Girl Genius Magazine | Issue 6

Page 1

01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101


GIRL GENIUS Art by Tara Ayer

Commu r u ni o n t i y o ! J


@Girl Genius Magazine

Art by Trisha Sathish Layout by Chloe Yan

u us s!!

Join Join G Girl irl Geni Geni

We are looking for female changemakers interested in spreading awareness of from all over


STEAM fields

the world through



our platform.

Our Philosophy Girl Genius fosters an inclusive community where everyone is given a voice to empower the next generation of female leaders in STEAM. We are confident that anyone can pursue careers in STEAM and challenge conventional gender standards.

Teams Art • Blog • Creative Writing Editing • Finance • Layout Design Partnerships & Events Social Media • Writing • Video

APPLY HERE Art by Caitlin Ramiscal Layout by Abby Liang

01 03 05 07 09 11 14









23 25



Art by Isabella Lombardo Layout by Chloe Yan

meet th art

Deya Liao Caitlin Ramiscal Christie Cadette Isabella Lombardo

Laura Ortiz Sanya Gupta Sofia Ruiz Tara Ayer

blog Sarah Mirsaidi Abigail Jolteus Cecelia Kaufmann

Emma Benyaminy Marian Caballo Nikki Agrawal

creative writing Leslie Kim Aracely Alvardo Esther Duong Hannah Rashid Leah Suggs Lotus Lee

Purvi Singhania Samyukta Iyer Shrinithi Sathiyaseelan Soukayna Soufi Suhani Ramchandra Tiffany Yang

finance Nandini Goyal Chelsea Poppleton


Donna Prince

editing Devanshi Shah Abigail Jolteus Chloe Deng Jade Wang Kathy Nguyen Kavya Venkatesan Kendehl Taylor

Kristine McLaughlin Kriti Sundaresa Lavanya Sharma Lilian Zhu Michelle Ly Samantha Lee

community engagement Michelle Ly

he team layout design Abby Liang Cynthia Zhang Kateri Arano Kelsey Njembu

Lavanya Gupta Michelle Yu Thanya Begum

partnerships & events

Agnes Mar Lauren Medina Mariko Woodworth Mihika Vankamamidi Mona Kalaoun

Fara Yan Nina Shenoy Portia Stanistreet Wei Ni Zhang

writing Angela Lee Aditi Sharma Aneeta Thokkadam Annabel Truong Aryana RamosVazquez Carolina Ibanez Deanna Sharpe Esha Potharaju Hannah Del Barrio Linda Duong

Natasha Valluri Maddie Sullivan Raitah Jinnat Rebecca Chang Riley Cooke Shanzay Awan Sophie Tanker Stuti Gupta Tracy Chen Trisha Chinnimeni

press Ashlyn Roice

social media

Emma Suttell Andrea Gonzalez Asia Fee Ayushi Kate

Sarah Alonso Vega Clarissa Ramos Saumya Singh Sophia Bahadoor

video Aashi Mendpara

Cassie Areff Anila Khan Art by Sofia Ruiz Layout by Chloe Yan





d n

alin s o d R


n by Shanzay Awan Writte gela Ye, Katie Li, Samant n A y b ha M ted oy Edi A rt b y D e y a Lia o Layout b y Thanya Begu m


n i n kl

ra F



DNA is present in all living organisms and carries the genetic information for the development and reproduction of all organisms. The identification of DNA in the 1950s was an exceptional feat in the world of science. James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins who are credited as the researchers who carried out this were even awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962; however, there was one person who was left out, someone who had done the research to produce the clearest image of the DNA molecule and her name is Rosalind Franklin. Rosalind was born to a British family in 1920. Early on in her life, she demonstrated excellent scholastic abilities. In 1938, she started her degree in Chemistry at Cambridge University. Here she developed an interest in the science of X-ray crystallography which researchers were using to determine structures of molecules. After graduating from Cambridge, she studied the chemical composition of charcoal and used these findings to receive her PhD at Cambridge University in 1945. She then began working as a research fellow at Kings College London. At this place, she was met with blatant sexism, male-dominated labs, and was also often treated as an assistant by Wilkins with whom she was working on DNA research. However, without giving head to all these issues she continued her work and was able to produce clearest x-ray images of the DNA. Her lab notebooks from 1953 show how she used quantitative data to come to the conclusion that DNA molecule is a double helix.

