Flipgrid Live Events, Painting for History, Solar Cells, and a Rock
Letter? I Hardly Know Her! - Newsletter 03/2022
Welcome, WELCOME to Letter? I Hardly Know Her! I’m Apoorva (the her in question), a 17 y/o researcher, artist, writer, keynote speaker, and advocate for youth and gender minorities in STEAM. This newsletter is a means for me to keep track of my personal & professional growth, and to share all the good stuff I’m working on! First-timers: it’s so nice to meet you, I’m so glad you’re here! For my regular hardly-knowers, here’s your promised, extra special greeting: welcome again you intelligent go-getter, seeing you again is like a cold drink on a hot summer day–refreshing as hell.
If you too want an extra greeting, you better subscribe:
As a heads up, I publish newsletters on each MONTH/MONTH, i.e. 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, … , 12/12. Is it the most efficient system? Frankly, no. But is it the most funky fresh? Absolutely it is.
Happy Women's History Month, Hardly-Knowers! This month is a big one (as you’ll soon see). Let’s get right into it!
Celebrating Black History Month
Let’s do a quick rewind. As you know, February was Black History Month! Every Friday, I posted my paintings of historic, bold, and inspiring Black figures who have paved the way for the world and society we know now. (I'll be continuing this for Women's History Month, as well!)
Here are some of the paintings & stories I shared:
"It's not every day you wake up with a mission in your mind, but I had a mission and I was determined to accomplish it." - Katherine Johnson
Dr. Gladys West
"I'll be a role model as the Black me, as West, to be the best I can be, doing my work."
Meet Dr. Gladys West, the woman behind the GPS you use everyday.
Dr. Jessie Isabelle Price
Dr. Jessie Isabelle Price was a veterinary microbiologist who developed several vaccines for life-threatening duck (and other waterfowl) diseases.
I also made a quick 3D virtual art gallery to display three of my paintings of inspiring Black women in STEM to show that their stories are historical milestones. You can view it here!
Remember that it's not just this month, but all year round that we should celebrate and learn about Black history, because Black history IS history.
Witness to History with Ruth Kapp Hartz
This International Women's Day, hear the powerful, firsthand account of one woman’s courage during World War II.
I'm so honored to be hosting a Flipgrid Live Event on March 8th with Holocaust survivor Ruth Kapp Hartz, who will be sharing her experience as a hidden child in Nazi-occupied France.
Register here - aka.ms/RuthKappHartz!
EVERYONE is welcome to listen to this once-in-a-lifetime story of what it was like to survive the Holocaust. (Over 500 classrooms are already registered, make sure you don't miss out!)
Enormous thank you to Iro, Myriah, and the rest of the wonderful Flipgrid team for all their support and hard work in bringing these incredible live events to classrooms across the world!
International Women’s Day: Art Auction
Speaking of International Women’s Day 2022, my art gallery’s annual art auction will kick off on March 8th, as is tradition!
For IWD 2022, I will be auctioning a portrait of…
…trailblazing activist and poet, Maya Angelou!
I can’t quite show you the painting yet, but make sure to connect with me on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter to catch the big reveal! (Literally, it’s a HUGE painting!)
UPDATE: The art auction is LIVE! Details BELOW:
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” - Maya Angelou
Happy International Women’s Day (and #IWD22 painting reveal)! In honor of this day, I painted a portrait of Maya Angelou to celebrate her rippling impact on storytelling and society. Not only was she an activist and acclaimed author, she was an actor, a screenwriter, a dancer, a composer, the first Black woman director. She is a perfect example of what IWD is all about: women's resilience, versatility, and empowerment. Having displayed incredible strength and perseverance throughout her life, Maya Angelou is someone everybody can look towards to find inner strength. She inspires us all to have courage in what we do, to tell our stories as they were meant to be told, and to be the change we wish to see.
The eBay Auction is live now HERE! It will end at 6pm PST on March 14th, so make sure to start bidding (we're already at 10 bids)!
100% of the funds from this auction, excluding shipping and auction fees, will go towards Nova Ukraine’s Humanitarian Aid Fund, to provide aid and emergency care to refugees and citizens in the war zone in Ukraine.
Aside from the auction, you can donate through shopping for prints, canvases, phone cases, stickers, and other products featuring my portrait at my Redbubble Shop!
If you’re looking to donate independently, please take a look at this article that details how you can help the people of Ukraine.
In 2021, I painted a portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the “Notorious” RBG, to honor her revolutionary work for gender equality. As a feminist icon, she is a perfect example of what IWD is all about: women’s empowerment.
With the portrait, I ended up raising $4,000, thanks to the wonderful support of eBay and iTalent Digital! The funds went towards the Child Advocates of Silicon Valley to aid foster youth and support court-appointed volunteer advocacy to protect children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
Microsoft Legacy Project’s "Women's History Month Experience"
I’m so honored to share that I have been officially nominated to be part of the Microsoft Legacy Project Virtual Museum’s “Women’s History Month Experience.”
