Girl Genius Magazine | Issue Five

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Girl Genius Magazine

Cover art by Kristine Huynh Social art by Jenna Godsey


Learn about amazing women in STEAM, get college application advice, and watch all of our past workshops!






YouTube Girl Genius Magazine


What is Impostor Syndrome? How Can You Overcome It? 37 Q's with the Lead Developer at imagiLabs Paula Dozsa Womxn Engineers Panels (UPenn, MIT, Google, UCLA, Parachute Media, Arizona State) Art by Sofia Ruiz Designed by Kelsey Njembu

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Over the past several months marked by quarantine and isolation, it’s become harder for us all to feel a sense of community and togetherness. With these unpredictable times, we’ve all transitioned our lives from social settings to the boundaries of our homes in a blink. Despite having my fall sport canceled and facing the struggles of distance learning, I realized these challenges we endure are also what make us grow. Firstly, I’ve learned the importance of being flexible and taking breaks, even when I have a busy schedule. From facing burnout with classwork to adapting to manage extracurriculars online, learning to prioritize my mental health above all was a crucial step. I’ve also learned not to take anything for granted, whether that be running cross country outdoors, giving family members a hug, and the most unexpected— toilet paper. All jokes aside, enduring the first semester of my junior year virtually has been a tough learning experience, but also one that I am truly grateful for.

Under these circumstances, I’m incredibly proud of how far our team has gone to create a beautiful magazine jam-packed with inspirational and empowering content. Following our theme of innovation, I hope this issue inspires you to innovate and think outside the box, just as we've all been doing since the start of quarantine. We invite you to take a step out of isolation and join our amazing Girl Genius community in celebrating innovation, uniqueness, tackling problems in creative ways, and everything in between. Sincerely,

Chloe Yan Your Co-Executive Director

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Pretty boring right? I didn’t think so after my first CodeDay Bay Area event. Alongside 40 attendees, I anxiously made my way to the Intro to Web Development workshop room & saw the words, “Hack Club”, projected on the TV. After experiencing the hyper-competitive atmosphere of hackathons, the pit in my stomach served as a constant reminder of my limited coding knowledge in comparison to my peers. However, our Hack Club presenter, Max Wofford's, enthusiasm quickly erased this feeling, allowing me to uncover my interest in designing websites & find a growing community of 9000 hackers.

After joining online communities like Hack Club and BUILTBYGIRLS, I knew that innovation does not have to be a finished or physical product. Instead, innovation stems from giving individuals a platform to amplify their impact and learn from the lessons of past leaders. From adjusting to COVID to expanding our NPO, this issue has brought light the InnovatHERs within each contributor. As I get closer to the end of senior year, I know that the innovation behind every initiative at Girl Genius will flourish with every new team member, director, lead director, and most importantly, you!


Shivali Gulati Your Editor in Chief

Art by Kristine Huynh Designed by Chloe Yan





01 03 04



Rebecca Chang, Stuti Gupta, Trisha Chinnimeni REIMAGINING STEAM EDUCATION

Aditi Sharma, Maegan Noche, Maggie Sullivan RISING IN STEM


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Annabel Truong, Deanna Sharpe, Natasha Valluri





Tiffany Yang



Garima Sharma, Bidhi Kasu

Designed by Thanya Begum

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Gurnoor Bhatti, Rachel Korsunsky, Emma Suttell THE SUPER COOL XYLOPHONE SONG

Samyukta Iyer









Sona Popat, Daisy Bissonette, Sophie Tanker



Aryana Ramos-Vazquez, Hannah Delbarrio, Shanzay Awan


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Riley Cooke, Carolina Ibanez, Amber Campbell TECHNOLOGY OF COVID




Shagun Khare, Delilah Dermont


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Linda Duong, Raitah Jinnat, Brigid McCarthy DEAR ASIAN YOUTH

Aneeta Thokkadam, Angela Lee, Tracy Chen



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community engagement Michelle Ly


Genevieve Chin


Sarah Alonso Vega


Issue VI

Issue V



JOIN THE GIRL GENIUS TEAM! We are looking for

female changemakers

interested in spreading education and awareness of the STEAM fields to girls from all over the world through our platform.


Girl Genius

Girl Genius Magazine


is the


st online

magazine created by aspiring girls in


STEAM We provide a platform where people of color in STEAM are given a voice to empower the next generation


of female leaders worldwide








Creative Writing



Layout Design

Partnerships Social Media

Art by Tara Ayer

3 Designed by Kateri Arano









Art by Angela Cameron Designed by Kali Tam & Chloe Yan


Abby is a high school freshman from Los Angeles, California. She is an ambassador for Bit by Bit and Generation She. Abby was also a participant in Kode with Klossy’s web development camp last summer. Through the skills Abby learned at Kode with Klossy, she created HER STEM STORY is a website highlighting women who have made an impact on their area of STEM.

How have you used innovation to fuel your passions as a female in



Innovating is a way for me to express what I’m learning in action. I enjoy attending virtual workshops hosted by Girl Genius and other tech organizations that allow me to learn more about what I love: STEAM, particularly technology. Paying attention during these global digital experiences has given me the intention and trust in exploring different paths.


Sarah is a Spanish-Venezuelan high school senior living in Madrid, Spain. As the LinkedIn Lead, she manages the LinkedIn page, creates content, develops strategies for better traffic, and shares GG’s vision with the international public. She’s excited to release different projects from GG she has been working on, soon! She has also taken part in TEDx and Technovation projects, been a Generation She Ambassador, and most recently, been nominated for the Aspiring Teen Award from Women In Tech. How have you used innovation to fuel your passions as a female in



Innovation is crucial, but it is important to know how we can make good use of it to create, learn, and share ideas that will change the world. Not long ago, I named myself a ‘curiosity expert’ because of my love to learn, inspire, and encourage people to expand their knowledge beyond their chosen careers, not being afraid to go outside of the box. Innovation plays a big role in this as I need to constantly innovate in all areas to dig deep and find my passions for these subjects. It is important to not only innovate but know how and why you should innovate. Learn how to make it fun, how it affects us even in the simplest ways, how we can keep creating amazing inventions, and most importantly, how we can share these passions and ideas with the world to make them even greater. That is one of the main reasons why I love getting myself involved with projects that use innovation to fuel STEAM!


Chelsea is a high school junior from Appleton, Wisconsin. She is passionate about empowering people to pursue their STEAM passions, both inside of her school community and out. She is deeply interested in the field of bioinformatics, which combines her love of biology and computer science. She also enjoys engineering and design.

How have you used innovation to fuel your passions as a


female in STEAM

I have always loved teaching and creating. For the past few years, my school’s STEAM Girls club has held an event for our middle school students to introduce them to different areas in STEAM in hopes of higher female enrollment in STEAM classes. My favorite part of hosting this event is creating activities that engage attendees. Creating these games, and seeing their finished product, not only empowers the girls who play them at the event, but also deepens my passion for STEAM. 7

Fara is a high school junior passionate about computer science and bridging the gender gap in STEAM. As Partnerships Director, Fara organizes virtual events including workshops, panels, and AMAs, secures partnerships with speakers, and coordinates event logistics to connect and empower females globally. In her spare time, Fara strives to create accessible computer science education at her nonprofit, Code the Future. She also enjoys attending hackathons, building mobile apps, and cross country running.

