Art Auction, Summer Research, Legacy Project, and Junior Prom
Letter? I Hardly Know Her! - April 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 great 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 wonderful and creative sunflower, seeing you again is like the first day of spring–the happiest day of the year.
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.
Spring is upon us, Hardly-Knowers! This month was jam-packed, so let’s spring right into it.
International Women’s Day Art Auction Update
The eBay Auction for my portrait of Maya Angelou has ended! Thanks to the winning bidder, corporate matches, donations from family and friends, and your amazing support, the total amount raised was a whopping $7,000! 100% of the funds from this auction 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. I'm incredibly happy and grateful that we were able to raise this money for such an important and necessary cause right now.
You can check out the painting process below!
I want to give a special thank you to the wonderful auction winner, Beric Alleyne, the Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at eBay, who I got to meet in-person to deliver his hard-earned painting! He told us a great story about winning the auction the good old-fashioned way–constantly pressing the F5 button in last five seconds to outbid his competition.
It was such a pleasure and honor to meet him and Ishita Majumdar, VP of Data Analytics Platforms (someone I look up to very much)–we had such a fun conversation about creating “art with heart” and using eBay to sell my art for charity.
Check out my feature on eBay here!
Research Science Institute (RSI) Acceptance
I'm so unbelievably excited to be part of Research Science Institute (RSI) this summer, held by Center for Excellence in Education and Massachusetts Institute of Technology! I received my acceptance email mid-March, and literally cannot to spend 6 amazing weeks of research alongside 80 other scholars from around the world–it'll definitely be a summer to remember. An enormous thank you to my research mentors for all their support!
(The 2022 Rickoids have already started chatting with each other and planning virtual meetups–I hosted a Gartic Phone zoom just yesterday!)
Microsoft's Legacy Project 2022 Women’s History Virtual Museum LIVE
As I mentioned in the last newsletter, I’m incredibly honored to be featured in Microsoft's 2022 Legacy Project Virtual Museum - Women’s History Edition for my work in advocacy, art, and research, alongside influential changemakers like Dr. Jane Goodall, Brie Larson, Dr. Gladys West, and Jane Fonda!
This interactive virtual museum is designed to inspire and educate underprivileged K-12 students about significant moments and prominent figures of women, both past and present.
Explore the virtual museum here! (You can find me in "The Legacy Project!")
Due to the pandemic, school field-trips continue to be extremely limited, with teachers and students having minimal exposure to the amazing cultural exhibits at museums across the nation. To reconnect students with these experiences, Microsoft's Legacy Project has collaborated with historical museums across the U.S. to virtually transport museums into students’ homes and classrooms all around the globe, to ensure that students can experience how women's history is alive and well.
I'm so inspired to be an honoree, and can't wait to continue my work in creating a world where women and gender minorities are treated equitably everywhere.
As Women’s History Month came to a close, I made a short post and video about my experience with gender bias in STEM and how to start addressing it, which you can watch below.
Flipgrid Live Events Update + Stats
As you know from my last newsletter, this International Women’s Day, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host a Flipgrid Live Event with Holocaust survivor Ruth Kapp Hartz, who shared her experience as a hidden child in Nazi-occupied France.
The event reached over 4,000 students in 9 different countries, which is mind-blowing. Don’t worry if you missed it, you can check out the event recording here!
A couple weeks ago, I also got to host an exciting event with the amazing Stacy Hinojosa, a YouTube superstar (@StacyPlays) and a New York Times bestselling author! She shared some amazing insights for her process as a modern-day creator, both in writing and game-play. Needless to say, everyone had a great time listening to her speak, and we got some fantastic questions about how to start writing a book with confidence. You can catch the event here!
Notices of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Feature
A couple months ago, the Notices of the AMS published a feature of the two 2021 Davidson Fellows whose research was in math! My research was in analytical number theory and (my good friend!) Sean’s research was in combinatorics. It’s super cool to have been recognized by such widely-read journal that has been running for over fifty years–you can read the whole issue here!
Mensa Youth Talk - The Wonders of Mathematics
At the end of March, I had such a great time giving a virtual, interactive talk to Mensa youth about all sorts of fascinating intersections math has with art, logic, and the real world! We ventured into some mathemagic, played with tessellations, and explored the liar's paradox–math has something interesting for everyone, you just need to know where to look!
To learn more about what we talked about, you can to check out my column, Gems in STEM, which the talk was based on!
Gems in STEM: Celebrating Black Women in STEM
Speaking of Gems in STEM, in my most recent article, I highlighted the extraordinary lives and accomplishments of three Black women in STEM history: Katherine Johnson, Dr. Gladys West, and Dr. Jessie Isabelle Price, whose portraits and stories I shared over the last few months for Black History Month and Women’s History Month.
You can give it a read here!
The Fun, the Fresh, & the Funky
Though March was undoubtedly busy, there was still room for fun and funkiness. For one, I went to junior prom!
The theme was 007, i.e., an excuse for us all to dress up as FANCY and posh as we want to. I was invited by the amazing and gorgeous Emily (who I’ve been friends with for over 9 years), and we all got ready together & danced the night away last Saturday.
I also met up with my professors Dr. Schettler and Dr. Goldston in-person for the first time in a couple years! We chatted about our research, math department politics (which was juicier than you would think), and grabbed some boba together. It was so nice to catch up with them after so long, I’m super grateful for their guidance as teachers and research mentors over all these years (since I was a tiny middle-schooler).
Final update: I passed my Violin Level 10 test, wooooo! Very fun & fresh. Now, I just have to pass my second attempt at my driver’s test this Friday…wish me luck!
Coming up next on Keeping Up With (K)Apoorva...
Panel for Genius Education Zambia’s Global Summit
This weekend (April 9th), I’ll be on a panel for Genius Education Zambia’s 2nd Global STEM Summit under the theme: “Integrating Art to propel STEM innovation, forging a new world and a new future.” The summit will bring together over 200 STEAM enthusiasts, changemakers and leaders from around the world, and I’m super excited for this conversation on the intersection of creativity and STEM.
Guest Speaker for Pi515’s Girls’ Entrepreneurship Summit 2022
On April 16th, I’ll be speaking to young girls in Iowa about innovation and entrepreneurship, and how they can start pursuing their business goals.
Gems in STEM: Why Size Matters
As always, there will be more articles published for my column Gems in STEM on Medium, and the next one will be on the exciting properties and applications of quantum dots, so make sure to follow me to stay updated!
A Quarter for Your Quote?
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
I came across this wonderful quote from Maya Angelou recently (and shared it everywhere in the spirit of Women’s History Month). This quote is so good at lending me the extra courage I need to speak up for myself and to be unapologetically comfortable and confident in who I am. We all need to remember to advocate and take care of ourselves, because if we’re not looking out for ourselves, who will?
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And that’s it friends, happy April!! We’ll reunite in May (Cinco de Mayo)!
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