Watson and Crick who were doing the same research on the DNA molecule at Cambridge University got access to the now-famous “photograph 51”(clearest image of DNA molecule) and unpublished research paper produced by Rosalind without her knowledge. With the help of this groundbreaking information, they published their own research paper without giving any credit to Rosalind. Franklin died in 1958 without getting any recognition for the years of work she did to produce the clearest image of a DNA molecule. All credit was given to Watson, Crick, and Wilkins who later won a Noble Prize but failed to even acknowledge Rosalind once in their acceptance speech. For years these three men have been credited for this discovery, to the point that they have become household names. Rosalind Franklin deserves recognition for her exceptional work in science and thus there is a need to rewrite history where women are given credit for their work. 4

Gloria Choi Written by Hannah Del Barrio Edited by Ayesha Yadwad, Chloe Deng, Kristine McLaughlin Art by Utsha Rai Layout by Kelsey Njembu

Gloria Choi has remarkably impacted the field of neuroscience heavily contributing to research involving how sensory experiences impact internal states, with a particular focus on the olfactory and neuroimmune systems. Additionally, she's known for illuminating the connection between the immune system and autism. Choi was born in South Korea and immigrated to America as a teenager, where she and her family relocated to Southern California. It was during this life-changing transition that sparked her future successful career in science. Completely new to the American culture and way of life, Gloria struggled to adapt to the language barrier. Thus, she found comfort and excitement in math and especially biology. A few years later, she received an exciting letter in the mail, granting her acceptance to the prestigious University of California Berkeley. To further develop her interests in science, she joined Richard 5

Harland's lab, engaging in molecular and cellular biology research.

Her research highlighted the neural plate's role in specifying somite size in developing frogs. After leading a successful undergraduate experience, Choi attended the California Institute of Technology to pursue a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. She joined David Anderson's lab to conduct research on

Her life has demonstrated resilience; Choi began as a struggling, non-English speaking immigrant, to an inspirational, impactful woman contributing valuable insights in neuroscience, indefinitely one of the most important areas of research.

fate specification and differentiation of cells of the central nervous system. This led to numerous successes and opportunities, including more journal publications and leading significant lab projects, all culminating into her promotion to famous Nobel Laureate, Richard Axel, to begin postdoctoral training. Choi progressed research regarding the olfactory system and internal behaviors, even making important discoveries of her own, such as how the piriform cortex, the area of the brain responsible for smell, can carry out robust behavior, even without sensory cues. The highlight of her career encompassed her significant status at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she became a McGovern Investigator and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.



Lisa Lisa Whi Whi e e

& geoscience

Written by Deanna Sharpe Edited by Amy Nguyen, Michelle Ly, Neha Kannegant Art by Isabella Lombardo Layout by Chloe Yan

In the realm of STEAM, there is a branch known as geoscience or earth science. Similar to how geodes are oftentimes overlooked, geoscience is both overlooked and underrepresented, especially in minority communities. As seen in media like Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, geoscience still lacks both racial and gender diversity. However, Dr. Lisa White, a black female micropaleontologist and the director of education and outreach at the University of California Museum of Paleontology, and the professor of Geology at San Francisco State University, actively hopes to change this. Dr. White started inciting change by reflecting on her journey as a minority in paleontology. After randomly taking a college geology course, she was hooked as the field appealed to her sense of adventure. 7

But with time, she realized that earth science is an interdisciplinary field that those without access to information on it, especially minority communities, rarely have the chance to consider.

Furthermore, women are rarely discussed as part of the geoscience narrative And so, her pursuits to change that commenced. In the late 1980s to early 1990s, Dr. White coordinated the Minority Participation in the Earth Sciences (MPES) Program and went on to supervise a NASA program in the mid-90s.

