Girl Genius Magazine | Issue 9

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

Art • Blo Writing • Editing • Finance • Layout Design • Partnerships & Events • Social Media • Video • Writing CLICK HERE CLICK HERE TO APPLY! TO APPLY! Layout by Diana He 3
Table of C Table of C Meet The Team Issue 9: Interdisciplinary The Gravity of Galaxies Luna Yin Interdisciplinary IRL Aditi Vishnubhatla Co-Surgery Alyssa Dolina Integrating Interests Kiakri Garcia Optogenetics Maegan Noche 06 08 11 12 14 18 22 Mathematics: Where All Begins and Ends Inês Martins 4
Contents Contents The Hydrogen Bonds of Success Alyssa Dolina Three Simple Colors Hannah Rashid 25 28 The First Connection In Writing Karissma Pineda Breaking Down Barriers Tanvi Rao 30 32
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Public Health Georgia McLenaghan 35 5
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Meet Meet Meet The The The Team Team Team

ART Tara Ayer, BLOGGING Sarah Mirsaidi, SOCIAL MEDIA Paula Romero, EDITING Kriti Sundaresa, CREATIVE WRITING Julianne Tenorio, LAYOUT DESIGN Firmiana Wang, PARTNERSHIPS & EVENTS Fara Yan, WRITING Rumeysa Yilmaz, FINANCE Sophia Zheng,
Reeva Khokhar , TIKTOK Vanna Tiamsic 6
Shivali Gulati
Georgia McLenaghan
Permadi Tanvi Rao Saumya Singh
Cady McManus Daniela Ruano Michelle Zhou
Borgohain Suki Chandok Joy Jiang Ananya Kharbanda Kavya Madhavan Sweksha Mehta Kelly Tran
Saumya Singh
Diana He Emily Luu
Dolina Anya Kapoor Adhithi Narayana Murthy Karissma Pineda Hannah Rashid Shrinithi Sathiyaseelan Luna Yin
Borgohain Kristy
Michelle Zhou
Alyssa Dolina Emilia Kniestedt Inês Martin
Maegen Noche Tanvi
Varsha Shashishekar Giovanna
Diana He
Vanna Tiamsic Kandyce Diep Anne Do Clara Isabel Novicio Kendehl Taylor TEAM MEMBERS TEAM MEMBERS TEAM MEMBERS Anushka
Diya Grewal Christina Moon
Setayesh Assadzadeh
Shashishekar Shrida Bhat
Layout by Michelle Zhou

Interdisciplinary IRL Interdisciplinary IRL

"A degree in chemistry? Do you work in a lab?"

"No. Actually, I am a perfumer for a major beauty company!"

"An art major? Do you just sit and paint?"

"No. I work as a 3D modeler, front-end designer, and graphic designer!"

"You went to an engineering college? Do you work at your desk with a computer all day?"

"No. I am a fashion engineer who designs clothes and the technology behind them!"


is exactly what you see above. Just because you study something or have a major in a certain topic, doesn't mean you can't combine it with your passions


Take for instance Take for instance the following jobs: the following jobs: Chemistry in the Beauty Industry Engineering and Fashion

Perfumers are people who develop new scents through thorough research and testing of what ingredients mix well together. This is a rigorous job that requires perfumers to be sure of the scent, safety, and strength of the product. Generally, perfumers need a chemistry degree and study for around 5-10 years with ample training at fragrance houses or labs before entering a permanent job

This might be surprising, but engineering and fashion go hand in hand Fashion engineering applies engineering based principles in designs and textile production. If you look at your thermal that keeps you warm for the winter, why do you think that is? Fashion engineers come up with the perfect materials to keep your body warm In the athletic clothing industry, you can see that many of the clothes are made out of smart technology to improve the quality and utility of the clothing item. Brands such as Under Armour and Levi’s are only some of the brands that have clothing made from smart technology for top performance and the betterment of health.