How have you used innovation to fuel


your passions as a female in STEAM

Innovation helps me step outside my comfort zone to create solutions that better the lives of others. I co-founded Code the Future over the summer to host virtual summer camps and teach students Scratch programming and HTML/CSS web development. Recently, our nonprofit has shifted our focus to create printable worksheets for students without access to technology to learn fundamental programming. By actively seeking ways to improve computer science in disadvantaged communities, I view innovation as a powerful tool to drive positive change in STEAM and beyond. Instead of being afraid to explore outside of our comfort zones, let’s challenge ourselves to embrace new opportunities. 8


GEN of


Written by Rebecca Chang, Stuti Gupta, Trisha Chinnimeni Edited by Chloe Deng, Shaguffta Kaur, Kavya Venkatesan Art by Siri Dasari Designed by Cynthia Zhang


Seventy-four percent: the proportion of Generation Z (Gen-Z) who spend their free time online. Gen-Z and technology are undeniably connected. The technological revolution of the 21st century completely redefined the norms of society in practically every aspect possible. Having grown up with social media and access to information like never before, Gen-Z has unique ideas. Influenced by the digital age, today’s teens are fluent in the nuances of communication, and have developed many characteristics as a direct result of the technologically-centered world around them. They have access to vast amounts of information at their fingertips, and in turn, are generally resourceful, independent, and more open-minded than previous generations. As displayed by U.S. Census data, Gen-Z is not only the most educated generation but also the most diverse. Dubbed as the “Self-proclaimed Hardestworking, Anxiously Optimistic Workforce of the Future” by Bloomberg, Gen-Z is steadfastly driving change with unprecedented innovation all around.

redefining redefining

INNOVATION Virtual Reality (V.R.), robotics, drones, and self-driving cars – they all have one important thing in common: their future will be shaped by Gen-Z, a generation that has redefined innovation. Rather than innovating a new product, they focus on how they can reshape existing ideas based on their upbringing with technology and the rise of social activism and environmental consciousness.

Products that were once used for solely professional purposes are now being engineered for leisure or daily usage. V.R., for example, is widely used by GenZ as a way to immerse themselves into an experience before jumping into the experience itself. Because Gen-Z values connectedness and social activism–a value likely brought up by being a generation of technology–V.R. may be popularized in the future as a way to bring people together as well as further their views. During the pandemic, for instance, “MeetinVR” launched online VR meetings to make conversations more engaging. From listening to the inspirational Greta Thunberg to seeing Australia and the Western United States on fire, Gen-Z has grown up witnessing environmental issues manifest in their daily lives. A rising priority has become using technology to redesign existing products in eco-friendly ways - creating cheaper, more accessible biodegradable plastics, water filters, energy generators, and more. The rise in the accessibility of communication has also allowed Gen-Z to become more aware of social issues around the world, and many current innovative projects are aimed at improving the lives of those who lack the necessities to prosper in today’s worlds, in the same country or oceans away.


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The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aim to create a more sustainable future, highlighting seventeen issues to take action on. These range from gender equality to climate action, calling for involvement from every age group - including participation in Model UN for Gen-Z students - to make the world a better place. Many of these ideals are ones that Gen-Z has grown up entrenched in, whether at home, school, or on social media. Thunberg’s famous words,

blocks blocks of of INNOVATION INNOVATION

This generational increase in the use of technology has also led to an increase in the spread of resources. API keys, past research papers, and project implementations all lie within our grasp. An influx of STEM competitions such as hackathons allows us to use these resources to think of new ideas and execute them at a younger age, which may be the start of a project idea produced later in the future.


We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you! are just one example of a powerful GenZ call to action, taking advantage of communication technology to urge world leaders and fellow Gen-Zers around the world to act. Gen-Z is perfectly equipped to tackle a wide range of social problems and create innovative products, being more diverse, open-minded, educated, and having access to more advanced technology than any generation before. No matter your age, your innovations hold the potential to change the world.

Written by Aditi Sharma, Maegan Noche, Maggie Sullivan Edited by Sriya Mikki, Sophia Gabriel, Caleigh Fleites, Olivia Noreke

When we talk about innovation, we need revolutionary changes in school STEAM curricula. Currently, women make up less than ¼ of the STEAM workforce in the U.S., which is why revolutionizing education is critical to educating and inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians. We’re not only talking about women, but rather the industry as a whole because it determines the future for our youth. Every student has the right to an innovative curriculum, which is in our hands. Though many schools are already certified in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics), there has been a consistent lack of funding for the arts and STEAM enrichment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that STEAM fields are projected to grow a whopping 8% compared to the 3.4% projected in non-STEAM fields by 2029. Clearly, the intersection of arts and technology is a key way to embrace the diversity and importance of this field.

broaden the impact that interdisciplinary learning has on our future leaders. We have seen different examples of innovation over the years with tech-giants such as Google, Whatsapp, and Facebook. From small companies to media giants, innovation is the key to progress. This innovation starts with integrating our curriculum; by making STEAM more accessible for students of all races and genders, we can create an inclusive and diverse STEAM community. Preconceived notions and societal norms in the sciences, arts, engineering, and maths have found their place in our education system - this needs to be changed. Through the innovation we envision, these preconceptions will connect slowly. STEAM is a process we must shift to a much higher level of learning and understanding. Let's reimagine our STEAM curriculum through innovation.

This reinvention starts with students in schools, youth who hold the future of STEAM in their hands. In the STEAM industry, we see students using their critical thinking for math problems or experimentation. We aspire to expand STEAM beyond these skills. We should not solely focus on these five fields; instead, we should find underlying connections of literature and philosophy to 12

By utilizing the power of technology, students can take the STEAM concepts they have learned to visualize the concepts in action, which will in turn increase their understanding of science.

The Office of Educational Technology, in partnership with Digital Promise, reviewed research literature on how technology can enrich STEAM learning.

9 ways to support STEAM learning with technology

Dynamic Representations: Students learn STEAM concepts through interacting with simulations of mathematical, scientific, and engineering systems.

Engineering Design Processes: Students test problem solutions using engineering design processes and support technologies such as CAD software (computer aided design).

Collaborative Reasoning: When students work together to reason about STEAM ideas, they engage in negotiation and renegotiation around meaning. Technology can enhance collaboration by expanding the kinds of exchanges students can have.

Computational Thinking: Students use algorithms, data and simulations to investigate questions and develop new understandings of STEAM concepts

Immediate and Individualized Feedback: New digital technologies provide students with immediate and individualized feedback when learning STEAM concepts. Scientific Argumentation Skills: An emphasis on critical thinking to present and defend evidence for an idea about scientific phenomena should be placed. Students use technology to evaluate evidence about scientific claims such as “How does a record produce sound?’’



Project-based Interdisciplinary Learning: In challenge-based learning activities that integrate multiple STEAM fields, students implement digital technology tools to organize ideas, support task management and create a final product. Embedded Assessments: Digital assessments are integrated to prompt student reflection on the quality of their models or explanations. Evidence-based Models: Students develop models with digital softwares that they can keep iterating during their course of study.

This report by the Office of Educational Technology also links these nine methods to examples of them in action at different high schools. It provides a comprehensive guide for educators to use in order to innovate their STEAM curricula. The methods emphasize the multidisciplinary nature, iterative design thinking process, and industry importance of STEAM, all of which are integral to the innovation of STEAM curricula.

Designed by Michelle Yu Art by Sofia Ruiz

Innovative technologies will help transform stagnant STEAM curriculum to lessons and experiences that will help students develop their STEAM passion and skills. One way you can further innovation in STEAM is to support organizations like STEMWORKS which brings STEAM virtually to all learners.

Through opportunities like this and continued advocacy, more access to STEAM will lead to a more prepared workforce for tomorrow.