By doing this, she worked to make the importance of minority participation known and encourage both discussion and reflection among the higher-ups. However, her efforts didn't stop here! In 2000, she was appointed chair of the Geological Society of America (GSA) Committee on Minorities and Women in Geosciences to further discuss these issues and propose solutions. A year later, she implemented a project of her own: SF-ROCKS (Reaching Out to Communities and Kids with Science in San Francisco). This project gives public high school students in the Bay Area opportunities to engage in both research and training about the earth and environmental sciences, providing students with the resources to learn about and explore the geosciences firsthand. But once again, Dr White’s efforts didn't stop here! She expanded her efforts to New Orleans in the mid-2000s by providing opportunities for students of color to actively pursue geoscience majors. For her commitment to helping fellow minorities and women achieve success in the geoscience community, she rightfully earned the Geological Society of America's Bromery Award for Minorities.

Dr. White continues to crack open the shining field of geoscience to both racial minorities and women.




Amber tinged sun rays pour across the landscape, illuminating the cracks that are viciously ripping apart the ground. The extreme aridity robs the plants of their once erect posture and now the corn crops hunch as if they are maliciously waiting to attack. The azure beauty that once filled the air with her subtle music has vanished. In 2015, Kiara Nirghin saw the intense suffering South Africa was experiencing due to drought and was heavily impacted by it. Most of us would also be deeply concerned about the visceral degradation, but may be at loss of what to do to change it.

which is an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Whilst recovering in the hospital she thought that if the brain has the power to overcome such immense trauma, the power of the brain to be used toward something productive is limitless.

At the age of 13, Kiara was diagnosed with Bilharzia, a parasite inducing disease. A few months later, she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis,

Typically, when water falls on soil, it just passes through but when added to soil Super Absorbent Polymers (SAP's) create a reservoir of rainwater which

Kiara took her pain and newfound outlook on life to create a revolutionary solution to combat drought.

can allow crops to survive long periods of drought. In 2016, she developed a super absorbent polymer (SAP) that could absorb hundreds of times its weight in water. Kiara identified that existing chemical SAP’s were not biodegradable and the chemicals are inevitably absorbed by the root of the plant resulting in toxic effects on a consumer. Through her research, she also discovered that chemical SAP’s are extremely costly, retailing at Following the competition, she has become a passionate advocate for women in STEM and has published an inspiring book titled “Youth Revolution: #BeTheChange’’ in 2019.

$2000-$3000 per metric ton. Kiara’s innovative upgraded version of SAP is a combination of avocados and orange peels, rendering it both biodegradable and low-cost, solving both of the problems with existing SAPs. It was with this unique finding that Kiara went on to win the 2016 Google Science Fair and the Google Community Impact Award

It is with an inspirational spirit that Kiara Nirghin believes we must approach the world’s challenges: “I like to think of the world as problems that have not yet been partnered with solutions."

Written by Aditi Sharma Edited by Angela Ye, Kendehl Taylor, Nadine Hilman Art by Kristine Huynh Layout by Kelsey Njembu


- t

Flossie Wong S aal

NIH VuilraorlBogist iologist c e l o M & Written by Angela Lee Edited by Nadine Hilman, Samantha Lee, Sophia Gabriel Art by Caitlin Ramiscal Layout by Cynthia Zhang


Strikingly intelligent, Flossie Wong Staal embodied the powerful storm she was named after. Flossie Wong-Staal was a Chinese-American NIH virologist and molecular biologist. At the forefront of HIV research, Flossie became the first scientist to clone the virus and map the functions of its genes. Her research was pivotal in proving that HIV is the cause of AIDS. Wong-Staal was born as Yee Ching Wong in Guangzhou, China on August 27, 1947. Five years later, her family fled to Hong Kong following the Communist revolution. She changed her name to “Flossie” after a recent typhoon in the area. Her newfound name foreshadowed the positive impact she had yet to leave as a woman in science. At the age of 18, Wong-Staal left Hong Kong for the United States to attend the University of California, Los Angeles. There, she pursued a B.S. in bacteriology, where she graduated cum laude in just three years, and earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology in another four years. After finishing a post-doctorate at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Wong-Staal started working at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). At UCSD, she worked with Robert Gallo and conducted research into oncogenes and retroviruses in search for the cause of AIDS. Moving forward, Wong-Staal became chief of the Section of Molecular Genetics of Hematopoietic Cells at NIH. After engaging in a fast-paced career of rigorous growth, Wong-Staal and her colleagues discovered HIV a year later, simultaneously with Luc Montagnier in France. Wong-Staal’s team, however, was acknowledged as the first to have proven HIV to be the cause of AIDS. In 1985, Wong-Staal became the first researcher to clone HIV, leading to the first genetic map of the virus, a milestone in the race to the cure of HIV. Her research enabled other researchers to better understand how it invades the immune system and also aided in the development of blood tests for HIV. Before Flossie’s discovery of HIV, retroviruses were only believed to be pathogenic for animals, not for humans, therefore her research was a gamechanger in virology. Additionally, despite her achievements, only a handful know her name.


