Lab Coat Confidential: Nasir’s take on experts and engineering

This month, we are checking in with Nasir, an eighth grader at KIPP West Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School. He completed FirstHand’s Polymer Play program in the fall, and is currently enrolled in AmpItUp. By now, he is well-versed in the FirstHand experience. Read on to learn more about Nasir’s goals, and to hear his advice for new students joining FirstHand programs.


Please share one of your favorite inventions or a cool idea you have for an invention.
Last semester, Eric and I made bioplastic cups. We planned them as cups but then we used them as plant holders, so when we put the soil inside, the cup would decay and bring nutrients to the soil. See I thought that was a good idea. That’s one of the best things I’ve ever made in my life.

Who is your role model?
Martin Luther King, I want to be just like him. I want to be like MLK or like Obama and to be a successful black man.

As a curious person…
I want to learn new things so I can be an engineer and create things that will help others. Then I can put them on the market.

If you could become an expert in any topic, what would it be?
I’m still learning. I’m not really an expert in anything yet, but I want to be an expert in math and engineering.

Any advice for a new student starting a FirstHand program?
To think outside the box, don’t be afraid to ask questions, follow directions, take notes every time because if you don’t take notes you might forget something that you made that can be really awesome. And have fun!

Describe one of your favorite experiences at FirstHand.
One of my favorite experiences is when other people come in, like experts, and they help us, or when we go to another lab to learn about another career, like creating video games. It helps us, it gives us more inside info on the subject that we are talking about.

If you could go on a field trip anywhere in time or space, where would you go?
I would want to go back then to slavery times, like actually witness what happened instead of hearing other people say stuff about the experience, like what was going on, the scenery and all that. That would be very exciting, and scary. I would do it for the experience.