Math and Art

Although it doesn't seem like it, 3D modeling, graphic design, and more jobs like

this often require both mathematical thinking as well as an artistic background. Many websites and things we see online today could not be what they are without both of these aspects. If the math wasn't there, the code or calculations may not be correct. Furthermore, if the art wasn't there, the aesthetic would look funky.

This concept of interdisciplinarity isn't only applicable to jobs; a variety of companies work on projects together as well.

Take for example Google and Luxottica, a tech and eyewear company that combine to innovate wearable devices. These two companies created what you would only believe to see in a TV show. They made glasses that produced a mini screen within the lenses and showed incoming calls, emails, etc. Combining luxury and sports eyewear with technology ended up being an unconventional but fascinating collaboration.

As you could see in the examples above, one field cannot live without the other. Interdisciplinary fields are woven through our everyday lives in the most unusual ways. And because of the many combinations, our world is a better place.

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Co-Surgery Co-Surgery

How Surgeons Can Conquer Surgical Fields

An interdisciplinary tactic can be defined as something that is used to aid curious-minded humans, people whose brains are always running, turning and never stopping, to put their complete focus on multiple, smaller interests.

One must learn, not to slow down their curiosity, but to discipline it, forcing themselves to become concentrated on a few concrete interests, rather than putting their focus on too many topics of study and not being able to fully plunge their heart into their many fascinations. Interdisciplinary tactics can also be used to relate multiple topics of interest and knowledge to one another, possibly creating a cross section of one big topic. The newly improved topic is usually brilliant since it has separate interests combined, giving the topics room to reach their full potential through one another, such as a doctor using their knowledge in one area of study to potentially thrive within another area of study.

In the medical field, there is such a wide range of study topics that it is typically hard for medical students to focus their interests on solely one subject matter. Being able to choose more than one field of interest would be helpful to all upcoming doctors, however, it is unusual for doctors to prioritize more than one field of medicine. A Pediatrician never has a side job as a brain surgeon, and a Dermatologist never has to finish seeing a patient in order to go quickly perform an appendectomy. One specialty usually consumes enough of a doctor’s time, leaving them no extra room to entertain another medical career pathway. However, it can be possible to have two different subspecialties within one main specialty.


Centering on surgery, there is an underused method called ‘Cosurgery’ that encapsulates the multiple surgical interests a person within the medical could have, and allows them to accomplish multiple surgeries in more than one specialty, possibly within the same day.

A large number of doctors will earn multiple certifications in more than one specialty, allowing them to pursue their multiple interests within the medical field. The surgeons who aspire to specialize in multiple fields of surgery must have extreme self discipline, allowing themselves to focus intensely on all of their interests so they can perfect each surgery specialty they plan to go into. Interdisciplinary also comes into account when the interests are different, but when they are both perfect enough, they make a much more beautiful combination when used together, side by side. A Neurosurgeon could possibly spend some time in Orthopedic surgery, using the logistics of Neurology to determine the root of orthopedic issues, regarding orthopedic patients. Having knowledge in one field of study can lead to a better confirmation of a diagnosis in another field of study.

Assuming the role of taking on multiple subsections of study can be intimidating, the subjects however usually become cohesive when properly used together. For example, I wish to become an Orthopedic surgeon, focusing on the hip, knee, and leg for routine surgeries. Yet, I also want to be a trauma Orthopedic surgeon, dealing with the consequences of shark attack injuries on limbs. These subfields of study are very different from one another, but getting multiple board certifications in more than one field of study, in this case, it would need to be one in Orthopedics and the other in trauma specialty, can lead to a twist of the paths in the midst of an attempt to use interdisciplinary methods.

Knowing when two subjects would be better off if they crossed paths is important because not every field of knowledge can work well with others. When two fields of interest can be combined to create an ingenious braid, the world can be conquered for the better, day by day.


As children, most people have vivacious career aspirations that are often quite incoherent. For example, someone may dream of being both an actor and a chef, or both an astronaut and a chemist or maybe even all four! These combinations of occupations usually narrow to one or two prospective career paths once grown and matured However, though the ideas of these outlandish careers may have faded away, many people are still left with a multitude of interests that seem to have no connection to one another They find themselves in a tight situation: having to choose one dream job over another. Regardless of how they may view this dilemma, the reality is that they don’t necessarily have to give up one interest completely at the expense of the other. By adopting an interdisciplinary career path that merges one interest with the other, people are able to utilize many types of skills to move forward in life.