In 1990, Wong-Staal returned to UC San Diego, where she was appointed to the Florence Riford chair at the newly opened Center for AIDS research. After twelve years, in 2002, she became the vice president and chief scientific officer for Genomics of the biotechnology firm, Immusol, to improve drugs for hepatitis C (HCV). Her efforts led to significant industrial growth for Immusol, as the company employed an HCV therapeutics focus, and was renamed to iTherX Pharmaceuticals. Wong-Staal passed away earlier last year at the age of 73 from a pneumonia infection, on July 8, 2020. Flossie Wong-Staal is greatly remembered for her critical research in immunology and virology, and her legacy lives on through her laboratory methodologies, now being applied to understand pressing diseases including COVID-19.

It adds to the joy of discovery to know that your work may make a difference in people's lives.


The Brief History of the Last Standing Tree Written by Esther Du ong, Hannah Rashid, Leah Suggs, Soukayna Souf i, Anushka Kulkarni Edited by Jade Wang & Samantha Lee Layout by Kateri Aran o Art by Trisha Sathish

A human carried their heavy axe On their way to a growing forest, Lifted the tool, Ready to swing, But their breath was taken away And shocked, threw the axe away; Among the expected hundreds of fruity trees Only one was left to be seen. Upset, they talked to the standing tree: What for God’s sake happened to this land? Hurt crept on the tree’s face, It looked up to the sky and said: Once, a long time ago, You could not have seen the sky from below, Branches shrouded the ground in darkness, And leaves, sparkling in the brightness, Sagged under the weight of Monkeys, panthers, and birds. Oh, human, everything was Alive, Alive, Alive! The songs of the forest were magnificent. Everyone was an audience, And everything was an instrument. It was about witnessing the symphony, That went on for days and nights, Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice!

The tree stopped, Seeming to remember where it was, A glimmer of sadness reflected upon its eyes, It huffed a big, long sigh. Its eyes wandered on the vacant forest, And it went on with its story: Everyday, I saw a friend go away, It was not long, Until they were all gone. The birds chirping, The sound of the swaying trees, The thuds of fruit falling upon the ground, The howling of monkeys, It all went away so fast, All that is left Is a silent symphony.


The human asked, Why have they all gone? The tree’s face turned to stone, The human looked at the tree with curiosity, Unaware of the animosity, That the tree was now giving them. The tree said, remembering: While everything was peaceful, A presence of evil Wandered in the lively forest. Someone appeared from the dark, Holding an axe in their hand, Lurking on another tree to chop, Another forest to desert, Another life to strip... They made it dreadful, Oh, so dreadful! Turned beauty into ghastliness, Fresh forest into desolate land, Overflowing life into absolute death! The tree was the first of many to die, And everyday I asked why, Why did they suck the life out of the forest? We gave them their life’s necessities, Fruit that we grew from our thick branches, Oxygen that we emitted for humans, And now they repay us with death!


The tree was out of breath, Rage and frustration was hinted in its eyes, The human’s face was painted with surprise, I’m deeply sorry, Said the human. The tree lifted its head, Startled, having forgotten the human was there, The tree stared into their eyes and said: Thank you. It is now just us two, In this lonely forest, That was made deforest, By those greedy beings. I am the last one, The last one.

The tree said the last three words In such a soft, sorrowful voice That the human knew it was time to leave.

