Daisy Rosas Vargas is pursuing her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Indiana University and earned her B.S. degree in Chemistry from UC San Diego. Below she shares a little about her career and the inspiration behind it.
What is your specific area of STEM?
Chemistry, Organic Chemistry
How would you explain your STEM field to young girls?
Chemistry, especially organic chemistry, is like a puzzle. Each piece of information is a puzzle piece. Putting together the puzzle will reveal a larger puzzle piece that will help understand how chemistry works and how chemistry can help the world in new and better ways.
What traits might a child possess that may indicate an interest or aptitude for your STEM field?
I think one of the major traits is curiosity. Curiosity about how the world works. Curiosity about how we can help solve big world problems. Asking questions about everything. Activities like going to museums also spark the seed of interest.
What did you know about your STEM field when you were a child?
I was always interested in the sciences. I wanted to be a veterinarian as a young child. That then evolved into a marine biologist, followed by a forensic researcher, to a chemist in high school.
I was first introduced to chemistry at a 7th grade science summer camp for girls called Tech Trek. After one week taking mystery powders I knew I wanted to be some type of chemist. My interest was encouraged by my parents and my high school chemistry teacher.
Why did you choose your STEM field? Were you inspired by someone?
I could say that I chose chemistry, but I think chemistry chose me. I was lucky enough to grow up in a community that supports children's interest in science, especially that of underrepresented minorities.
What are some really cool things that people in your profession work on?
There are so many cool things chemists can do. Chemists are innovators. They work with other professionals in the STEM field to find solutions to the world's urgent problems. Chemists can help save art, make perfumes, make new materials to help doctors and astronauts, build machines that can detect things. Chemists can also become professors and mentors.
What inspirational message would you give young girls to inspire them to pursue STEM?
Do not be afraid to try something that is hard. Some people will say that STEM is hard. It could be that they have not tried. But that should not stop you from trying to learn about it and understand it.
Thank you for contributing, Daisy!
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