Art by Tara Ayer | Layout Design by FirmianaWang

specifically as a computer science major, I found myself holding back from completely devoting myself to this single path. I harbored different interests outside of the STEM world that I initially thought I couldn’t carry into my profession, as, in my eyes, there was no correlation between them and STEM. Specifically, I am strongly passionate about the performing arts, be it theater, singing, dancing, or acting. When first beginning to think about my future, I felt conflicted about which career path I would take: STEM or the performing arts On one hand, STEM would be the most practical of the two (not that I loved it for the sole reason of it being practical) and is considered by society to be a “respectable” occupation. On the other hand, I loved how I transformed into a different person when on the stage or when singing a song that I really enjoyed; however, a job in the performing arts was entailed as “risky ” For many years, I switched between being decided on one career to the other, unable to come to a clear and concise solution.

Recently, insight from an individual who had confronted a similar conflict changed this fact. Over this summer, I attended a Kode With Klossy camp in which we were visited by the founder herself: Karlie Kloss. During her visit, she described to the class how since she had become a model at such a young age, she felt as if she couldn’t do anything with her interest in computer science in her professional career. Despite this, she eventually founded her own coding organization and fused the two professions together, something I believed couldn’t have been done especially with careers that were so different This encounter allowed me to evaluate my dilemma once more and realize that I had overlooked a third option: to intertwine the two career

I felt conflicted I felt conflicted about which about which career path I career path I would take: STEM would take: STEM or the performing or the performing arts. arts.

Finding similarities between the two careers was something I most definitely struggled with at first, as there wasn’t anything blatantly obvious the two shared. You may be juggling between two career options as well and share a similar mindset, but I assure you that there are countless similarities that you may not recognize yet. In my case, I realized that computer science and the performing arts both require a degree of creativity, and by continuing to participate in both of them, I was developing my ability to be innovative I dditi t thi th performing arts requires me to be flexible and on my f combat any issue that may present itself. Coding requ which I have to be constantly on my feet as well catc way. Two seemingly different careers were slowly star more similar in my eyes. By just finding small similariti begin to appreciate your interests even more and co they aren’t as different as you anticipated.

A false assumption people often have about choosing a career path is that once you are set on one, you have to completely give up all of the others. This, of course, is not the case at all. If I decided in the future that I wanted to become a computer scientist, this doesn’t mean I have to completely erase any trace of theater, singing, and dancing from my life. Instead, you should continue to practice the interests that bring you joy and use them to strengthen the core skills that you will use in your professional occupation If your career paths happen to be more similar than not such as two careers in the STEM field then you may find that practicing your different interests comes more easily. However, even if it may seem as if your career interests have no explicit similarities, there are always ways that you can link the two, though sometimes it may require a lot of hard work.


Commencing projects that combine your interests is a put your multitude of interests into practice. For exam backstage in a theater and help out with the sound sys for technology and the arts simultaneously. Another ex interest in baking and business, two career paths that first, but have more similarities than one may think. Sel targets a variety of different business skills and is an excellent way to practice two different topics that you enjoy If these two examples don’t cater to any of your preferred interests, the internet is a great tool to turn to for inspiration on what type of passion projects to pursue. Plenty of people online have successfully done passion projects that kept them practicing their unique interests Passion projects in particular have strong benefits for individuals as it helps them actively learn more about the fields that they’re interested in and develop the skills for these fields that will be necessary for potential careers.

Whatever you decide to do in order to keep doing what you love, don’t forget that no career path is exclusive. Giving up a hobby for your career should never be a first case scenario and, in many cases, is never a choice that you should even have to consider Combining your interests in different fields is an excellent way to help you stay engaged in your career and allow you to live a life that is fulfilling and true to you.



