Lab Coat Confidential: A Future Computer Engineer Tackles Taste

This summer’s edition of Taste Test has flown by!  For five weeks in July and August, Sunrise of Philadelphia’s summer campers explored the chemistry and genetics of taste in the Firsthand lab, manipulating textures, colors, sounds, and smells of various foods along the way.

Bella, a rising eighth grader at Independence Charter School, was a calming and engaged presence in the lab this summer. For her final project, she dreamed up the creation of gelatinous chocolate spaghetti.  We took a few minutes to sit down with Bella and chat about what she’s been up to this summer, as well as her budding STEM career!

Above, Bella samples jelly beans for science at the Monell Chemical Senses Center.

What do you like to do in your free time, outside of camp or school?
I watch a lot of Youtubers that do daily blogs, and some beauty Youtubers. And I like to read a lot of fiction.  This summer, I’ve been really into LGBTQ books.

Who are some of your role models in life?
I don’t know…I feel like I don’t really look up to anyone. I’m just my own person.

Why do you think science and STEM are cool?
I think science is cool because there’s just so much you can do with it! I plan on taking more science classes in the future, because when I grow up I plan on becoming a computer engineer. In school, we had an elective, Introduction to Computer Engineering, that was really, really fun. I like that there’s so many different things inside a computer that make it work.

What’s been your favorite experience at FirstHand?
I think my favorite thing was using the immersion blender to make juice bubbles. And the juice gelification. I liked that we did so many different things with just juice, and then got to eat it!

As a curious person…
I want to experience many different types of science before I decide on one thing.

If you could go on a field trip to anywhere in time or space, where would you go?
I would like to go in the present to London, because it seems like a really cool city. A lot of Youtubers that I watch live there.

Any parting thoughts about FirstHand?
I think it’s a really good program. I really like it. I look forward to it, because you get to go out and do cool things with science!