The human walked away, Disheartened by what they had learned. The image of the tree, Despairing and burdened, Invaded their thoughts, day and night. Unable to bear the shame in their stomach, They grabbed a pen and began to write: Crack, whoosh, snap. The trees are going off the map. As we devour air from the veins of leaves, The withered tree begs on its knees, Gasping for oxygen that was stolen by thieves. Lighting a fire under the trees, All you could hear were shouts and pleas Because their home has been destroyed, Their habitat has been employed.

We should talk a walk among nature, Instead of screaming our hatred For what we have created. Because once they denature, Our grandchildren will endure our failures. Lions, Tigers, and Bears, oh my! The leaves, the twigs, and the trunk, oh my! We have killed every tree, oh my! We can no longer discover What is left to uncover. Now we have to say goodbye.

Goodbye. 16

CEO of The Empowerment Plan

Written by Annabel Truong • Edited by Anna Nguyen, Kriti Sundaresa, Samantha Lee Layout by Abby Liang • Art by Isabella Lombardo If



the “crazy

watched “Girl

Meets World",

hat lady." But have


ever heard of

Veronika Scott is an American social entrepreneur, best known for being the founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan. What started as a small class assignment transformed into what changed her life forever. When Scott was told she needed to create a project that would help her community, she immediately knew what she wanted to do: help the homeless. From her childhood, Scott knew what living in poverty felt like. This influenced her plan. Scott came up with the idea of the EMPWR coat while talking to the homeless in a warming center and finding out what they need. This coat was everything. Designed to handle the brutal, frost-bite 17

then you’ve

definitely heard of

the “crazy

coat lady"?

weather of Detroit, the coat was both water-resistant and durable. It could also transform into a sleeping bag, making it easy to roll into a bag for transportation.

However, it wasn’t enough. She was told (quite angrily) that the coat was an immediate, small fix—what people really needed were jobs. Thus, The Empowerment Plan grew from a small nonprofit that created coats to a place where homeless parents could find a job. The company provides training for employees on how to make the coats as well as workshops for GED courses, professional development, and so much more through partnerships.

But why focus on homeless parents? Scott says that she remembers how people looked at her when they saw that her parents were unemployed. She remembers the pitiful looks splashed all over strangers’ faces, knowing that they thought she was worthless and would end up like her parents. The Empowerment Plan focuses on homeless parents to break the generational cycles of homelessness, unemployment, and poverty.

I had the honor of speaking to Scott and learned some of the most important things I’ve ever heard. For example, when Scott started The Empowerment Plan, she had nothing– no sewing skills, no knowledge on how to start a nonprofit, no materials. Scott is an example of how people can start from the bottom with absolutely no experience and make it to the top–

nothing can stop you from being a changemaker.

world in which people impacted by poverty have the tools and resources to become the architects of their own future. We see a

To learn more,




Jacinda Ardern S

Written by Maddie Sullivan Edited by Caleigh Fleites, Kriti Sundaresa, Sophia Gabriel Art by Angela Cameron Layout by Cynthia Zhang



re is




face i




said i



un the world?

Who r



This is something all women want to believe, but due to patriarchal standards, we have seen a lack of women in higher leadership positions. In STEM and within politics, this lack of representation is putting a dent in the confidence of young people; we all want to see ourselves within another powerful women. The ongoing uncertainties of the pandemic have caused people worldwide to actively question political leaders in power. Former President Donald Trump, for example, has been publicly shamed for lying and exaggerating while politicizing COVID-19. Trump once said that if the U.S. economic shutdown prolonged, suicides “... would be in far greater numbers than the numbers (of COVID-19 deaths).” Not only does this statement diminish the importance of mental health for his own agenda, but it is also completely falsified. In 2017, roughly 47,000 people lost their lives to suicide, which is 100,000+ less than the estimated deaths of Americans due to COVID-19. With the disappointing demonstration of leadership in the United States, many have praised countries such New Zealand and Germany for their efforts to navigate COVID-19. Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, has led her country through 102 days without new COVID-19 cases. She has been continually cited as a symbol of perseverance while in the face of adversity. In a country of 5 million people, New Zealand has only had 1,729 cases, with 1,570 recovered and 22 deaths. Though New Zealand implemented its flu pandemic plan in February, it wasn’t enough. With a lack of testing and accurate case tracking, Ardern made a strong choice as a leader despite the risks and potential for public disapproval, she issued a countrywide lockdown. After only five weeks, COVID-19 cases declined rapidly, and the lockdown was lessened for an additional two more weeks. In addition to her rational decision making, Ardern embodies the ideal “practice what you preach”. Days before masks became compulsory for public transport, Ardern was making masks herself to educate citizens on correct mask etiquette. From making women’s history by being the second woman ever to have a child while in office, to her well-planned attack against COVID-19, time and time again Ardern has shown that her empathy and relationship with the public has been the key to her success. Her leadership and policies are not to be reckoned with, as Ardern continues to implement crucial pandemic-control measures which are concerningly absent from developed world leaders, including the United States. 20