An Interdisciplinary Technique to Unlocking Secrets of the Brain

From turning off the lights to switching on our TVs, humans have been able to control the things around them forever. However, one thing humans have not been able to control are living things, particularly what they are composed of. In 2007, Karl Deisseroth along with two other scientists, Edward Boyden and Feng Zhang, made it possible for humans to do this. How? Well, the answer is pretty simple - through light.

Their research was used to discover a method controlling the brain. Well, before scientists even wanted to do that, they simply wanted to answer one question how does the brain work? While researchers made numerous attempts to answer this question, most of their efforts unfortunately remained stagnant. Therefore, as the questions they asked got increasingly difficult, what the researchers needed was the resources to keep up. This is when the discovery of optogenetics began.


key to answering the new questions about the brain and its mechanisms lay in being able to control a certain cell in it while leaving others unaltered. This prompted researchers to unlock that key using methods like electrical stimulation of the brain and drugs. Unfortunately, they found themselves at square one as these did not have either the speed nor precision required to control the brain It was only through Crick’s next proposal that light might have properties capable of controlling the brain which led to scientists finally moving in a clear direction. In the years that followed, a few scientists did make progress through their discovery of certain proteins, particularly bacteriorhodopsin and halorhodopsin, which were activated by types of light. In 2002, Deisseroth identified channelrhodopsin which later on became the primary protein for the use of optogenetics. After inserting the channelrhodopsin 2 (ChR2) gene into mammalian neurons in the presence of blue light, his team was able to verify its ability to control action potentials. Hence, optogenetics was soon born in 2005.

As seen in the name, it combines the fields of optics and genetics to control specific cells in the body. It works by inserting certain proteins produced by “opsin” genes into neurons to control exactly when these neurons would act. The genes that compose these proteins are capable of regulating the flow of electric charge across cell membranes in the presence of light. The neurons in our brain communicate with action potentials that occur when ion channel receptors are activated by certain neurotransmitters.

Essentially, optogenetics uses light as a substitute for those neurotransmitters to target specific neuronal circuits By far, only optogenetics has been capable of controlling such a complex organ because its millisecond-scale precision is crucial for keeping up with action potentials or synaptic currents that make targeted neural events possible (Yizhar et al , 2011) This precision has given scientists the opportunity to gain relevant clinical and psychiatric insights.

Optogenetics is a scientific method that uses light to control the cell.

While most of the breakthroughs in optogenetics have only been in animals like mice, these are relevant in finding targetive treatments in medicine and neuroscience for humans. One of the most important applications of optogenetics has been in increasing the community’s understanding of neurobiological & clinical diseases. A great example is the use of optogenetics in addressing Parkinson's disease. In 2019, it was recorded that over 8.5 million individuals globally have Parkinson’s disease which debilitates their motor and physical abilities. For these individuals, the options they had access to like electrical stimulation were simply insufficient as they were unable to stimulate specific brain cells related to Parkinson’s. Even if these techniques could control only the cells they needed, there was simply a lack of awareness of what

type of stimuli they should apply. Deisseroth, through optogenetics, is working to introduce more effective options by acquiring new insights into its circuitry and possible mechanisms of action. At the same time, optogenetics was also used in creating treatments for retinitis pigmentosa that lessens one’s ability to respond to light. With the use of optogenetics, we can finally provide more efficient solutions to the millions who suffer from these diseases.

Another essential application of this technology is in our understanding of mental health. In a Scientific American article written by Karl Deisseroth himself, one of the reasons he strongly values his work is because he can bring “engineering nciples and quantitative chnology to bear on seemingly zzy " but devastating and intractable ychiatric diseases”. (Deisseroth, 10) An example of this is through ing optogenetics to address pression by demonstrating certain dbrain dopamine neurons in pression like phenotypes induced stress (Witten et. al 2010). milarly, developments in autism ve also been made through the use


of optogenetics. A group of researchers were able to utilize optogenetic techniques to isolate certain circuits of a mice brain involved in social-spatial learning linked to autism. Moreover, through optogenetics, researchers have been able to formulate new insights on underlying causes of anxiety and substance abuse. All of these are extremely significant in reducing the stigmatization against mental health by using science as a tool for awareness.


