Hi everyone! My name is Shakira Ali and I'm a rising junior at Council Rock High School South. I've pretty much lived in PA for my entire life but I love traveling to different countries and seeing a blend of different cultures and food. At my school, I’m involved in a lot of nerdy activities and clubs and even started some of my own! I actively participate in our computer science club, women in STEM, Muslim Student Association, and much more. I’ve been playing violin for about 10 years and balancing my rehearsals with my academic life has been quite challenging, but it helped improve my time management skills. Outside of school, I tutor elementary school students and volunteer at local nature centers and summer camps. I haven’t worked with kids that often so when I assisted them in their homework and looked after them at the camps, I’ve learned a lot about the significance of responsibility and most importantly communication. I watch a lot of anime in my free time (probably a little too much) but I also like visiting local parks and landmarks around my house. I spend most of my free time baking with a touch of food science and my curiosity drives me to experiment with new flavor combinations to try and achieve the perfect texture and balance of flavors. Baking helps me express my creative side and sometimes my bakes don’t always end up perfectly, but I view my failures as the perfect opportunity to improve and make my desserts better!
Chocolate Drip Cake
Salted Caramel Cupcakes
As a hobby baker, I’ve always wondered what the scientific aspect behind baking is and how that is similar to working with chemicals in a laboratory. I’ve always been in love with science since elementary school and would be excited to participate in science challenges and fairs. Since the beginning of the pandemic, my school has limited the number of labs we were able to do but with TRIP initiative, it has introduced the importance of scientific research and experimental design to me. I’ve always been very intrigued by the biological anatomy of various organisms and although I have no clear view of my future, ever since joining TRIP, I have been more inclined to venture into a branch of science like pathology and genetics!
In my first week at TRIP, we’ve dug right into the science world by learning how to use and hold a pipette and micropipette. These small instruments have proved to be useful in the laboratory setting and with this technology, moving small amounts of liquids has greatly assisted the making of my fruit fly food! Along with practicing how to dilute solutions, the idea that the impacts of certain drugs and stressors on a fly’s life can correspond to how we can improve a human’s life and make discoveries is so fascinating to me. I am really looking forward to the upcoming weeks of project designs, data analysis, and solidifying my relationships with the other kids at TRIP! :)