m u g Be okeya



h Jinnat guffta Kaur a it a R y b Written ndehl Taylor, Sha e K Katie Li, Christie Cadette y b d e t i y Ed ng Art b Abby Lia y b t u o Lay

Growing up, Rokeya and her sister weren't allowed to receive a formal education due to her father's conservative views on women. Despite this, Rokeya was determined to pursue an education and learned Bangla and English from her brothers and sister, who also inspired her passion for writing. Teaching & Writing Rokeya was not idle in her loss of personal education; in fact, she began using the skills she did have to advocate for women's education and, as a result, emancipation. In 1909, she founded the Sakhawat Memorial Girls' School - the first school for Muslim women in the Bengal region. Her tireless efforts in overcoming harsh criticism and social


stigma would pay off, as she persuaded more Muslim girls to break taboos and gain their education. Rokeya soon realized that these social obstacles were what held women back from actually gaining emancipation. To shed down widely held attitudes against women, she turned to prose to target these social prejudices by writing about a wide range of topics that weren't typically written about in Bengal culture. Her literary style can be characterized as creative and logical, as she utilized a wry sense of humor. She was also very persistent in using Bangla as the primary language of her work, despite Urdu being the language of Muslim aristocrats at the time. Bangla was ultimately the language typically

spoken by Muslims in Bengal, and Rokeya saw the importance of having the general public understand her work for it to resonate with them. "Lady Land" & the Women's Revolution Her most revolutionary work was Sultana's Dream, a satire about a female-driven utopia called Lady Land: where gender roles are reversed in terms of men having to be secluded while women run society. These fictional women even yield technology reminiscent of science fiction, such as flying cars. A few years later, Rokeya founded the Bengali Muslim Women's Association, which was the forefront of a widespread women's movement in Bangladesh. This movement positively impacted the development of Muslim women in the region, as the organization helped decreased education costs and support many women in need.

Rokeya's Legacy Rokeya's legacy lives on in Bangladesh through the work of her and her students. Today, she is remembered for her liberal thinking infused into her powerful writing, and as somebody who wasn't afraid to speak up about how women in society were being treated. Her organizational capabilities in combination with this were what made her so powerful in advocating for what she believed in.

g erin can

w ty

po m e o h ie c Wi o a s n e ish r om o r fl e y , e n ") u u w



ut , v



a ke Ro on an s a H en d l om to ahm call D. M p M u — wake ya's oke R " (


g i B B a e ng h T Written by Tracy Chen Edited by Chloe Deng, Ragalina Palaka, Shaguffta Kaur Art by Tara Ayer Layout by Chloe Yan

The crazy truth is that we,

everything we love in this world, and the sparkles we admire in the sky, are results of the exponential expansion of space: the Big Bang. While the universe didn’t explode from an infinitely small, dense point in space during the Big Bang, astronomers widely accepted the fact that the beginning of our universe was still very chaotic — until now. Ph.D. students Francesca Rizzo and Simona Vegetti reconstructed an image of SPT0418-47, a distant galaxy, in unprecedented detail. The female astronomers magnified SPT0418-47 using a radio telescope, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, and reflected it off a nearby galaxy. The galaxy has two similarities to the Milky


Way: a rotating disc and a bulge formed by a large group of stars packed tightly around the galactic center. SPT041847’s light takes 12 billion years to reach Earth; this galaxy is so far away that we see it at 10% of our universe’s current age. Therefore, when we study SPT0418-47, we are going back to a time when galaxies were just beginning to develop. This is the first time a bulge has been seen so early in the history of the universe, making SPT0418-47 the Milky Way’s most distant look-alike.