Although all of these seem promising, there are still various challenges posed by directly using optogenetics on humans. One of the biggest considerations lies in the ethics of human trials. Ultimately, these trials have raised concerns on patient safety and the number of other risks present when testing. Moreover, these patients are likely to be those suffering from the diseases optogenetics ought to cure, so it is particularly important to minimize the risks present in these trials. Additionally, the costs and amount of time this may require are also a concern that should be addressed before beginning human trials. It is essential to strategically plan a trial that can achieve the best results with a duration safe enough for the

participants and costs affordable enough for the researchers.

The quest to employ optogenetics has been a long yet fruitful one. Using knowledge in engineering, genetics, and even neuroscience has allowed researchers to control the brain with an exceptional level of precision. Moreover, it has revolutionized our understanding of some of the most relevant fields of science that affect the most vulnerable. With the amount of progress neuroscientists have achieved in the past decade alone, it is clear that we are one step closer to finally answering the one question in neuroscience- one neuron at a time.

Using knowledge in engineering, genetics, and even neuroscience has allowed researchers to control the brain with an exceptional level of precision.

M4TH3 M4T1C5


Mathematics is undenia everywhere, be that pre obvious or otherwise W look at bridges, roads, p cameras, buildings, and even food, mathematics has a say in every single one of those creations. I many ways, mathemati the language reality ch to represent itself. Whe we’re able to grasp it or everything starts and en mathematics

This ever-changing area perhaps one of the most comforting scientific fields through the constant truths it provides, built on solid logic and elegant numerical manipulation. Furthermore, mathematics is possibly the most interdisciplinary subject of all, with applications in all we know.


Mathematics is present in the study of motion, be it natural or celestial bodies’ movement at a macro or nano level; mathematics can represent, deduce, and predict the way objects in our immediate and distant life interact with each other. It is a study that falls into our very beloved field of physics.


This area of study is perhaps more obviously present in technology and computer science related fields, which are currently taking over the world due to their growing importance and influence in our day to-day lives. Current technology is built on mathematics, which allows a machine to make logical connections and learn from its mistakes. In order to attempt and mimic our intelligence, Alan Turing, a mathematician, helped save Britain in WWII through the mathematical based creation of a machine that then led to the creation of the concept of a computer.

Mathematical modeling undoubtedly plays a big part in sciences such as biology. It allows for the analysis and representation of living organisms, effectively displaying all of the elements the organisms are constituted by and the interactions between them. It allows us to understand, for example, how a certain disease evolves and possible routes to stop that evolution and/or minimize its effects.

Mathematics takes part in fields like economics, which largely relies on mathematical practice. Especially with the new-found influence of black box models which, through mathematics, decide how to deal with people’s livelihoods and economic prospects without human consultation. Black box models are types of software that perform data analysis, in this case related to financial environments such as the stock market, and buy and sell stocks based on their findings. Being a black box model, no one’s sure how it really works or how it makes their decisions, nor do they care to. This results in real people’s money being invested due to an almost incomprehensible decision made by a very mathematically apt machine.


Furthermore, although few seem to acknowledge it, there is a close relationship between math and art. It’s not a coincidence that a good part of the world’s greatest artists were also mathematicians. The use of mathematics is essential in the process of making something “beautiful," it's necessary to execute concepts like symmetries and perspective, granting art beauty, coherence and visual depth.

Mathematics, in its simplest form, is used to organize and structure knowledge It is a practice that is key in any area or way of living. In its most trivial form, mathematics is used to count and measure, be it counting the sides of geometric shapes in Ancient Greece or measuring the amount of sugar necessary to make your favorite cake. In its most elegant form, mathematics takes hard to grasp content, built over centuries of study, and represents it just as accurately through a simple and concise equation. In its most inhumane form, it appears as unusually lucky mathematical modeling paired with simple geometry and the loss of millions of lives through the work of hundreds of scientists in Los Alamos. In opposition, mathematics is at the center of creations such as the Turing machine, which saved 14 million lives and shortened a World War by two years It’s present in linear models,

which predict catastrophes and help lead people out of suffering before it occurs Not to forget the biological mathematical models that provide an understanding of how a disease acts and how to counteract it.

