My name is Nicole Plotnik, and I am currently a junior at Mass Academy! Math and science are my favorite subjects and so far, being a part of the MAMS community has been great! I am from Shrewsbury, but my family is from Ukraine and Armenia. I have an older sister named Allison who is studying psychology at San Diego State University. I also have my best friend Libby who I am always with in my free time. Apart from friends and family, I like to read, swim, and do arts and crafts. My favorite types of books are fantasy and mystery books because they always spark my imagination. One of my favorite authors is Karen M. McManus.
Swimming is something I enjoy and am passionate about. I swam on the Stingrays Swim Team at the Greendale YMCA in Worcester for four years. My favorite stroke is backstroke! In addition to swim team, I also work at the Greendale YMCA as a lifeguard and swim instructor. I think swimming is an essential skill to have and teaching it is so much fun! Click here to visit the Greendale YMCA website and learn more!
I love making arts and crafts! Some of the things I like to do is draw, paint, crochet, sew, make origami, and do just about anything else that is a creative outlet. I was able to take a creative sketchbook class freshman year which introduced me to lots of different mediums in art. Mixing mediums is one of my favorite things to do because I think it creates really cool art pieces. I also love making different things with string and yarn such as bracelets for my friends or little crocheted stuffed animals!
Traveling to different places is one of my favorite things to do. Some of the places I have been are Jamaica, Niagara Falls, Montréal, Bermuda, and the Bahamas. Getting to see new places and different ways of life is always really cool. Over the summer, my family and I visited England where we got to see London and Oxford. Both were very beautiful, and Oxford reminded me of Harry Potter!
During STEM week, we had the opportunity to create and give a class lesson related to STEM for different grades at Tatnuck Magnet School! My group introduced the idea of coding to many third grade classes. We did this by having the students build towers out of plastic cups. Using a whiteboard or piece of paper, we had a few students draw different arrows as instructions on how to build a tower. Then, we had the rest of their classmates try and build the tower using only the previously drawn arrows to see if they were able to make the right tower. Students had a lot of fun creating the instructions as well as building the towers, and learned the overall idea behind coding and communication in coding.
As civics projects become more popular in many social science classes, Mass Academy held a teacher and student conference to help teachers create and plan a curriculum around having students conduct a civics project. This conference was hosted at Mass Academy, so many Mass Academy students got to lead discussions between students and teachers to get new ideas flowing as well as get input from students on what topics they would be interested in pursuing if they were to conduct a civics project. I thought it was really interesting to be able to see everyone’s ideas including both students and teachers and being able to give feedback and reflect on other people’s thoughts.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to help a friend of mine prepare and serve a thanksgiving meal at her local church. The church invited international WPI students to come and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal if they did not get the opportunity to go home for the holiday. I had a really fun time helping prepare the food as well as meeting many new people from around the world and getting to show them an important part of our culture in America.