<html> <head> <title> Rising in STEM: A Code Narrative </title> </head> <body> <h1> Stepping into STEM </h1> <p> I was always a bookworm and I read anything I could get my hands on- The "Evolution of Calpurnia Tate", "Rosie Revere", "Engineer", and "Girls Think of Everything" are just a few examples out of the countless that I’ve enjoyed reading. These books were inspiring because unlike other books they focused on girls and how they made their mark in the world. Before, I had always thought of STEM as a masculine set of fields, but reading made me think differently and see things through a new perspective. </p>

<h1> Robotics Ready </h1> <p> Forward a few years later and I join my school's robotics team. At our first meeting, I was immediately struck with a feelings of discomfort: I realize I am only one of three girls in the club. While I did my best to be a part of discussions, I was constantly sidelined by the boys. I couldn't contribute to the design process because they thought I didn't know how robots worked. I couldn't help build the robot because I would supposedly hurt myself. And finally, I couldn't drive the robot because I wasn't taught how to use a controller. <!— (For the record, I was Nintendo Switch savvy so I can't believe they had the audacity to underestimate my controller abilities!) —> What was I supposed to do? Was I supposed to be the cheerleader and cheer on the team that had only ignored me?</p>


<h1> Lessons Learned </h1> <p> I recognize that this is exactly what I had read about in those stories when I was younger. While I did stay on the team, I essentially had to force myself to be a part of the team. This experience showed me how hard being a woman in STEM was, especially in a male-dominated field such as robotics. It was difficult, tiring, and required a lot of self-encouragement. But it was worth it. After that experience I went to countless STEM camps and workshops exploring web and app development, IOT, and even film making. I joined an all-girls FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, started my own STEM program, and created a network of unapologetic women in STEM! </p> </body> </html>

<!-- Written by Suhani Ramchandra --> <!-- Edited by Meghna Subramanium, Samyukta Iyer, and Kiara Sofia Vega Bellido --> <!-- Art by Caitlin Ramsical --> <!-- Designed by Abby Liang -->


exploring innovation

in stem education


exploring innovation


Written by Annabel Truong, Deanna Sharpe, Natasha Valluri Edited by Samantha Moy, Olivia Noreke, Amy B. Nguyen

For a generation that has unfiltered access to constantly updating content, it's challenging to follow a curriculum that has always been taught the same way. STEM education, designed to encourage innovation, needs to evolve to get students invested. The good news: this process has already begun. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, teachers’ mental models of teaching and learning right now emphasize transmitting accurate information rather than helping learners construct and connect ideas. There is no deep exploration of the concepts. This could be one of the reasons why middle school students who show interest in STEM often drop it in high school or college.

So, what are the different ways to get students interested in learning STEM?

Through gaming! Educational gaming (EG) enhances student learning- not just through improving content knowledge, but also increasing motivation and creativity. Gamebased learning also increases collaborative project-based learning and enhances logical reasoning. Students are naturally drawn to games and using this, they are learning through doing. Through online laboratories! Virtual online laboratories allow students to simulate scientific experiments- using real laboratory equipment through the Internet. Through long-distance cross-country collaboration! In 2011, students from Scofield collaborated with their counterparts in China on a water quality project with support from scientists and other experts. The group in the United States examined the quality of their local groundwater, while Chinese students explored the Huangshui River Basin. Not only did they understand the impact of urban development on water quality, but through teamwork and technology, they learnt more about each other's culture and the effects of climate change in different parts of the world. Designed by Kali Tam, Izumi Vazquez Art by Jenna Godsey



Therefore, the answer is exposure! Children are sponges, so simply making an effort to use creative approaches can spark their interest in the world of STEM. There is no shortage of methods to innovate STEM education. Even guided play, storytelling, and sandbox learning can help cultivate an interest in STEM. By creating a modern, funfilled, application-based teaching that caters to the needs and likes of the students, we can catalyze a new way of thinking.

how the writers got into stem Deanna: STEM became appealing to me through DIY videos, Dr. Cool's science kits (catalogs used to be sent in the mail for these kits, and my parents used to buy them!), and watching scientists and artists on television. Annabel: In fourth grade, my teacher showed a video by Bill Nye the Science Guy. Even though his catchy theme song grabbed my attention, his enthusiasm for science made me excited for science. I began watching videos and clips on YouTube every day! Natasha: It took me a while, but I became interested in STEM when my Physics teacher in my freshman year drew parallels between events in pop culture to various discoveries in science. Not only do I now love STEM education, but I can also rap the entire periodic table.

resources resources resourc RESOURCE LIST FOR ALL AGES

Nonfiction stories - Filled with colorful illustrations and infographics, students can learn about the amazing women in STEAM that have pioneered innovations we use in our lives! Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women: Catherine Thimmesh Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World: Rachel Ignotofsky DIY Home Projects - These books are filled with fun, easy, and creative projects for all ages to work on! STEAM Kids: 50+ Science / Technology / Engineering / Art / Math Hands-On Projects for Kids: Anne Carrey Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Jack Challoner YouTube Channels Babble Dabble has creative athome experiments for all ages! Her colorful and captivating videos on YouTube make it difficult to not want to try them all.

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Written by Tiffany Yang Designed by Chloe Yan Art by Loura Ortiz

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Dear Journal,

This is my first entry and I would like you to know a bit about myself. My name is Sally Ride, and I’m an ordinary woman in society. I believe in bypassing the expectations of women held by my community. I would be ashamed if I tried to fit into those stereotypes, knowing that I can achieve what is deemed impossible. I am studying Physics at Stanford & on my way to receive my doctorate. An important event has occurred that I think might have been life-changing. I saw an ad in my school newspaper inviting women to join the Astronaut Program at NASA. I read through the qualifications and just knew I was one of those people they are looking for! So, I applied and got in along with six other women! My adventure starts here and I hope you will join me on my journey.

Sally Dear Journal,


I have gone through rigorous training and I’m thankful for my athletic ability, without which, I don’t think I would have made it! It’s hard when you are a woman surrounded by a ton of men, but we try to keep our heads down and not draw any attention from others. From parachute jumping to water survival training - all of it has required immense strength of both, the body & the mind. But this has also been a valuable learning experience and it is all going to be worth it when I am finally on my way to explore Space. It feels very surreal! While this can change the perspective towards a STEM career for many women, unfortunately, society chooses to focus on other things. I have been asked multiple times how space would affect my ability to reproduce and what makeup I’d be taking with me. I always try to answer such questions respectfully, but it’s too bad that this is such a big deal and our society isn’t further along. I hope that I can help young girls realize that they can be explorers too. I am very excited to see the stars from a different perspective, far away from home in outer space!




Dear Journal,


All of this training has prepared me for this moment and my stomach is filled with butterflies - not of fear, but excitement! Will I change history? Maybe not, but I hope that young girls will see me on television and recognize that anything is possible, even if you are a female. I am now ready for a journey that once seemed impossible. We all got aboard and prepared for launch. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1!” The engine rumbled and before I knew it, the shuttle started shaking violently and we were on course for our six-day journey in space. What I saw next was something I would never forget. I looked at the heavens and gazed back at Earth as stars illuminated my vision. My task was to deploy and retrieve a satellite, and I am happy that everything went well. This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had in my life! I think I’ve found where I am meant to be.



Dear Journal,

Girls aspiring for a career in STEM are still stereotyped and it is upsetting to me that many still think that they cannot be explorers, scientists, or astronauts just because of their gender. I have been working hard to showcase the opportunities in STEM to the female audience so that they can find mentors and role models to seek inspiration & guidance from. I have been reluctant to use my name in memoirs or movies based on my life, but I stand behind this cause firmly as I know that this can help inspire women to follow their dreams and reach towards the stars. When I started, being a female astronaut in space was a new idea for society, but it opened the doors for other women to dream & reach the stars!



INTERVIEW Trill Project is a safe and secure social network where stories, questions, and ideas are never left untold. Interviewed by Garima Sharma & Bidhi Kasu Edited by Kathy Nguyen & Sophie Krajmalnik Designed by Abby Liang


How has the Trill Project evolved during the past few months with the


coronavirus pandemic

Our team at Trill is entirely Gen-Z powered and student driven. We are a group of over 20 high school and college students working from around the world to advance Trill’s mission. That being said, we’re used to the remote, work from home lifestyle. The increased flexibility in our schedules has allowed us to increase our commitment to Trill and bring on new “Trillterns” (our team volunteers!), which we are so grateful for! While the pandemic has resulted in massive tragedy around the world, it has also opened up conversations about mental health and social justice. Stay at home orders, general anxiety around the uncertainty of the future, school closures, elections, and so much more are leading to greater feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. Due to this, we’ve seen an increase in usership on the app, and we’ve been working our hardest to create content, campaigns, and features that can serve our users during these difficult times. We’ve written articles about how to avoid burnout, be product from home, practice self love in self isolation, find happy news amidst all the chaos, journaling, and more. Additionally, we’ve used social media to post resources regarding pandemic response, Black Lives Matter, and voter education and registration. Finally, we have lots of new features coming soon to the app, so be sure to download, and stay tuned for new updates.

