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This week, we focused on drafting a STEM lesson plan idea for the girls attending the Girls Inc. of Orange County summer camp to take as electives. Since the STEM topics for this year’s summer camp are cybersecurity and website building, I wanted to have a complementary yet still different, unique topic. I love biology and genetics so I looked for current, up and coming science topics at the intersection of biology and coding.  I found articles and videos detailing the new technique of “programming” living cells like a computer. A living cell’s DNA can be changed in order to execute a given task needed, like producing insulin or detecting disease in the gut. 

As someone who did a project at the beginning of high school on the genetic editing tool CRISPR when it was first being used for scientific applications, this incited the same feeling of excitement and curiosity. That project was a key part of why I am so interested in pursuing biology today.  That same feeling of inspiration is what I look forward to sharing with the girls participating in Girls. Inc’s summer camp this year. I’m excited for the opportunity to, through all the lessons and content, ignite a similar interest in STEM that could lead to a lifelong passion. 

In our reflection session this week, we learned more about how Girls. Inc’s work provides support to young girls, both with academics and personal development. The summer camp was in the process of recruitment this week so I’m excited for training next week to get started helping to support the great work Girls. Inc has been doing and easing the transition a bit into the virtual setting.