Organizers

Yesha Thakkar, Newton North High School ’20

Yesha Thakkar is the founder of Expeditions to STEM, and she’s really passionate hyped about everything STEM! She is currently in the process of organizing a TEDx event at her school. In school, she is a member of the Science Team at NNHS, co-officer of Girls Coding Club, news editor on her school newspaper, and a participant in the Technovation Challenge. She decided to found Expeditions to STEM to provide an opportunity for students to explore the connection between interdisciplinary science and current events. In her spare time, Yesha watches (and re-watches) the Great British Bake-Off and The Office, listens to obsessive amounts of K-pop (BTS Army!), swims, bakes, and makes way too many checklists.

Jessica Chen, Newton North High School ’19

Jessica Chen is a senior at Newton North High School. She’s been involved in Science Team at NNHS since freshman year, competing in Science Olympiad and Envirothon. As a junior mentor at Science Club for Girls, she co-teaches hands-of science classes to elementary school girls. Last year, she worked with a team to develop and pitch an app for the Technovation Challenge where they became International Semifinalists. This fall, she co-organized Women in STEM Day at NNHS, featuring professional speakers and a panel. She’s excited to be a part of the ETS team and continue connecting students to STEM opportunities.

Gabrielle Gu, Westborough High School ’20

Gabby is a junior at Westborough High School. In school, she enjoys math and computer science. She is in Girls Who Code and attended BU’s Codebreakers. Gabby is also interested in art and design, spending a lot of her free time drawing and painting. One of her goals in life is to help others discover their passion and she hopes ETS will do just that.

Emily Lo, Wellesley High School ’20

Emily Lo is currently a junior at Wellesley High School and it interested in STEM and social sciences. She sits on a nonprofit board and helps run the Wellesley High School Science Team and Technovation Club. Outside of school, Emily enjoys sailing, crocheting, doing arts and crafts, and learning about random things.

Eve Martin, Newton North High School ’19

Eve Martin is a current senior at Newton North High School. She has been involved with her school’s STEM clubs since her freshman year and is now Vice President of the Science Team and captain of both the Math Team and the Girls Coding Club. She discovered her passion for STEM in middle school, and she hopes Expeditions will help other kids do the same! Eve plans to study math and computer science in college.

Margaret Needham, Newton North High School ’20

Maggie Needham is a junior at Newton North High School. She is on Newton’s robotics team, the LigerBots. She is passionate about helping younger generations be excited by STEM, which is why she is helping to organize ETS. She also has 3 chickens, one of whom is called Keith Richards.

Jolene Pern, Andover High School ’20

Jolene is a junior at Andover High School. She is extremely passionate about STEM and aims to make it accessible and understandable to everyone, especially youth, through Expeditions to STEM. Jolene is involved in several STEM activities outside of school, as she is Executive Vice President of Andover Robotics Club, mentors a middle school robotics team, and is Co-Director of MAHacks, a high school hackathon in New England. She strongly advocates for equality and strives to close the gender and minority gap in the field of STEM. In her free time, Jolene enjoys doing calligraphy and playing the violin. As the other judges sided with either the concurring or dissenting arguments, it proved nearly impossible for the jury to come to an agreement.

Ayat Walid, Winthrop High School ’21

Hello! My name is Ayat Walid and I am a sophomore at Winthrop High School. Some extracurriculars I do are art club, robotics club, math club, quiz bowl, and literature club. I cannot live without art,  for it is one of my precious ways of expressing my thoughts on a canvas without having my mind break from “too much” creativity. I am a part of the Events Outreach of ETS. What I do for the program is reaching out to guest speakers and workshop leaders. I enjoy what I do because I want underprivileged middle and high school students to get exposed to how much potential they have and to truly believe in themselves through meeting those who have been through the journey.

Vicki Yang, Needham High School ’20

Vicki Yang is currently a junior at Needham High School. She chose to help organize ETS because she wants to create more opportunities for others to be involved in STEM from a younger age. Outside of school, Vicki is the software manager of one of Needham’s robotics teams, the HackHers, a member of the Biobuilders club, and treasurer of the Unicef club. When she’s not doing homework or at a club, she enjoys playing video games, reading, and having a lot of plants.