Life can start and end with mathematics, from ancient geometry that creates pyramids to dangerous physics powerful enough to end civilizations. At its core, mathematics is an invention that is as human as its creators. Just as humanity questions why or how we exist, we question why or how mathematics works

Just as we can act according to what we deem good or bad, we can apply a tool as powerful as mathematics to show the good or the bad of our reality. How ironic is it that the thing we invented, which can be seen anywhere and represent anything, is something we don’t really understand and often underappreciate?

Something we lack comprehension of allows us to comprehend everything 24

An interdisciplinary concept can be classified as something that intertwines multiple subjects, twisting them into the perfect combination of one idea. Oftentimes, a new span of material only comes about because two ideas were combined to create an innovated existence Integrating two notions from the same field of interest can create one brilliant idea. An intertwining helical shaped structure, twisted by the hands of interdisciplinary tactics.

The The of of Hydrogen Bonds Hydrogen Bonds Success Success

Comparing the concept of an interdisciplinary subject to the structure of DNA can be used specifically for when subjects that are within the same field are twisted together to create an even better idea within that subject field. For example, the study of medicine goes hand in hand with psychology; you cannot have one without the other and they both must be twisted together in order for the overall practice to succeed. A pediatric doctor must understand how the different parts of the brain process information within a child. A child will clearly not be able to understand their diagnosis as well as an adult is able to, so the pediatric doctor will have to recite the scientific diagnosis through similes and metaphors to the child in order for them to better understand what is happening Learning and properly understanding how to efficiently communicate with someone in a manner that they will be able to comprehend is a crucial part of psychology.


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Medicine must also be put into psychology for psychological studies to work properly. Psychologists must understand the neurological functions of the brain, as well as which parts fulfill and carry out which specific functions. Before a psychologist gives advice to a patient or studies a patient, they must understand how the patient’s brain will comprehend the possibly harsh or sensitive observations before they say them out loud Studying how someone perceives the information that is said to them can give away a lot of details regarding how their overall brain and psychological process works. Medicine can be incorporated into psychology by allowing a psychological professional to diagnose someone, usually mentally.

It does not matter the order in which purines and pyrimidines connect, adenine to guanine, medicine to psychology, guanine to cytosine, or psychology to medicine, but they all must connect in order to fulfill the overall helical structure of the DNA. If the nitrogenous bases do not connect, the entire structure will fall apart If medicine and psychology are not made interdisciplinary with one another, the field of medicine, the field of psychology, and diagnosing people mentally and physically will become impossible. Making the final diagnosis using medicine and psychology is the ending DNA structure, which cannot be fully produced, or reach its full potential, until the nitrogenous bases of medicine and psychology bond together, wielding the science together, subject by subject, base by base.


Three Three

Colors Colors Simple Simple

ue bicycle, ellow yarn, d race car, ple colors, our world, ons to life, and night, e race car, w bicycle, A red yarn, ple colors, ssibilities, plications, mbinations ascination, A chemist’s fantasy, So many eyes ready to see, The world convert into a dream


A blue yarn, Yellow race car, A red bicycle,

Three simple colors, hat water the Earth, A gift they bestow ever ending rainbow

A green bicycle, Orange yarn, A purple race car,

They hold an individuality, But together they form a possibility, Our world would be dull, flat, Maybe even a little sad, If our rainbow was only Three Simple Colors

Written by Hannah Rashid Art by Tara Ayer Layout by Diana He


In silence, there is always a poet waiting for the first drop of rain to fall. It becomes a habit for many writers to wait for the perfect moment, the perfect instant to begin their work. To place their pen in their hand and color the pages with the sincere words of their imagination. When you think of an author, or a poet, or anyone who uses words to create worlds for others, you’d think that there could only ever be so much that they can write about.

