Graduating high school senior inspires girls to enjoy science

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It’s not often you hear about 18-year-old students expressing a passion for physics, but that’s one subject Claire Laffan jumps at the opportunity to talk about.

“When I'm learning about science and math, I feel like I'm kind of tearing away the wallpaper at how the universe works and you can see how the gears move. It somehow makes me feel part of something like nothing else does,” Laffan said.

Along with serving as president of her school’s FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team for two years, she has also taught computer programming and web development at STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camps.

She will also teach girls this summer.

“It's my favorite part of my summer because I love especially teaching the last lesson about artificial intelligence and I try to incorporate as much humor as possible and the girls get so excited,” she said.

For the last three years, Laffan has been recognized by the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

She also received the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Actually while I was at Chapel Hill on one of my last days of the Morehead-Cain interviews, I got a call from Yale saying, ‘This is Yale admissions and you got a likely letter to Yale,’” Laffan said.

Laffan says it was a tough choice, but decided to attend Yale University this fall.

Laffan plans to major in physics.

Currently, her long-term goal is either to become a professor and conduct research or work at an international laboratory.