When Rizzo and Vegetti reconstructed the image of SPT0418-47, they saw a near-perfect ring of light, which Vegetti called “the most well-ordered galaxy disc ever observed in the early Universe.” However, what the astronomers saw contradicts theories that all galaxies in the early Universe were turbulent and unstable. Instead, the astronomers’ discovery suggests that the beginning of the Universe may not have been as chaotic as it seemed, raising questions on how such an organized galaxy formed so soon after the Big Bang. Rizzo and Vegetti’s research challenges our understanding of how galaxies form and gives us more insight into the past of our Universe.

Rizzo and Vegetti’s research challenges our understanding of how galaxies form and gives us more insight into the past of our Universe.

With the continued research by women in STEAM, like Rizzo and Vegetti, one day we’ll look up to the stars and finally have an explanation for the beginning of our universe.










ughout her career, Kalpana Chawla has orbited the Earth over 252 times, all while inspiring young girls around the world.


Kalpana Chawla was born on March 17th of 1962 in Karnal, Haryana. Karnal was a special town - it was one of few with a flying club, which ignited Kalpana’s interest in STEM. Growing up, she had always admired the airplanes there and wished to fly one herself. After relentless pleading, her father finally took her on a ride, which even years later, Kalpana considers to be her “closest link to aerospace engineering”. At age 11, she was further inspired by the Viking Landers’ Mars Mission and a family friend, J.R.D. Tata, who used to conduct flights. In 1976, she graduated from Tagore School and went on to receive a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College in 1982 . Afterward, Kalpana moved to the United States of America and, in 1984, successfully pursued a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas. Two years later, she returned for a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and in 1988, began her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. That was also the year she began working at the NASA Ames Research Center, where she conducted significant research in her field. In 1983, Kalpana married Jean-Pierre Harrison, which enabled her citizenship in 1990 . In 1993, her career further prospered when she became the vice president of Overset Methos Incorporation, even contributing as a research scientist in aerodynamic optimization.

With a seasoned career and her new American citizenship, Kalpana was accepted to NASA’s Astronaut Corps in April of 1995. There, she endured rigorous training as preparation for her very first space mission as a mission specialist and prime robotic arm operator on the Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87 in November 1997. With this journey, Kalpana Chowla became the first woman of Indian descent to go to space. The STS-107 was Chowla’s next and final flight. The 2001 mission seemed doomed from the start, encountering delays and technical issues prior to launch. The Columbia eventually disintegrated upon its reentrance into the Earth’s atmosphere On January 16, 2003. The world watched with horrified eyes as the crew and spaceship were forever lost to debris. Though she untimely lost her life, she died a heroic death and was able to pursue her dreams, serving as a role model for the young Indian girls who aspire to be aerospace engineers, astronauts, scientists, and so much more. Kalpana was as limitless as her impact.


Timeline Timeline of of Women Women in in STEAM STEAM

Written by Aracely Alvarado, Lotus Lee, Samyukta Iyer, and Suhani Ramchandra Art by Caitlin Ramiscal and Christie Cadette 27

Edited by Amy Nguyen, Kavya Venkatesan, Neha Kanneganti Layout by Michelle Yu

Starting with the 19th Amendment, women have defied stereotypes and thrived in what were considered male-dominated fields. Today, that means growing and glowing in STEAM, earning top awards, and making history. However, not all of them receive recognition, so we’re here to tell their stories.

