I began my scientific exploration as an elementary school student, but it was at Science Leadership Academy (SLA) where I was trained in its core values to grow as an Environmental Scientist. Early on, my annual science fair projects were based on environmental science, with each one achieving a high ranking (e.g., first place, second place, or best of show). It was during my time at SLA that I entered the city-wide fair and received a third-place medal (environmental science category). Because of these achievements, I decided to follow Environmental Science as a career choice, starting with a work study position with the Fairmount Water Works.
My time at the Fairmount Water Works has been informative and has allowed me to be creative. FWW’s historic and scientific significance piqued my interest in working closely with the staff in preparing for hands-on group lessons in the water lab. I was then able to explore further and participate in the Schuylkill Acts & Impacts program. Through that experience, I was shown the entirety of the Schuylkill River, including small streams that feed into it. Without the Fairmount Water Works, I would not have had these opportunities, nor my fascination with and understanding of water quality.
Later in the summer, a family trip to Puerto Rico further enlightened me. While there, I took note of environmental differences between the local town where we stayed and Philadelphia. The town experienced a drought, which was strange due to the excessive amounts of rain the area receives. The water shortage was obvious; the forests seemed browner, tides seemed lower, and attractions like the Bioluminescent Bays were less exciting due to less bacteria coming in. It was a fascinating change from the other years I’d gone.
As a graduating student of Science Leadership Academy, I decided to make scientific experimentation the focus of my Capstone project. While being open-ended, the project must have enough content to take up an entire school year of studying and creating. I have been studying correlations between microorganisms and PH. I hope to find a way to tell if a PH is high or low based on the organisms found in the water. Any and all of my findings will be put on a website when the project is complete.
I hope to continue working in the field of environmental science, and to work on more experiments to help better understand how we affect the world around us. Currently, many parts of our environment are not acknowledged, supported, or even monitored, and are being threatened. We need a better understanding of these threats. I hope to one day fix the parts of the world that need support.