Trill Co-founders Georgia (left) and Ariana (right) The Trill Project has been growing exponentially in the past few years

but how has this affected Trill s


original mission and core values

We are tremendously grateful for how quickly the Trill community has grown. We have not yet spent any money on marketing or ran systematic user acquisition campaigns. Therefore, our community is entirely organic, and so our users truly do want to be contributing members to Trill’s mission. Our core values have stayed the same since day one, and, as we’ve grown, we’ve been able to invite users from all walks of life to find friends and a sense of belonging on Trill.


How does Trill work

Why do you think anonymity is important within Trill



Networking and how did you come up with the idea to make it


challenge your assumptions about the problem you are solving. Be sure to test your technology, listen to ideas the user has, and then work to improve your solution. And of course, keep it True and Real in Trill fashion.


Trill was influenced by the peer support clubs our founders were a part of in high school. These clubs brought together small groups of students weekly to participate in icebreakers, team building, and moderated conversations around identity, mental health, family, etc. These groups served as safe spaces to freely express yourself, and confidentiality was a key component contributing to that. While we can’t guarantee all of our tens of thousands of users necessarily owe each other confidentiality, anonymity replicates those feelings of safety and security that allow for freedom of expression. Many of our users identify as LGBTQ+, are recovering from trauma, or are struggling from some sort of sensitive issue. Therefore, it’s important to respect all our users' right to privacy, especially for younger users. Many of our users have reported to us that while they step away from their “real life identity” and select a color on Trill (how we generate anonymous usernames for users), they are in fact able to show up in the community as a more authentic version of themselves. Moreover, once a user is able to escape the artificial and superficial identifiers that constrain us daily - such as gender, race, and sexuality - users get closer to a True and Real, Trill, version of themselves.

What would you recommend individuals do in order to maintain


their mental health

Here are our “Trill Tips” for taking care of your mental health during these difficult times: Remember feelings of uncertainty and angst are completely normal. You are not only allowed but also valid to feel all these feelings and more. Connect with others! Whether it’s scheduling in Facetime “dates”, signing up for a virtual class, or just sending the occasional check in text, remember to make time for nourishing the relationships in your life. Get out and move. Whatever gets your blood circulating and your body energized can do wonders for your mental health. Show yourself some appreciation whatever that looks like for you. Some examples include taking an extra long shower and practicing affirmations. And of course… Download Trill! Discover new friends to chat with, vent and share all your thoughts, read our content, and so much more.

Any advice for individuals interested in using technology for


social good

Talk to actual users, and take their feedback into account! Design a product that is actively informed by the individuals who will be benefiting from the good you are creating. Research, surveys, and interviews are all part of the process. Don’t be afraid to iterate and 25



updated with Tr ill

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@ thetrillproject @ trillproject

@ thetrillproject

linktr . ee / thetrillproject


T e ha r o n M s The E t y ee e M

Written by Gurnoor Bhatti Rachel Korsunsky Emma Suttell

Art by Angela Cameron Kristine Huynh

Designed by Thanya Begum Meghan Yiu

Edited by Kriti Sundaresa Nadine Elizabeth Hilman Devanshi Shah 26

When buzzing through a morning beauty routine, not many people think of the chemical compounds they hold within their hands, the technology used to create it, and the formulas dedicated to refining the product.

Breaking down barriers is not new for Kode With Klossy Scholars, girls ages 13-18 who attend two-week long intensives to cultivate their coding craft. This summer, Kode With Klossy invested in the beauty and tech industry, challenging girls to redesign the landing page for, leading them to discover some of the science behind Estee Lauder’s products. “We already use tech for so much, even if we don’t notice,” said challenge winner Mericel Tao. “Estee Lauder’s…Color Replenish Lip Balm... responds to the pH in your lips to give an individualized color. It’s amazing to see how science impacts the beauty industry and that our generation is going to be the one that will be making these contributions in 10-20 years.” Estee Lauder is only one of several beauty brands taking the plunge into the complexities of science. Sephora recently indulged in AR and AI to transform their retail stores. Implementing the Sephora “Virtual Artist,” Sephora’s new AR tool allows customers to “try on” a variety of makeup products virtually. The Virtual Artist is available on the Sephora app, so shoppers are able to use this feature from the comforts of their homes.


One of the reasons that inspired Sephora to create the Virtual Artist was that it was difficult for consumers to find the perfect foundation shade for their skin tone. To address this issue, Sephora also partnered with Pantone to create Color IQ, a shade-matching technology. Customers are provided with an assigned Color IQ number where they are able to filter through a wide selection of foundations and concealer shades to pick the best shade for their skin tone. The growing popularity of technology to assess skin tone reached L’Oreal with the creation of the“Le Teint Particulier” machine. By using AI technology, the foundation machine finds the exact match for your skin

tone. It is a handheld device that takes the user through four steps to curate future formulas based on personal results. Speaking of skin, Atolla is a revolutionary skincare brand dedicated to fusing together skin science with data science. Each subscription is powered by a user’s Skin Sequence, a summary of one’s skin health, derived from samples taken in the monthly Skin Health Kit. Once users collect all of the data, it runs through Atolla’s unique algorithms to create a unique and custom formula. Each month, it is adjusted to make sure that the client’s skin needs are being met. Atolla goes beyond an initial skincare quiz—with monthly skin assessments, Atolla meets one’s needs every month, rather than only catering to one period of a client’s life.

Not only are beauty brands changing the makeup industry with these new adaptations, they are also breaking the walls between beauty and STEM. “I loved math and science and never considered that there were any barriers,” said Jeanne Chang, the assistant vice president of L’Oreal.“As I grew up and continued to major in science, there were fewer and fewer women.” As skincare products become more mainstream, more research and engineering is involved, potentially motivating more women to join the STEAM fields. With the beauty industry being valued at $532 billion USD according to Business Insider, this bridge to the STEAM industries will only drive further development and growth. Beauty is more than a moneymaking business—it’s a growing industry that requires the brains of the most brilliant women in the STEAM fields. Tomorrow morning, take a closer look at the products you use—you might just find that there is more to them than what meets the eye.


r c e o p ol u s e th song


AMARA, looking around the elementary school music room: What in the world?! Where is the xylophone? I thought Ms.Drew would save them for me after I told her last week. What am I going to do without my xylophone? LALITA, walking past the music room while speaking to her friend on the phone: Yeah, so I wasn’t sure whether she wanted the biscuits like cookies or like, you know, biscuits. So I kid you not, I went all the way back and you won’t believe how - I’ll call you back Visha. (LALITA hears AMARA exclaiming and rushes inside.) LALITA: Hey, Amara. Is everything okay? You seem… distressed. AMARA, on the verge of tears: Everything is NOT okay, Lalita didi. I needed a xylophone and a few other things for my music project tomorrow, and I can’t find them anywhere. I think Ms.Drew lent them to somebody else, and I’m freaking out. LALITA: If you’d like, I can help you look for it. AMARA: Trust me, I looked everywhere! LALITA: You know… you don’t need a real xylophone to get xylophone sounds for your project. AMARA: What do you mean? There’s no xylophone anywhere here, and I can’t just 29

think of the sounds of a xylophone and hope other people understand? LALITA: (sits next to AMARA) No, silly. We can use technology like GarageBand, EarSketch, or Soundtrap to basically find a digital version of a xylophone and make music with it! AMARA: A digital xylophone? How? LALITA: Here, look. (LALITA pulls out a tablet and opens a GarageBand file.) AMARA, intrigued: Oh, I think I’ve seen that before. LALITA: Yeah! You know, a lot of artists nowadays use mixers like this to make their songs and add some cool effects too. AMARA: Can.. I add cool effects? LALITA: Why not? Amara, this is all about being creative. And technology can really help with that. There’s no reason to be scared of trying something new because, well, you never know how much fun that new thing could be? AMARA: Yeah, I guess you’re right. So how does this stuff work? LALITA: Look, first you open a new file like this. And you give it a name.