Lise Meitner

"Mother of Nuclear Power" (1878 - 1968)

Earned her doctorate degree in physics from the University of Vienna Worked with chemist Otto Hahn to make a multitude of discoveries in nuclear science, including nuclear fission Hahn won the Nobel Prize for the work while Meitner never got the credit she deserved

Grace Hopper

"Queen of Code" (1906 - 1992)

Earned her Master’s and Doctorate in mathematics from Yale in 1930 and 1934 She used her programming skills while navy during WWII where she put together one of the earliest computers called Mark I After her service, she continued with her work on creating computers and advancing the world of computer programming in Harvard with the creation of the most common business computer language: COBOL


Christina Koch

"America’s Female Astronaut" (1979 - Present)

Earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in electrical engineering and physics from North Carolina State University One of the first two women to participate in an all-female spacewalk Set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman with a total of 328 days

Chein-Shiung Wu

"First Lady of (1912 - 1997)


Immigrated to the US from China to pursue her PhD in physics at the University of California - Berkeley Assisted with the science that went behind the Manhattan Project for WWII Along with two male colleagues, she disproved the “principle of conservation of parity” Her male colleagues went on to win the Nobel Prize for their work while her work went unrecognized


Domee Shi

"Pixar’s ‘Precious Treasure" (1989- Present)

Earned Bachelor’s in Applied Arts Animation from Sheridan College Pixar’s first woman and of color to direct a short film “Bao” Received the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2019

Dr. Izzy Jayasinghe

"Biophysics Geek" (Unknown - Present)

Earned a Bachelor’s in Cardiovascular Sciences and PhD in Physiology from the University of Auckland One of a few transgender biophysicists at the University of Leeds in England An elected member of the Women in Physics committee in the Institute of Physics








No e

We asked


Girl Genius

Who is



female leader?

They said...

Alexandria OcasioCortez United States Representative

Ada Lovelace First programmer

Ana Carrasco

First woman to win a World Championship in solo motorcycle racing

Angela Maria Salazar

Founder of Fundación Milagro de Abril

Celestine Maddy

Global Head of Consumer & Brand Marketing at Pinterest


Daphne Koller

CEO of Insitro & former researcher at Stanford AI Lab for drug discovery

Grace Hopper

Computer pioneer & naval officer

Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand

Jennifer Doudna & Emmanuelle Charpentier

Nobel Prize Awardee in Chemistry for the development of CRISPR-Cas9

Lang Ping

Chinese volleyball player, "The Iron Hammer"

Lisa Piccirillo

Solver of the Conway Knot Problem

Malala Yousafzai

Youngest Nobel Prize laureate

Maryam Mirzakhani

First woman to win a Fields Medal

Melanie Perkins

Sonia Sotomayor First Latina member of the Supreme Court

Queen Latifah American singer

Victoria Garrick

Mental Health & Body Image Advocate and Podcaster

CEO of Canva

Michele Romanow Co-Founder & President of Clearco

Michelle Obama Former First Lady of the United States

Reshma Saujani

Founder of Girls Who Code

Art by Sanya Gupta Layout by Abby Liang


More from


us team!

Girl Geni

On Daphne Koller... "Daphne Koller has risen to the top of the technology workforce in a time where women's accomplishments in AI aren't always acknowledged. In a very male-dominated field, she has wielded her tenacity and innovative thinking to revolutionize drug discovery. She gives hope to all female researchers that someday, their contributions, just like hers, will be given the recognition they deserve."

On Maryam Mirzakhani... "Not only is she the only woman to have ever won a Fields Medal, she redefined what women can do when they pursue what they love. She is remembered to have done math more like art than traditional math, was known for her work ethic and dedication, and is an icon for female mathlovers throughout the world. Though she tragically passed away too young, her legacy lives on in her work and story, as well as the many awards and opportunities in her name that give female mathematicians of every age chances to pursue their own mathematical dreams." 35

On Ana Carrasco... "She inspires me because in the world of motorcycle racing, which is very heavily dominated by men, she didn't let the sexist remarks stop her from reaching her dream. As a women who also loves motorcycle racing it is great to see a women finally being on the padlock and not only that but winning the World Championship!"

On Angela Maria Salazar... "She inspires me because she has created a network of support for women in Colombia who have suffered domestic abuse and other traumas. It is very inspiring to see how she created a community and is able to give resources to these women that weren't available before."

01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101 01101101 01110000 01101111 01110111 01100101 01110010 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01100101



Art by Tara Ayer

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.