Hi! I’m Kat, from Lowell, MA. I’m an incoming first-year at MIT, tentatively majoring in Media Studies and minoring in Computer Science. This summer, I’m interning at Repl.it. Above all else, I value integrity and empathy. When I’m not working on projects, I’m probably scrolling through memes or exercising—maybe both.
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I wanted to explore science writing, but found no resources for high schoolers to do so. I discovered a treasure trove of careers connecting STEM and the public… but no path to get there—it seemed that every science communicator had accidentally stumbled upon their profession. Why is that? These opportunities aren’t mentioned in school.
To solve both problems, I founded Science and Us, an organization helping students discover science media, policy, and communication. We’ve hosted events in greater Boston, and we’re writing Stories of Science and Us, a book of stories—not lectures, not motivational speeches—from diverse people connecting STEM and the public.
We don’t directly encourage students to learn or pursue STEM. We believe that understanding STEM is essential to making informed decisions, since it impacts all of us, but celebrate the reality that not everyone needs (or wants) to be a scientist!
Last updated July 24, 2019
* The concept of a “now page” is from Derek Sivers
this is legimitately like, a frequently asked question
MAHacks: I organized MAHacks III and IV, a high school hackathon in Boston. Among other tasks, I coordinated experiences—office tours, job shadows, chats with entrepreneurs and engineers—that keep attendees excited about making things even after the event.
Science and Us: I founded my nonprofit, Science and Us, and organized 2 events with support from Harvard, MIT, and indiviudal donors, and invited guests such as researchers, journalists, diplomats, and artists. This was and is my main and continuously evolving passion project. I’ve connected our work to the broader science communication industry by attending ComSciCon and the Science Media Summit, and speaking at Science Talk—all as the first high schooler to do so.
NCWIT: I was among the 0.9% of applicants to earn the NCWIT National Aspirations in Computing Award in 2019. (Definitely apply if you’re a high school woman who’s done anything related to tech, or wants to do so!)
FRC: I served as co-captain of FIRST Robotics Competition Team 5962 perSEVERE, a regional team based in Lowell, MA. We’ve earned the Chairman’s Award in New England for our STEM outreach in our communities.
Hackathons: I participated in 10 hackathons—weekend-long events for making tech projects with the help of new friends, mentors, and free food. They ranged from 30 to 1000+ attendees, high school and collegiate, and included some traveling for PennApps and Los Altos Hacks!
Research: In summer 2017, I interned at Harvard, studying electron behavior in semiconductor structures and experimenting to improve the fabrication process of nanoscale lasers. In summer 2018, I interned at UMass Lowell through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, determing how DNA methylation affects duplicate gene evolution in stickleback fish.
Science Fairs: I presented my bioinformatics and biotechnology projects at the National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (JSHS), Southern New England JSHS (2nd Place 2018), Massachusetts Science & Engineering Fair (3rd Place 2017, Honorable Mention 2016), and regional fair (4th Place 2018).
More science: During my freshman year, I investigated the effects of burned PVC on bacterial transformation and published the findings in the Journal of Emerging Investigators. As a sophomore, I was mentored by a UMass Lowell graduate student to run molecular docking and dynamics simulations of potential antidotes for botulism. In summer 2017, I also participated in Biogen’s week-long Adventures in Biotechnology program.
I held somewhat informal leadership roles in Model United Nations and Chess Club by my junior year, and dabbled in show choir, dance, and cross country. Though I enjoy all these activities, the way they were run at my school either made it not feasible or not ideal to continue pursuing them in this venue. (Most of my extracurricular activities were outside of school.)
Of course, it wasn’t all accomplishments—something that’s easy to forget or hide. For an ongoing list of my setbacks and how I’m learning from them, check out my failure resume.