Learning, learning, and more learning...
✋Hi everyone! Nice to meet you/see you again! My name is Rachel and I am a 15 y/o interested in quantum computing, renewable energy, future of food and all new tech. I love running and being outside, and I never say no to a challenge. My biggest goal in life is to help solve poverty.
November is coming to a close, and in a couple days we will be in full-on Christmas mode!🎉🥳️
Snow is coming, Christmas is in the air, and my skis are all waxed and ready to go.
But it’s not December yet, and I need to get you up to speed on what I did this month!
(If you are reading this and haven’t subscribed, I would be honored if you clicked that subscribe button and joined me on my journey!)
This month I have been busy learning, researching and talking with experts in the field of gene editing and CRISPR-Cas9.
I have been very excited about the applications of CRISPR in agriculture to help people in developing countries combat poverty! I am doing a ‘focus’ in gene editing.
A ‘focus’ is a process in TKS to gain knowledge and expertise in a certain field in a short period of time. For my focus I chose gene editing and CRISPR, specifically it’s applications in agriculture.
There are 4 steps to a focus:
Write a ‘learn article’ to dive deeper into the field.
Complete a project to replicate an experiment/product that has already been done.
Write a long article or paper going super in-depth about a specific area in that topic. This is where you really start to become an expert in the field.
Create an idea or ‘thing’ that can solve a problem using the tech/science that you have been focusing on.
Right now I am working on writing my learn article, which you will be able to read in my newsletter next month.
To give you a sneak peak into what I have been learning and working on this month, I will give you a brief rundown of what my learn article will be like.
My learn article is going to be a detailed article about how to edit the genome of the cassava plant to make it resistant to cassava mosaic disease.
The cassava plant grows mainly in East Africa and provides over 800 million people worldwide with their daily calories.
The problem is that the cassava plant is under attack by the whitefly, an aphid that transmits two deadly diseases to the cassava plant; cassava brown streak disease and cassava mosaic disease.
Thousands of acres of cassava are destroyed each year because of the whitefly, which leaves over 750 million people hungry.
My learn article is going to go in depth about how to engineer the cassava plant to be resistant to cassava mosaic disease.
This month my podcast co-host, Ciara Sejour, and I recorded two new episodes of the TechnoGypsie podcast. Make sure you check them out!
A HUGE thank you to Laura Boykin Okalebo and Jacinto Sá for being on the podcast.
And this month I also participated in my first hackathon!
I was on the Pink Panther team, with my awesome teammates: Noorish Rizvi, Katie Pohlig, Shrika Pathipati, Florence Xu, and Riya Palanki.
We were given 8 hours to create a product using any new science or tech that could solve a real world problem. Our group created PlantSense, a mobile app that tracks soil health by nanosensors in the soil.
We created a one minute pitch video which you can watch here, and then we were chosen to be one of the top 10 groups to pitch out idea in front of amazing judges.
I grew so much from the experience of creating an idea in a short amount of time, presenting in front of judges and hustling with a team to meet deadlines. Yes it was super-stressful-and-hard-and-frustrating at times, but overall it was an experience that I grew from.💪
Having fun outside
Before you ask, YES I went kayaking in November!
The picture above is of Thunder Bay’s iconic Sleeping Giant on beautiful Lake Superior (and that’s me in the pink kayak!)
I absolutely love being active outside, and this month I have been going on lots of nice walks and runs as I wait for skiing season.
Special thank you(s)
With Christmas coming soon, I want to take this opportunity to thank some incredible people in my life that I could never live without.
Thank you so much to my absolutely incredible, fantastic Mom and Dad. I love you both so much and am so thankful that you are in my life. You are my biggest inspiration, and always encourage and help me in everything I do.
Thank you to my wonderful, incredible, best friend, podcast co-host, and biggest supporter, Ciara Sejour. Thank you for always being there for me and helping me when things get tough. You are the BEST!
Publish my learn article.
Publish the TechnoGypsie podcast website.
Record and publish 2 new episodes of the TechnoGypsie Podcast.
Start the second step in my focus, the apply stage. I am using a CRISPR kit to replicate a few simple experiments.
Spend time with my amazing family and have a fun Christmas!
Thank you so much for reading my November newsletter! I’m so glad that you’re on this journey with me. While waiting for my December newsletter, connect with me on:
LinkedIn, Medium, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy December! And MERRY CHRISTMAS! Sending you blessings this Christmas season.🎄🎉
I LOVE THIS (as always)