A poet usually writes about the pain of a shared experience, while an author of young romance will write cheesy “meet cutes'' that seem unreachable. In the same way, readers tend to consume a single type of literature. Lonely young adults facing loss can understand the harrowing words of a poet. Meanwhile, pre teens will read a chapter from a young romance book and be met with an intense longing to simply be able to understand what exactly this feeling of “love” is. Think about it like this: a professor of aerospace can write their thesis on the connection between physics and engineering, and most people wouldn’t blink an eye. However, if a marine biologist wrote an article about the Escherian Stairwell, and its impact in the physics community, most would say it is unsuitable. That is exactly the reason why many authors stick to their one genre.


Thus, as an author begins their journey to writing, they have these questions in mind: What am I writing about? Who am I writing to? How will my audience react to this? Certainly an important focal point for a writer is their audience. Knowing exactly who their audience is, not only helps the flow of a story move along easily but also shows a clear connection between the audience and the theme of the story. That is why, most times, there is one main theme in every story. So when a sociology professor writes a book about connecting the study of music and how different groups of minorities accompany each other, questions will arise. How exactly does music relate anything to minorities, let alone the study of their actions? At first glance, it seems to make no sense, but that is the very beauty of writing: creating a whole new environment for new ideas, avenues, and intersections.

Although you may be searching for a specific narrative, you’ll find you’ve become accustomed to looking for it in a familiar environment One which you are certain will cover whatever subject it is you are seeking for. That is exactly why many authors choose to stick to one certain theme to make it easy for their audience to understand. In turn, many pieces by authors who don't care much for maintaining that ideology are not interpreted correctly. That leaves the question: How does writing about multiple genres and topics mislead audience members when the literary work itself is about the connection of many topics, aligning themselves to fit a new genre of literature, for readers seeking that specific theme?


the interdisciplinary approach


toSTEM education


When people talk about what they’re good at or what interests them, they often unintentionally confine themselves in boxes Someone might say that they are a “math person,” and someone else might claim that they’re a “science person” in response. While it’s certainly true that many of us gravitate towards certain subjects or topics, we also tend to stick to what we know best and what we think we’re good at rather than attempting to expand or develop other interests. This mindset isn’t conducive to learning and growing, particularly in the field of STEM.

The root of the problem can be found in the way STEM is taught to us from a young age. We are introduced to math and science as two separate classes. We learn about technology, but usually only to the extent of learning to use a computer for general tasks. As for engineering well, it’s hardly touched upon at all. In traditional teaching, there is a massive disconnect between subjects that are in actuality so closely connected in the real world. From the beginning, we are taught to learn, not to apply.

The path to interdisciplinary education starts at the multidisciplinary level. This is a great start for instruction at an elementary scope because young children can learn about each subject area as

connected by a common theme

Though the skills and information of each subject are taught separately, this is a helpful transition stage that helps cultivate students’ abilities to make connections.

Ultimately, we need a shift in the way we think about STEM, and that’s where interdisciplinary education comes in. This approach is crucial in removing barriers between each aspect of STEM and in rewiring the way we deal with subjects that are so closely related.

When it comes to the interdisciplinary method, making connections across the fields of STEM is a key component. In each and every classroom, STEM learning and teaching looks different. An interdisciplinary approach does not aim to change this and instead ensures that knowledge and skills from various subject areas are taught in an interdependent way. Ideally, each task or lesson is explored through more than one STEM-related lens. Of course, not every field of STEM applies to every instance, nor does it need to. Still, the ability to analyze different STEM approaches and choose the best ones when looking at a problem is another valuable skill that the interdisciplinary approach develops.

Contrary to popular belief, interdisciplinary STEM education is not a curriculum or subject area on its own. But when properly integrated into a curriculum, it can remove traditional barriers that currently separate the four disciplines and allows students to think more flexibly. Ultimately, the goal is to get to the transdisciplinary stage, a project-based approach where students collaborate to apply STEM to practical contexts and solve real-world problems. Rather than temporarily learning material, students will be able to identify problems and design solutions for them, a tool that is invaluable in nearly every STEM career.

