A LOVE OF LEARNING

February 12, 2020

Sophomore Maria VanDieren says if she becomes a pediatrician, it will be because of her passion for science, a love of children and a strong desire to help people.

Notre Dame Prep sophomore Maria VanDieren said her love of nature led to a passion for science.


February 11 was the annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To help celebrate, we've asked a number of Notre Dame students a few questions about their affinity for STEM studies and the sciences, and why studying science is important for them and for other female students.

Maria VanDieren is a sophomore at Notre Dame Preparatory School where she is an honors student with a strong interest in math and science. Outside of school, she enjoys playing softball and is an active member of the Notre Dame marching, symphonic, and jazz bands as a flutist and pianist. She is looking forward to an exciting career in the sciences and possibly medicine. 


When did you first discover your passion for science?

VanDieren: I have always enjoyed nature and all my science classes since I can remember. I found it fascinating to see life teeming in pond water under a microscope and love projects such as creating an erupting volcano. In the eighth grade, I won my school science fair and earned a grand prize in the Metro Detroit Science & Engineering Fair. That was amazing and hooked me on science for good. 

Do you have a teacher or mentor in your field who has helped inspire you?

VanDieren: My eighth-grade teacher, Mrs. Mueller, was incredibly passionate and nurtured my love for science. She helped instill a love of learning in me, motivating me to delve deeper into the curriculum and always put forth my best effort.

What career aspirations do you have in a science field?

VanDieren: I hope to become a pediatrician because of my passion for science, my love of children, and my desire to help people.

What advice do you have for girls considering a career in the sciences?

VanDieren: I recommend taking a broad set of classes, including all the basics in science, to find out what they enjoy and find interesting. Many may be reluctant to take classes that sound difficult, but they will most likely surprise themselves and just may find a hidden passion.

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org

Follow Notre Dame on Twitter at @NDPMA.

About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three school are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.

Office of Marketing & Communications

Dan Lai
Director of Communications
Phone: 248-630-7721

Mike Kelly
Director of Marketing
Phone: 248-972-7346

Jim Sesi
Webmaster
Phone: 248-373-2171 ext. 7

Email: MAC@ndpma.org

Irish Magazine

Visual Identity Standards

Submit a story idea