Kyra, TechGirls 2021, USA
As my high school has a special focus in biotechnology, I have had the opportunity to get a lot of hands-on experience in the lab doing gel electrophoresis, spectrophotometry, bacterial staining etc. I am the president of my school’s Bioscience Club. With my team members and teacher sponsor I organize and conduct fundraisers, events, and labs to bring together other students who share my passion. I also spend time tutoring students in Math, helping out at the local Science Center as well as at charities. I am hoping to pursue a career in the field of biotechnology that will help me make a positive difference in people’s lives. To unwind, I play the piano, swim, and read!
I consider myself very fortunate to be selected as one of the US Ambassadors of the 2021 TechGirls program. My TechGirls experience this past summer was so enriching on so many levels. It was great meeting other like minded, driven, and STEM focused girls from around the world. I have made so many great friends! Besides classes, we were involved in group projects, where all of us, despite our cultural and time-zone differences, bonded very well and worked together. I especially enjoyed the Virtual Homestay, where I got to connect with other TechGirls and learn more about different cultures and food from around the world. It was truly a unique and awesome experience, the memories of which I will always cherish. I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting with the NASA women who spoke to us about their career paths as well as their fascinating jobs. Personally, one of the highlights of my TechGirls experience was the Virginia Tech course, “Experience in Molecular Modeling and Informatics (EMMI)”. We learned so much in a short time. For me, it culminated in a paper that two of my fellow TechGirls and I wrote, which was published by Virginia Tech! It can be found at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/106597.
Inspired by TechGirls, I created a new program, Sci-Coders, to teach and do projects in math, science and computer programming aimed at hospital bound pediatric patients. When I was nine, I was diagnosed with Aplastic anemia and spent several months in the hospital. I was out of school for a whole year. Visits from child-life volunteers at the hospital not only helped distract me from my health challenges, but also taught me new things. While projects in art and craft were wonderful, what I really missed was the normality of being in school. My program will try to fill that gap. I hope to tailor the offerings based on the age, background, and interests of patients. All of this will happen through zoom calls. I am in communication with the Child Life Department at the local hospital in Orlando to schedule and coordinate the zoom sessions. I cannot wait to get the program started soon!