AMARA, determined: The Super Cool Xylophone Song. By Amara.

complex and cool, and use instruments and effects that aren’t available in real life.

LALITA, amused: Sure, that works. And now we can add a new track, which is where we put a line of music. Now select the xylophone sound.

AMARA: Like a xylophone! Or (she scrolls through the long list of instruments), an African pan flute? Or a string quartet!

AMARA: Ohhh kay. Oh, there’s a xylophone on my screen! (AMARA presses various keys of the xylophone in a random pattern, delighted by the sound.) LALITA: Yeah! Now, to record and save the xylophone part of the song, you click the red dot, and then it’s recording. And you just keep doing that for all the instruments and tracks you want to! AMARA: Hm. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. It actually looks sorta... fun. LALITA: Just you wait. As you learn more about how to use these tools, the possibilities of music will just expand in front of your eyes. Tech is actually a really helpful way to make your projects more

LALITA: Go wild, my friend. And let me know if you ever need help. AMARA is very busy experimenting with different sounds and effects using the xylophone. AMARA: Thank you! [A few days later, AMARA presented her song in music class. She plays it, and her class applauds for her at the end.] VISHA: Gee, Amara. I never knew you could do this sorta stuff on an iPad. I really like your song, and, um, can you… show me how you did it? AMARA: Sure! (She pulls out the iPad and shows VISHA the song) So this is called a track, and this is where the music begins.

Written by Samyukta Iyer Edited by Karen Huynh, Ayesha Radwad, Nadine Hilman Art by Caitlin Ramiscal Designed by Lavanya Gupta 30

solving food insecurity using science

Biomimicry — a New Solution? From designing drugs based on compounds naturally found in plants to creating aerodynamic transport modeled after birds, nature is constantly inspiring human design and innovation. Biomimicry—the process of mimicking strategies found in nature to solve human challenges—is important now more than ever to ensure a sustainable future for the planet and the future generations who rely on it. One issue biomimicry is being used to solve is food security. Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are often used with the aim of increasing crop yields without the need for conversion of natural land to agricultural land, but these too have major impacts on the environment, such as contributing to pollution in aquatic ecosystems and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, synthetic fertilizers release nitrous oxide; this is a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and over half of human-induced emissions of it are due to agricultural methods such as fertilizer use. The development of biofertilizers and biopesticides has been critical to balance the


increasing demand for food with sustainable agricultural practices. How Biofertilizers Work Instead of chemicals, biofertilizers contain micro-organisms, such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These bacteria convert nitrogen in the air into a form that plants can use for key processes, like making proteins or DNA. Without nitrogen-fixing bacteria, plants rely on the soil around their roots to provide them with resources, such as nitrates, which are present in much lower abundance, which can be limiting to plant growth. Different types of microorganisms are found in different biofertilizers, allowing selective foraging of key nutrients for plant growth. Biofertilizers encourage plant growth without the environmental harm caused by traditional chemical fertilizers. This is biomimicry—the fertilizers created simply promote processes that already occur naturally in some soils. In environments that lack a diverse array of microbes in the soil, biofertilizers can be an important addition to ensure the plant not only survives, but flourishes.

Another Game-Changer — Biopesticides


Biopesticides are defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as any type of pesticides derived from natural materials, such as canola oil or baking soda. Biopesticides are broken down into three classes: biochemical, microbial, and plantincorporated-protectants (PIPs).

For this reason, scientists are continuing to develop other methods of increasing food production, such as creating synthetic meat substitutes and aiming to develop genetically modified crop plants with increased growth efficiency. Biopesticides and biofertilizers are just one example of biomimicry being used to overcome global challenges, but there is always more to be learned from nature. With continued collaboration and innovation in science, we can create a sustainable future for all.

Biochemical pesticides try to control pests without killing them. This might include strategies like emitting insect hormones that interfere with mating cycles or growth, or using scented extracts to attract pests to traps around the plants. Microbial pesticides are similar to biofertilizers, but seek to eliminate pests around a plant instead of encouraging a plant to grow. One of the most common microbial pesticides is a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Bt is only toxic to certain insects, making it preferable to chemical pesticides as it only targets certain parts of the environment. The final category of biopesticides is PIPs, where plants are genetically modified to create their own defense system against pests; plants are given a string of DNA code from another organism and prompted to make proteins that can fight off insects or diseases. Most often, PIPs use DNA from Bt to allow plants to produce their own insecticides. The Impact Biofertilizers and biopesticides allow crop yields to be maintained at increased levels without costly damage to the environment. Biofertilizers are low-cost, highly effective, and renewable sources of plant nutrition, and biopesticides naturally stop pests from damaging crops, preventing ecosystems that rely on the pest species from being disrupted. However, they also have their drawbacks: specific biofertilizers must be used for specific crops, they have a shorter shelf-life, and their efficiency is dependent on soil conditions such as moisture, pH, and the soil microbiome.

Written by Sona Popat, Daisy Bissonette, Sophie Tanker Edited by Angela Ye, Jade Wang, Kendehl Taylor Art by Sena Atesoglu Designed by Lavanya Gupta


T.E.C.H. Teaching Teaching Everyone Everyone to to Create Create Happiness Happiness

Written by Aryana Ramos-Vazquez, Hannah Delbarrio, Shanzay Awan Edited by Kristine McLaughlin, Karen Huynh, Michelle Ly Art by Tara Ayer; Designed by Kateri Arano

Technology is a controversial topic in society. People rely on their innovative gadgets, yet complain that technology has an indestructible hold on their lives. Is technology truly as manipulative as many think, or has it changed society for the better? The narrative of technology as a curse is a mark of our privilege. In the midst of the pandemic, electronics prove to be a powerful tool for schooling, and access to such provides the distinction between completing their education and not. The education gap is one of the leading causes (and products) of poverty; lowincome families, especially in developing countries where private schools are the only option, find schooling too expensive. This education gap helps fuel the cycle of poverty— most middle-high income jobs require higher education—an issue disproportionately impacting girls: Fifteen-million girls are unable to attend school, whereas only ten-million boys face the same issue.

Virtual education is an alternative, but inadequate access to electricity, WiFi, and technology prevent them from pursuing such. Thus, certain innovators focus on closing the education gap by providing more cost-efficient, energy-efficient devices to low-income families. From solar-powered lights enabling students to work on assignments throughout the night to low-energy computers with built-in internet servers, such as the Raspberry Pi and the XO Laptop, innovators are utilizing technology to tackle one of the world’s biggest issues: poverty. Poverty can cause many other problems especially in developing countries where due to lack of resources, people don’t have access to basic needs. According to the World Health Organization, Roughly 525,000 children under 5 years old die due to diarrhea every year, with 1.7 billion cases of childhood diarrheal disease.


Clean Water & Sanitation All of this could be prevented through access to clean drinking water and sanitation. Globally, more than 4 billion people don't have access to proper plumbing. Thus, their drinking water comes from contaminated sources, causing several diseases. In 2018, the Gates Foundation invited innovators from around the world to present different prototypes of toilets that could could help solve this sanitation issue. An example is Caltech’s EcoSan Solar Toilet, which integrates an electrochemical reactor to treat wastewater by converting it into fertilizer and water for flushing. This prototype has already been installed in India, South Africa, and China and innovators are still working to make these energy and water-efficient toilets accessible to more countries. Technology is helping people to use the resources available to them for the purpose of social good.

requires a variety of solutions. Fortunately, many emerging technologies are improving learning experiences for these students. For instance, Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) has been a rising method used for creating apps for special needs students. These apps focus on assisting children with stronger communication and behavioral skills to benefit them both in the classroom and at home. An app called Otismo consists of games that help children with conditions like autism break the speech and language barrier. With more innovations to promote better educational experiences for special needs students, society can move towards a more inclusive future.