STEM is not just a set of separate subjects grouped together. Instead, as the acronym suggests, it is a sort of “stem” that encourages the development of critical thinking and problem solving strategies. If you

still think you’re too old to receive an interdisciplinary education and grow these skills, that’s not true at all. An interdisciplinary approach can also just be a mindset or an ideal that guides your future research and learning. For people interested in science, technology, engineering, and math, it’s time to stop limiting ourselves. Instead of being “science” or “math” people, we should start aiming to be “STEM” people.



Aconversation that has been swirling around lately is whether we, as the academics, the people, the public, and so on can benefit from an approach of interdisciplinary study techniques. This is admittedly not a new topic in discussion, but one that could perhaps be pushed into practice more efficiently. The general definition of interdisciplinary study, is to intersect seemingly unrelated disciplines in an effort to gain deeper insights into both. To begin, the benefits and struggles have to be weighed in order to see an actual purpose to the intersecting.

There have been various studies and data collected as to whether the crossing over of disciplines can benefit any in the way we approach research and problems, and one that is quite interesting was a study that ten scientists and researchers participated in Their goal was to find and bring up any points that could be improved on areas such as communication and collaboration, and during the experience, they produced a checklist of items that would help seamlessly intersect more disciplines in the future This study is mentioned further on.


In a way, public contains many through its vari However, adop approach to us disciplines and a definite way t public health w problems they imagine new so problems. Spec claim include th public health re statisticians to realistic preve issues such as inequalities, an etc. In regards side, health psy and wellness ha to aid in unders underlying pro communities. But as it also states that there are clear and understanding solutions to these challenges, and the study quotes; “development of a clear strategy for mining different disciplines with a specific endpoint in mind is fundamental for successful interdisciplinary research.” Especially with an emphasis on navigating the language differences and “power struggles” that may arise when trying to combine studies. The study resulted in a checklist to be used in further interdisciplinary research projects, and concluded in a beneficial


appraisal to combining disciplines and gaining insight from a range of intelligence. The checklist was called BASICS, as it is an acronym for Blueprint, Attitudes, Staffing, Interactions, and Core Science. The eighteen question checklist includes items that would help identify whether a project is suitable for this kind of approach and aids in helping researchers open up to the benefits of a new perspective.

Now during the five year project, researchers found, regarding the interactional part of the project, that experts in their disciplines were able to be open and honest about the limits of their own areas of study and what other disciplines could bring to the table. A quote from a participant in the study says,

“I guess that's what you were trying to foster, wasn't it, that kind of space where people could, not just see the strengths in what their disciplines could bring to the table, but also the questions that they couldn't answer.”

How everyone perceives the world is, in a way, their identity; it shapes how they interact with other people and how they act in their environment. A person can look through their own lens and see possibility and excitement, or

dread and probability. What one perceives is like a prized asset because no one else can have it, which is exactly the reason that sharing it is beneficial. One discipline cannot know what the other knows as they too, are singular. And with regard to our future, public health, and academics; having generosity with our insights can, in fact, make a difference.

Layout by Michelle Zhou

Editor's NoteEditor's Note


Over the past few months, our team from different time zones, states, and even countries has worked extremely hard to put together this jam packed issue.

As high schoolers, we all are trying to explore career pathways and this is a perfect time for us to learn about the interdisciplinary nature of STEAM. When I first learned programming in my freshman year, there was something about writing code that excited me. I began attending workshops, doing hackathons, and got involved in several coding organizations such as Girls Who Code and Kode With Klossy. As I explored more and began creating applications of my own to provide a solution to problems I noticed, I learned that my coding skills and STEAM knowledge can fit right in with entrepreneurship. Now, moving towards my junior year, I have been able to discover that I want to pursue something in this intersection. From my experience, I can say that these overlaps of fields teach you so much and give you the opportunity to grow and develop. At Girl Genius, our goal is to empower and inspire you to explore the vast field of STEAM. We strongly hope that you enjoyed reading this issue and are inspired to go find the intersection that resonates with you!

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