Molly Paul is a tenth grader at St. Mary’s School in Raleigh, N.C.  She has blended a passion for STEM education with an entrepreneurial spirit.  After adopting two red-eared sliders, Molly discovered that few organizations exist which help with adoption of pet turtles. From that discovery, Raleigh Aquatic Turtle Adoption (RATA) was created.  RATA helps individuals re-home their freshwater, pet turtles. Molly has created a line of soaps, Molly’s Turtle Soap, to support native NC turtles, their habitat, and conservation education. To engage more young people in STEM, Molly designed a summer camp, STEM to LEAF (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to Leaders Engaged in Affecting the Future).  This camp develops future leaders in STEM through exploring various aspects of leadership from public speaking to collaboration as well as visits with leaders in the local science community and activities like bridge building. 

Raleigh Student Molly Paul Receives Student Leadership Award for Advancing STEM Education

28 April 2014

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC  – The North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (SMT) Center CEO and President Dr. Samuel Houston announced Saturday that Raleigh, N.C. resident Molly Paul is the 2014 winner of the SMT Center’s Student Leadership Award. This award recognizes a N.C. student who excels at improving STEM education in North Carolina.

Molly Paul is a tenth grader at St. Mary’s School in Raleigh, N.C.  She has blended a passion for STEM education with an entrepreneurial spirit.  She is a member of her school’s Science Olympiad and Environmental Club and is a junior curator at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.  She volunteers at the North Carolina State University School of Veterinary Medicine where she catalogues patient data for the Turtle Rescue Team.

Among her accomplishments she has:

  • established the Raleigh Aquatic Turtle Adoption (RATA), in 2006 as a re-homing service for unwanted pet turtles, many of which are invasive species – meaning they should not be abandoned in native waterways like lakes and streams. Molly works with families and schools from around the United States through her RATA website (www.raleighaquaticturtleadoption.com) and is a referral source for the NCSU Veterinary School Turtle Team.
  • created a line of soap and bath products under the heading “Molly’s Turtle Soap” in 2011.  Sales have raised over $9,700 for NC conservation efforts and all proceeds are donated.
  • created the STEM Leadership Camp, a summer camp for middle school students who envision themselves as STEM leaders. She designed the camp while in seventh grade and worked for years to bring it to fruition. STEM Leadership camp is a five-day summer camp designed to have each day focused on one subject in the STEM acronym, plus a day devoted to leadership training.

“Molly’s multifaceted, ongoing efforts for the past seven years demonstrate her unwavering enthusiasm and commitment to STEM subjects, STEM education, and creating new and innovative ways to connect these subjects to students and her community,” said Lynn Cross, coordinator of youth program at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

The SMT Celebration was established in 2007 to recognize and acknowledge leaders and innovators in STEM education across North Carolina.

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 Media Contact:  Russ Campbell 919-667-8866 or news@bwfund.org