Students with Special Needs Lastly, technology can aid special needs people in overcoming several barriers, including educational hardships. In 2017-2018, a study discovered: There are nearly 7 million U.S. students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), accounting for 14% of the public school population. While some of the common disabilities include chronic health conditions and handicaps, the most prevalent ones in children are neurological and developmental learning disabilities. As a result, there’s not one solution to be used for all neurodiverse students, since the variety of disabilities

Technology is the real-life superwoman of society; by having a tremendous impact on all people, it has proven to work in miraculous ways. So, whenever you hear a conspiracy about the true purpose of technology, or find yourself doubtful about its usefulness, remember this: technology can change the world, and so can the innovators behind the creations. 34

Students. Scientists. Software engineers. COVID-19 has instilled the same sense of urgency in them all to innovate, not despite the virus, but because of it. This global pandemic has called upon many to rise to action for the greater good, pushing the boundaries of modern technology and restoring faith in health and security worldwide. Some innovations directly relate to COVID-19, like testing, tracing, and vaccinations. Nine months after the virus’s emergence, Abbott Labs announced its rapid test, BinaxNOW, which returns results in 15 minutes for only $5. Abbott, alongside other companies, has directed vast amounts of resources towards developing reliable, cost-friendly tests. It can be paired with the mobile contact tracing app NAVICA to work as a digital ‘boarding pass’ to enter organizations and other gathering places. Apps like NAVICA track user-reported symptoms of COVID-19 and contact with anyone who has tested positive, helping personal safety in the absence of a vaccine. The average production time for a vaccine is 10-15 years, but with a virus that has infected 37 million people worldwide in just ten months, this timeline is not an option. Over


150 vaccines are in development across the globe, and the U.S. Government’s Operation Warp Speed initiative has invested $10 billion to deliver 300 million doses of an effective and safe vaccine by January. The World Health Organization has a loftier goal: to distribute two billion doses by the end of 2021. Despite these efforts, the prolonged lockdown has forced many to adapt to a new normal. What began as a month of vacation has turned into more than six months of social distancing, forever changing human interaction. Work meetings, school classes, and get-togethers have transitioned to virtual platforms. This socialization through a screen has both broken the distance barrier and provided new ways of communication altogether. While inperson meetings were limited to specific geographic regions in the past, they can now include anyone with access to the Internet, regardless of location. Social habits have also evolved; now, choices as trivial as turning on a camera indicate whether someone is listening attentively.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many technological inequities. Within economically disadvantaged countries like the Philippines, students lack the proper resources to carry out technology-based remote learning, but their economy would suffer from school suspension. In response, the Philippine government has provided families with “modules”, a curriculum that children can follow at home with parental assistance. Students have also engineered their own solutions: attending classes by telephone, and tutoring one another whenever possible.

But not all innovation is created equal. The scientists who are developing a coronavirus vaccine, and the students who are creating new ways to have fun in distance learning, certainly aren’t working with the same kind of innovation. However, they have one thing in common: the desire to fix, solve, and heal, regardless of magnitude. Innovation isn’t a cure-all. Solving the problem isn’t the end goal, but alleviating it is. Innovation says: we came, we saw, we bettered. And that makes all the difference.

Furthermore, organizers of the 2020 U.S. Election had to innovate a fair, sociallydistanced voting system. Their solution? National mail-in ballots. Similarly, information technology workers rushed to develop voter security protections, while districts determined how to manage the mass amount of ballots they received in November. Although these methods were established to meet the demands of COVID-19, their practicality and ease of access may cement them as voting options for years to come. Both directly and indirectly, the trajectory innovation has taken has been permanently altered by COVID-19. Between healthcare professionals, teachers, and computer engineers, everyone has had to adapt in some capacity. This moment reveals not only the many ways we innovate but also the determination and unerring focus we possess, fueling us to meet the needs of society in the face of a brutal and deadly pandemic.

Written by Riley Cooke, Carolina Ibanez, Amber Campbell Edited by Neha Kanneganti, Lina Pakala, Lilian Zhu, Damilola Awofisayo Designed by Nuha Mozumder Art by Sanya Gupta 36



The Forefront of COVID

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was faced with countless problems that we had little to no preparation for. Some of the biggest questions raised were about testing, contact tracing, and vaccines. In order for our society to function, help stabilize our economies, and take care of our people, we needed rapid improvement. With over one million people dead from the virus and 39 million cases worldwide, time was racing against us to find solutions. Luckily, engineers and scientists quickly came to the rescue by using new technology and artificial intelligence to find the answers we so desperately need.

. . .

Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has shaped and changed the way disease outbreaks are tracked and managed, especially during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The innovative technology has played a major role for early detection and diagnosis of the infection and helped in the development of drugs and vaccines. Engineers and scientists have used AI to their advantage in being able to study this virus by screening the patient, and quickly analyzing irregular symptoms to assist physicians in identifying the severity of the disease. Being cost-effective and providing faster decision making, the new technology can build an intelligence platform for automatic monitoring and prediction for the spread of this virus. For example, engineers have used neural networks to extract the visual features of the disease, and to provide solutions for the patients at risk.


From a more current perspective, AI has played an integral role in contact tracing by predicting the number of cases in any region and identifying the areas most vulnerable to the virus. In addition, scientists have found a use of AI for drug research by analyzing the available data on COVID-19 in drug delivery design and development. This newfound technology is used in speeding up drug-testing and has helped identify useful drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. All in all, AI has played a vital role in providing more predictive and preventive healthcare over the course of this pandemic, and continues to improve its technology for future outbreaks. Currently, scientists are continuing to utilize technology in order to produce a suitable vaccine to tame the virus. Pfizer, a 171-year old Fortune 500 powerhouse company, along with its rival Moderna, a 10-year old biotech company in Cambridge, have taken alarmingly similar paths in the race to synthesize a vaccine. Both companies are banking on a genetic technology that has kept them in the race, synthetic messenger RNA. The technology is an inventive variation on natural substances that direct protein production in cells throughout the body. The key player in this entire process, as both companies have realized, is messenger RNA, or mRNA. Long before the virus, scientists have dreamt of endless possibilities of developing mRNA. However, the wake of the pandemic has caused scientists to expand to a new concept in producing this vaccine : scientists create a genetic material that directs the human body to produce antibodies that can recognize and destroy the virus. Written by Shagun Khare, Delilah Dermont Edited by Kiara Sofia Vega Bellido, Kathy Nguyen Designed by Chloe Yan

. . .

Vaccines in the Hands of Technology

Despite the very troubling and disheartening effects of the pandemic, there seems to be a beacon of hope thanks to these brave individuals. Scientists and engineers are constantly pioneering brand new solutions that allow our society to function even in the face of a deadly virus and tumultuous social justice issues.


“I had to… appreciate that as a woman, I was strong, complete, adequate.” -

Bette Graham, inventor of Wite-Out

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Patsy O’Con Scotchgard

“I am different, not less” -

Temple Grandin, inventor and advocate for humane treatment of livestock

“Don’t sit down and wait f

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“If you can do it, do it. If you can achieve it, achieve it.” -

Bessie Blount Griffin, inventor of

a feeding device helping amputees

n become an inventor

hey keep an open and

uiring mind.”

nnell Sherman, inventor of among other products

“In my day, I was told women didn’t go into chemistry. I saw no reason why we couldn’t.” -

Gertrude B. Elion, biochemist and Nobel Prize co-winner in physiology

or the opportunities

d make them.”

elf-made millionaire in America

Sally Young • Edited by Damilola Awofisayo, Esther Duong, and Shrinithi Sathiyaseelan • Art by Deya Liao • Designed by Abby Liang





Written by Brigid McCarthy, Linda Duong, Raitah Jinna Edited by Vivian Wang, Samantha Lee Designed by Vanessa Guo, Kelsey Njembu Art by Utsha Rai

30 years ago, "activism" was people on the streets, paper petitions, and strikes. While these things still exist, with the rise of technology, "activism" in the present looks different. The death of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020 sparked a wave of activism, bringing the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement to public attention. None of this would have been possible without the internet and everyone in its digital audience. In 2019, it would be strange to see word-heavy carousels on Instagram. These infographics—a quick way to consume information—have taken over the platform. Each post has eye-catching covers with large text, bright colors or beautiful art; swipe further though, and readers uncover information on world issues such as the BLM movement, climate change, and more. At the end of the slides, there is often a call to action. Signing petitions? Further reading? Donation links? You got it! Accounts such as @domrobxrts (Instagram), @soyouwanttotalkabout (Instagram) and @SYACAbout (Twitter) have gained traction after netizens reshare these posts. 41

While these graphics are ways to spread awareness and conversation, anyone can make them. It is essential to analyze them for accuracy and reliability. Here are some questions to ask:

When checking other sources (news articles, radio, television), is the information consistent? Does the post include reliable sources? What is the purpose of the post/account? Selling? Following? Politics? Or education? Does the post contain tangible courses of action? Or is it for "aesthetics"? Is the post biased?