This project identifies the most influential, groundbreaking female change-makers of our time, who are ambassadors for women empowerment, gender equality and social justice.
Now in its 2nd annual installment, this experience is curated as an interactive online museum gallery exhibit, showcasing women’s incredible accomplishments and contributions toward a reimagined world where young girls continue to amplify their voices, demolish invisible barriers, and push past the impossible.
To reconnect students with local museum experiences and to ensure that students understand that Women’s History is alive and well, Microsoft has created their Legacy Project Virtual Museum, Women’s History Edition.
The museum will launch later this month (and I will share the link as soon as it does)!
In the meantime, you can view the second Installation of the Legacy Project’s Black History Month Experience: Boss Moves - https://aka.ms/Legacy-BossMoves.
Hackathon: Gene Editing + Nanotech
Like I mentioned in the last newsletter, I got to do a hackathon with some of my favorite people ever–Rachel (aka literal sunshine), Graeme, and Noémie.
Our challenge was to leverage our current science/tech focuses (i.e., gene editing and nanotechnology) to propose a solution to a global issue in 24 hours.
We developed Mauve, a self-growing, biodegradable and flexible solar cell. We imagined it to be something like this:
It would be synthesized from purple non-sulfur bacteria (which acts as a natural solar panel) and cable bacteria (our long-distance electricity conductor).
Feast your eyes on this beautiful diagram I made to illustrate how external electron transport (EET) and long-distance electron transport (LDET) occur in cable bacteria:
We hypothesized that this solar cell could more than triple the energy output rate of standard solar panels to about a 65% conversion rate, while costing about 90% less to manufacture!
All in all, this hackathon was such an enjoyable experience because of the beautiful people I got to do it with–y’all are the best.
The Fun, the Fresh, & the Funky
Everyone knows that February is the fun-nest, freshest, and funkiest month of all, by the laws of alliteration.
As a spoiled Californian, I lived it up at the beach with my family on a particularly sunny day, and found a super cool rock (pictured below).
I may or may not have become obsessed and ended up taking tons of pictures through the hole in it…
On Feb 25th, I celebrated my 17th birthday! Feel free to send me any belated bday gifts. ;)
The theme was flowers, which was good because their beauty distracted me from my yearly crisis about growing up (especially now that I’m only a year away from adulthood).
This month, I also finished my Violin Level 10 test, a nine-year long journey. I played Vivaldi’s Winter (1st mvt.), Franck’s Sonata for A Major (1st mvt.), and Ives’s The Revival, a truly chaotic piece. It was grueling, but so worth the effort (like most things).
I also played around with some circuits, which was more fun than I thought it would be! Intro Circuit Analysis is shaping up to be a fantastic class.
To rightfully wrap up this section, my favorite person ever (who is kindness personified), Elly, snail-mailed me these cute stickers for the holidays, and my heart will probably never recover. Truly fun, fresh, and funky.
Coming up next on Keeping Up With (K)Apoorva...
Mensa Youth Event, “7 Wonders of the Mathematical World”
I’ll be giving a virtual, interactive talk to youth about all the fascinating intersections math has with art, magic, and the real world. (Math has something interesting for everyone–you just need to know where to look!)
IWD Art Auction Results
I can’t wait to see how much we will be able to raise for Ukrainian relief efforts. I will be sure to share where all the money is going in the next newsletter!
Flipgrid Live Event with Ruth Kapp Hartz (Details + Stats)
Don’t forget to register for this amazing event! I’ll be sharing how it went in the next one.
Family visiting us for the next week!
Gems in STEM: Celebrating Black Women in STEM
As always, there will be more articles published for my column on Medium, and the next one will likely be highlighting historical Black women figures in STEM with artwork! (I also recently reached 200+ followers on Medium, which is so crazy–thank you all so much for reading!)
A Quarter for Your Quote?
“The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.”
I came across this quote in Leonard Shlain’s Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light (a book my wonderful sister got me for my birthday). I thought it was so fitting for this newsletter in particular, given the focus on art for celebrating and revealing history. Art is how we interpret life through a great variety of perspectives, and this beautiful quote articulates its purpose so well, so I hope it gives you something to think about (it certainly did for me).
If you enjoyed your time here at Letter? I Hardly Know Her! - make sure to subscribe! Press that button below to get your extra special greeting in the next newsletter:
And that’s it friends, happy March!!
Feel free to contact me about speaker events, comments, and anything else at email@example.com! You can also connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Medium, and check out my art gallery, personal website, or Instagram.
Now that you are ready to delete “hardly” from Letter? I Hardly Know Her!, I would greatly appreciate you sharing this so that my publication name doesn’t become irrelevant & obsolete! <3
YOU are my favourite and this is the best newsletter