Hi! My name is Charlotte Tan, and I’m a rising senior at Downingtown STEM Academy. In school, I’m involved in Physics Club, my school’s track and field team, and the middle school outreach group in our Chemistry Club! Outside of school, I also participate in a physics internship where I’m currently building a breadboard that automatically pumps water between tanks depending on the water height, as well as a wireless power transmitter that powers a light bulb using Tesla coils! Another important part of my life is my drive for social justice. I feel a lot of love and appreciation towards my Chinese-Malaysian culture and heritage and participate in Asian Americans United, which has connected me to a larger Chinese community in Philadelphia. I really value our collective strive for equity and as a future doctor or medical researcher, I feel responsibility to make a change in the field for patients in different socioeconomic conditions.
To be honest, I was younger, I never truly had a specific area of interest, but going to STEM school, I quickly made use of the endless science resources it provides. After 3 years of trying to see which of the sciences fit me best, my passion carries itself into the fields of biology and physics, which I continue exploring through my hobbies. I love gardening, painting tote bags (it’s both cute and practical), and martial arts (I have a black sash!). I find it extremely interesting how science naturally manifests in our world, and we can use every activity we do as a method to learn more and see real-world intersections of science. While gardening, we use biology to figure out how to make the most nutrient-packed soil, but also physics to figure out how to best anchor the soil and plants down.
Biophysics definitely is a career that I would love to pursue, so when I first heard about TRIP from my bio teacher, I jumped at the opportunity to get hands-on lab experience and perform experiments I have never even heard of before. TRIP seemed like an amazing way to develop skills and give me an image of what it’s like to have a career in biomedical research. In my first TRIP experiment, I’m investigating the effects of circadian rhythms on mood, and whether drugs can have an impact, perfect for me, because this summer has completely ruined my sleep schedule. We just started making fly food, pipetting, and micropipetting, but I’m excited to continue learning in my TRIP journey and get closer with all my TRIP friends!