Answering these questions can distinguish between real and performative activism: activism solely to improve one's social appearance, not to improve the problem.

Social media can be used as a tool to spread information quickly. Still, the cycle of creating and sharing graphics enables lazy activism and puts pressure on the ally to be the all-knowing voice of the issue they're shedding light on... all this to say, a distraction from groups and issues more deserving of spotlight. #BlackOutTuesday on Instagram is an example of well-intended allyship gone wrong: silence from non-BIPOC users stifled Black activists trying to garner attention for their cause. "#BlackOutTuesday forced a lot of us wannabe allies to confront the ways in which our allyship can be misguided and, frankly, lazy," wrote Natasha Norman of NBC. Performative activism has its place in corporate business as well, and social media's role in the rise of corporate responsibility and socially-aware PR/marketing cannot be understated. Yet, anti-racist corporate initiatives can do little to undo a company's racist history. Glossier recently came under fire for racist microaggressions in the workplace, despite their commitment early 2020 to put a million dollars towards black-owned beauty companies and racial justice initiatives.

YouTube, which made a similar financial commitment, also faced criticism for alleged hypocrisy, with one user calling it "a platform that has done its very best to avoid having to remove any videos from racists, white supremacists and hate mongers." Social media has impacted how much people can get involved with activism. It's made it easy to share news in real time: while a newspaper might report a day late, platforms like Twitter give us an eye into what's going on, while it goes on. Beyond social media though, there's a lot of technological innovation boosting activism. Petition-based websites have been a way to pool resources and people together towards a common cause.—created by NYU student Alexis Williams for the BLM movement—spotlights Black businesses, petitions/other resources, and unspoken stories. Another tech activist is Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League. Within this organization, she challenges biases founded in software. Activism has evolved to meet our digital world, and now anyone can harness digital tools for causes they’re passionate about. There’s a lot to be explored with digital activism, and it’s up to us to use it. 42

An Interview with Stephanie Hu from Dear Asian Youth

Stephanie Hu, a junior from Southern California, is the founder and executive director of Dear Asian Youth (DAY). She founded DAY in late April, and since then it has grown to 130+ chapters in 17 different countries and has reached an audience of 51.2k+ people and 3.1 million social media accounts worldwide. With numerous Instagram posts about Asian activism, webinars and workshops, podcast episodes, 200 works of literature, and $1200 raised for Black Lives Matter, they have been striving to create change through education, activism, and celebration. Girl Genius interviewed Stephanie to learn more about the roots of her organization, as well as to understand what it takes to create a positive impact on one’s community.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE DAY? DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES THAT CONTRIBUTED TO ITS CREATION? It started as a platform for me to publish poetry because I really like writing. I noticed that a lot of the times I talked about my identity or about being Asian-American. Some of my friends were interested in writing so it slowly became a blog, and now it’s an organization. It was a very organic process. What continues to drive us is seeing how many people reach out to us and give feedback like, “oh, I wish I had an organization like this when I was younger” or, “this has helped me so much.” 43

HOW DID YOU CREATE YOUR ORGANIZATION? WHAT PROCESSES DID YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH TO BECOME A 501(C)(3) NONPROFIT AND FISCALLY SPONSORED? We wanted to become a 501(c)(3) to offer hours for our chapters. If we had a phonebanking session, we wanted to be able to offer volunteer hours. The process is super annoying and expensive. We got fiscally sponsored, so another organization extended their 501(c)(3) status to us.

WHAT DIFFICULTIES DID YOU FACE? HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED IMPOSTER SYNDROME WHEN GROWING DEAR ASIAN YOUTH? I definitely faced imposter syndrome and chronic micromanaging. I was always that kid who would finish everything in a group project because I have trust issues! I was taking away someone else’s opportunity to learn, and as a leader, I should be training people instead of doing the work for them. I faced imposter syndrome since there were so many impressive people in the youth activism sphere. When you’re leading a team that has over 100 people, you often feel like you’re not adequate enough to lead such a large team, that’s still something I’m working through.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS LOOKING TO CREATE A MEANINGFUL IMPACT IN THEIR COMMUNITY? If you’re going to create a nonprofit, don’t do it just for college apps. By creating an

organization that you don’t really care about, you take away credibility from other youth activist organizations and you’re spreading resources thin. Be ready to dedicate a lot of your time to your project. I remember during the summer, I would work from 9 AM to 5 AM every day, go to sleep for four hours, wake up, and do this again. Don’t do that, but do be prepared to put a lot of your time into your work.

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY 10 YEARS FROM NOW? HOW DO YOU SEE DEAR ASIAN YOUTH CONTRIBUTING TO THAT? In ten years, I’d like to see a lot more Asians civically engaged and our Asian parents become a lot more progressive. I’d love for our generation to catalyze that change, inspire, and educate [the older generations], as well as becoming more civically engaged ourselves because we have had pretty low voter turnout. Hopefully, we will see higher voter turnout and more Asians in politics.

Interviewed by Aneeta Thokkadam, Angela Lee, Tracy Chen Edited by Sophie Krajmalnik, Jade Wang Designed by Avneet Grewal Art by Sena Atesoglu 44

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be I think fearless is having fears understood. Now is the time to understand but jumping anyway. more, so that we may fear less. — Taylor Swift — Marie Curie I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and How very little can be done fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them. under the spirit of fear. — Clara Barton — Florence Nightingale

I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. — Greta Thunberg We fear the unknown and the things that have yet to come to pass, which are the very things that don't deserve to be feared. — Rihanna

I am not afraid... I was born to do this. — Joan of Arc

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. — Rosa Parks Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear. — Zora Neale Hurston

I'm definitely not a fearless individual. — Serena Williams

Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. — Amelia Earhart

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. — Coco Chanel

Courage is like a muscle . We strengthen it by use. — Ruth Gordon

The best protection any woman can have … is courage. — Elizabeth Cady Stanton

We want deeper sincerity of motive, a greater courage in speech and earnestness in action. — Sarojini Naidu

I beg you take courage; the brave soul can mend even disaster. — Catherine the Great

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. — Anais Nin

Written by Meghna Subramanium Edted by Karen Huynh, Samyukta Iyer, Suhani Ramchandra Art by Laura Ortiz Designed by Abby Liang


