Gorge, visit www.gorgestem.org/cso.

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