Scientific Goals

“Scientific research is a human endeavor. The choices of topics that we research are based on our biases, our beliefs, and what we bring: our cultures and our families. The kinds of problems that people put their talents to solving depends on their values.” - Dr. Clifton Poodry - How has your own background influenced the types of problems you want to solve?

For my seventh birthday, my grandma gave me a "Grow Your Own Crystals" kit. I was instantly obsessed. I set out to discover every different type of crystal I could create. It was breathtaking to watch powders transform into beautiful crystalline shapes through a simple chemical reaction. It inspired me to experiment more. I moved my laboratory to the kitchen, and I don't know how many times my mom had to clean up after one of my "concoctions". I would spend hours mixing, measuring, and upgrading until I was satisfied with my creation. It went so far that my parents jokingly called me a "mad chemist" but I reveled in the title.

When I began high school and could finally take an entire class devoted to chemistry, I was ecstatic. When Dr. Gonzalez, my teacher, suggested that I skip straight from Honors to AP Chemistry, I jumped at the chance. She is one of the most inspiring people in my life. Dr. Gonzalez has a Ph.D. in chemistry and is a former college professor. In her class I was actually experimenting, doing titrations, and learning how to think about the chemical world in a complex way. It was the first time I was able to see what chemists do in the real world, and it was better than any "kitchen experiment" I had done. I...

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