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Sienna Pyle, Elena Escalas, Madeline Zhang, Sneha Sinha, Nicole Swatton (Womxn Engineers Panel) • Priya Lingutla (How to Structure Your College Essays) • Maya Robnett (Navigating College Apps) • Gwynne Shotwell (Hack Club x GG: Gwynne Shotwell) • Kristie Huang (College Application Tips AMA) • Snehaa Ganesh Kumar (Academic Competitions 101 & How to Deal with Toxic Competition) • Khushi Valia (Welcome to Python Workshop) • Serena Chan (Intro to UX Principles & Figma) • Pheobe Okko (How to Transform an Idea Into a Business) • Nicole Ford (Being an Astrophysicist Workshop) • Devon Loftus (Devon Loftus Slack AMA) • Jazlyn Nketia (Thinking Differently: Intersectionality in Cognitive Science Workshop) • Sint Moe (Breaking into Product Management Workshop) • Christina Asquith & Emily Ramshaw (The $30,000 Letter Slack AMA) • Anika Nayak (How To Get Your STEM Articles Published on Mainstream Media) • Dina Elhanan (Beginner Data Visualization Using Python Workshop) • Gracie Ermi (Python and Porpoises) • Liana Tilton, Meghana Keeta, Carolina Perez, Alice Jiang (Let's Talk Robotics) • Dina Elhanan ( & Github Website Workshop) • Kristine Racelis (Canva Social Media Mastery Workshop) • Haya Odeh (Hack Club x Girl Genius Haya Odeh Slack AMA)

instagram takeovers during the making of issue v 12 Days of Impact: Stephanie Florez-Pollack, Rina Takikawa, Amy Kaur, Kellen Kartub, Samantha Imafidon, Debby Nguyen, Michelle Kwok, Gloria Diaz, Sarah Frank, Kendall Titus, Chloe Xiang • STEM x Politics: Tanaya Kollipara, Celeste Chung, Sarah Du, Eva Ruiz, Melissa Villanueva, Sneha Revanur, Memma Uponi • November Takeovers: Sarah Alonso Vega, Portia Stanistreet, Nikki Agrawal • Innovation: Arlyne Simon, Bahar (Muslim STEMinist), Dorothy Tovar, Abigayle Peterson, Mishka Narasimhan, Juliana Dawdy, Emily Tianshi • International College Students: Eleonora Svanberg, Roz Baran, Zarnab Tufail • October Takeovers: Titilayo Arowolo, Karen He • Female Changemakers: Kinsale Hueston, Greisy Hernandez, Chelsea Vonchaz, Stephanie Hu, Carol Chan, Caeley Looney, Nancy Bosnoian • September Takeovers: Vivian Wang, Taylor Evans, Sadhana Lolla • August Takeovers: Keep Girls Educated • Samhita Vinay • Salma Kamni • A Tribe of Women • Cassie & Zoe (Girl Genius Video Team) • Saba (iFeminist) • Vanessa Tarronas • Sanah Imani • Alice & Christine (CodeHers.Co) • Madhu (Coding4Community)

interested in hosting an event or takeover? email

Art by Deya Liao & Julia Chiappe Designed by Abby Liang & Chloe Yan

SOURCES THE GEN OF YEN "Gen Zers Say Silicon Valley Is Elitist and Exclusive. Can They Build a New System?" The New York Times, "Move over Millennials: Generation Z Is the Retail Industry's Next Big Buying Group." Forbes, Pew Research Center. The United Nations.

REVITALIZING EDUCATION Lathan, J. “Why STEAM is so Important to 21st Century Education.” University of San Diego, 19 Nov. 2020, Lopez, J. “Types of Innovation.” Constant Contact Tech Blog, 30 June 2015, The Office of Educational Technology. “Nine Ways Technology Can Boost STEM Learning.” ED.Gov Blog, 18 Oct. 2019,

EXPLORING INNOVATION IN STEM EDUCATION Educational Playcare. (2017, March 30). STEM/STEAM Learning for Young Children. Kärkkäinen, K. and S. Vincent-Lancrin (2013), “Sparking Innovation in STEM Education with Technology and Collaboration: A Case Study of the HP Catalyst Initiative”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 91, OECD Publishing. Laursen S. (2019), “Levers for Change: An Assessment Of Progress On Changing STEM Instruction”, American Association for the Advancement of Science with support from the National Science Foundation. Hassinger-Das B., Hirsh-Pasek K., Golinkoff R. (2017), “The Case of Brain Science and Guided Play: A Developing Story”, National Association for Education of Young Children. Sparrow E., Keill C., Breest C., Clucas T., Moran T. (2017), “Innovative Experiences in STEM Education”, International Technology, Education and Development Conference. ION

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE “Beauty Is STEM Deep.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, Biron, Bethany. “Beauty Has Blown up to Be a $532 Billion Industry - and Analysts Say That These 4 Trends Will Make It Even Bigger.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 9 July 2019,

Designed by Kateri Arano

L'Oréal. “L'Oréal Unveils Perso, an AI-Powered At-Home System for Skincare and Cosmetics - L'Oréal USA Articles about Research and Innovations.” L'Oréal, L'Oréal, 11 Mar. 2020, Rayome, Alison DeNisco. “How Sephora Is Leveraging AR and AI to Transform Retail and Help Customers Buy Cosmetics.” TechRepublic, TechRepublic, 15 Feb. 2018, Thomas, Daniel. “Five Tech Trends Shaping the Beauty Industry.” BBC News, BBC, 23 May 2019, “Welcome.” Atolla, 2020,

NATURE-POWERED Azcel, Miriam R. “What Is the Nitrogen Cycle and Why Is It Key to Life?” Frontiers for Young Minds, 12 Mar. 2019, “Biofertilizers: Meaning, Advantages and Problems: Agriculture.” Essays, Research Papers and Articles on Agriculture in India, 1 Aug. 2018, “Biopesticides.” National Pesticide Information Center, 12 Feb. 2020, Shankman, Sabrina. “What Is Nitrous Oxide and Why Is It a Climate Threat?” InsideClimate News, 11 Sept. 2019, Tian, Hanqin, et al. “A Comprehensive Quantification of Global Nitrous Oxide Sources and Sinks.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 7 Oct. 2020, “What Are Biopesticides?” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 12 Aug. 2016, “What Is Biofertilizer?- Types And Importance Of Biofertilizers.” BYJUS, BYJU'S, 4 Sept. 2020,

TEACHING EVERYONE TO CREATE HAPPINESS “Reinvent the Toilet.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 1 Jan. 1AD, Borgen, Clint. “15 Important Poverty and Education Statistics to Know About.” The Borgen Project, Clint Borgen, 6 May 2020, Borgen, Clint. “10 Technological Solutions to Poverty.” The Borgen Project, Clint Borgen Https://, 11 Dec. 2019, One Laptop Per Child, Blackburn-Dwyer, Brandon. “11 Tech Innovations Changing Education Around the World.” Global Citizen, Global Citizen, 28 July 2016,

TECH X COVID-19 “Asia Today: Remote Learning Begins in Virus-Hit Philippines.” AP News, 5 Oct. 2020, “Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Maps & Statistics.”, Eddy, Max. “Coronavirus Borked the 2020 Election, But We Can Still Save It.” PC Mag, 6 Aug. 2020, Accessed 6 Dec. 2020. “Get the Facts about a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Vaccine.” Mayo Clinic, 10 June 2020, Gurman, Mark. “Apple, Google Boost Privacy Protections for Contact-Tracing Tool.” Bloomberg, 24 Apr. 2020, McKeever, Amy. “Dozens of COVID-19 Vaccines Are in Development. Here Are the Ones to Follow.” Science, 13 Oct. 2020, News, Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN. “DepEd Rejects Calls for ‘Academic Freeze.’” ABS-CBN News, 9 Sept. 2020, “Taking COVID-19 Testing to a New Level | Abbott U.S.”,

TECHNOLOGY: THE FOREFRONT OF COVID-19 Garde, Damian, et al. “The Story of MRNA: From a Loose Idea to a Tool That May Help Curb Covid.” STAT, 11 Nov. 2020, MacDougall, Ray. “NIH Harnesses AI for COVID-19 Diagnosis, Treatment, and Monitoring.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 5 Aug. 2020, “Understanding MRNA COVID-19 Vaccines.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Nov. 2020, Vaishya, Raju, et al. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) Applications for COVID-19 Pandemic.” Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, Elsevier, 14 Apr. 2020,

TECHNOLOGY AND ACTIVISM Hsu, Tiffany. “Corporate Voices Get Behind 'Black Lives Matter' Cause.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 31 May 2020, Noman, Natasha. “'Blackout Tuesday' on Instagram Was a Teachable Moment for Allies like Me.”, NBC Universal News Group, 6 June 2020, Shwayder, Maya. “'Outta the Gloss' Movement Is Taking the Shine out of Glossier.” Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo!, 17 Aug. 2020, Williams, Alexis. PB RESOURCES,




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