From over 2500 applications, a junior at our school, Diya Nath, was chosen to become an official member of the Teen Advisory Board for Arizona Science Center. According to AZScience.org, The Teen Advisory Board is a leadership team to develop, test, and implement content, programs, and special events targeted to teens ages 12-18. Board Members, selected through an application and interview process, are an important asset of the Science Center as we are uniquely positioned to inspire teens to engage in science, and even consider a STEM-related career. The board members are able to gain real leadership experience as they collaborate with one another with not only the Center’s staff, but as well as the rest of the Arizona community to plan and organize events, allowing them make a difference on the Center’s teen audience. Since the inception in 2017, Arizona Science Center’s Teen Advisory Board has engaged more than 4,283 youth, ages 13-18-year-olds, in hands-on STEM learning opportunities. Let’s see what Diya has to say about her achievement!
Q: How did you feel when you got the news? Were you anticipating or expecting it? How will this benefit your future career or just your future in general?
A: I felt amazing and really good about myself and my abilities. I really wanted to take this opportunity to grow myself in terms of leadership, teamwork, confidence and public speaking…and I got it! I was hoping to get a spot since the other applicants were just as qualified as I was, if not more, and the competition was very high. In the long run, taking this opportunity to learn more and sharpen my skills will help me advocate for myself and for others, increase my social networks as well as execute certain activities in my job (speeches, talks, events, working in the restaurant, working under stressful situations, etc.) with flair.
Q: Was there an application process to be selected? Or a limit to how many kids per school could be selected? What requirements were needed to be selected?
A: Yes, there was an application process. You needed to fill out a form as well as email two recommendation letters. On the AZ Science Center Website, there was a link to the application form for the Teen Advisory Board (TAB). We had to include why we were interested in joining the TAB, any experience in leadership, any achievements or activities we have done as well as any other qualifications that we had. After this process, a certain number of people were selected to have an interview through zoom as well. Then, only then after the interviews would they select people to join the Board. There was no limit for how many people could be accepted per school.
Q: What are some things that you’re looking forward to in the Teen Advisory Board? And can you go into depth on what the Teen Advisory Board is?
A: The Teen Advisory Board is a leadership program sponsored by Arizona Science Center (AZSC). There, we hold our own events, programs and content at AZSC as well as volunteer. The goal of the TAB is to engage people, specifically younger children, in STEM-related activities and give them a glimpse into STEM careers as well. The Teen Advisory Board is for people 13-18 years old. I am really looking forward to spending time with other people in the science center as well as meeting more people from the Board. I am a part of the entertainment and food community, so I am looking forward to working with caterers, discussing food and bringing that social and fun aspect to our events!
Q: I know you love to bake and cook, so how has your knowledge on science affected your baking and cooking environment? How have you applied it into the food that you make? Did you have to adjust some recipes to make them more healthy without taking away the flavor of the food?
A: Science has definitely influenced my cooking! There are certain things that you should avoid doing to prevent a reaction, bad texture and flavor, bacterial growth and more as well as things you should do to achieve a tasty and well-prepared dish. Examples include not mixing acid with milk, sanitizing all tools in between tasks, preparing your ingredients with accurate measurements, and more. I use science to know the reason behind why some foods don’t mix, why one of my cakes turned out dense instead of moist, as well as how to prevent a skin forming on a resting ball of bread dough! I use science as well as advice from other cooks to know what could serve as healthy substitutes for food without taking away the flavor. What’s the use of eating something if you don’t like it? You should enjoy your food, which is why you shouldn’t have to cut back on flavor when eating healthy. I do use substitutes to make food healthier, but I try to still keep the flavor the same or not too different. For example, I tried making a chocolate syrup out of cocoa powder, honey and a bit of water, but it still tasted like chocolate!
Q: What is the most recent dish that you’ve made?
A: I have recently made melonpan, which is a Japanese sweet bread, to satisfy a request from one of my friends. It has a classic bread dough underneath and then is encased with a biscuit dough. The biscuit part is then carved to make it look like a melon! My instagram, @sakiskitchen_, is filled with dishes that I make. This weekend, I am thinking of making boba from scratch, and then making another dessert from the boba.
Diya is one of my friends and also one of the most talented people that I know. She’s wrote a book, Healthier Habits for a Healthier You, makes a variety of dishes, and now, she’s been selected to be apart of the Teen Advisory Board. I’m so proud of her and how far she’s come from when I first met her in my freshmen year, and I can’t wait to see her bloom into the successful person that she has always been destined to be. Keep up the spectacular work, Diya!