Elena’s introduction to science started with the Girl Scouts, where she developed a passion for engineering and contributing to the community. She is currently a Girl Scout at the Ambassador level, and has achieved the Bronze Award, Silver Award, and Gold Award. For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she developed a new curriculum for the third grade biology unit in her former elementary school. She designed and built countertop greenhouses for each classroom, and then taught a six week course on plant biology, human nutrition, and sustainable agriculture, while growing kale in the greenhouses. In the end, the third grade teachers were able to adopt Elena’s lessons into part of the science curriculum, so students will continue to benefit from her efforts.
Elena is involved in many different activities and holds several leadership roles, including president of her school’s Science National Honor Society, president of Mu Alpha Theta (a math honors society), captain of Freedom High School’s swim team, and captain of her school’s academic, competing in Scholastic Scrimmage and Quiz Bowl tournaments. Outside of schools, she plays softball for the Forks Thunder 18u Black Fastpitch team, and she also volunteers for St. Luke’s Hospital in the ambulatory surgery department.
Over the summer, Elena attended the Stevens Institute of Technology, where she participated in a program that focused on biomedical engineering. She also attended the Summer Engineering Institute at Lehigh University, where she explored different disciplines of engineering through projects and college lectures. Elena furthered her education at Lehigh University by taking a material science and engineering class through her high school’s honors program. Through this class, she explored the ways in which materials are processed, manipulated, and designed to fit the parameters of different engineering situations. Elena wants to pursue a career in engineering, and is very passionate about helping to create a brighter future for everyone.