First Name

Carisa

Last Name

S.

Bio

Carisa’s passion for science and technology started at an early age, but grew when she joined robotics in fifth grade. She has been part of her school’s robotics team since then, participating in First Lego League, RoboCup Jr., and now First Tech Challenge. Last year, Carisa’s robotics team won third place at the First Tech Challenge World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. Her experiences in STEM have made her acutely aware of the severe and growing gender gap that exists in tech. Her passion to overcome this gender gap is fueled by her passion for STEM. As a participant in the 2016 White House Summit on the United State of Women, Carisa learned that cyber-bullying was a major problem with devastating psychological effects on girls, often dissuading them from pursuing STEM. Upon realizing that while most students use the Internet daily, many schools do not have programs that teach Internet safety, she created CyberSensibility. CyberSensibility is a free Internet safety curriculum that provides modules, videos and worksheets to combat cyber-bullying and bridge the gender gap in STEM. The curriculum has been used in summer camps and schools across the country, reaching more than 650 students. Carisa hopes that CyberSensibility will decrease the high percentage of teenagers bullied and the large number of girls with low confidence, and a fear of leadership roles as a result. She wants other girls to experience the confidence and empowerment computer science has given her, which is often discouraged by this online behavior. Carisa’s hope is that CyberSensibility will be used in every school across the county. Carisa is also passionate about helping others. Carisa’s dream is to use her STEM knowledge to build a business focused on developing biomedical technologies to improve lives. She wants to use technology and her love for robotics to develop minimally-invasive technologies to improve the quality of patient care and the lives of people. She is uniquely positioned because of her deep interest for computer science and robotics, her love of science and biology, and her desire to help others. She would like to continue to develop her skills in computer science and robotics and apply it to medicine, in an effort to further the field, reduce the burden of disease, and ultimately improve the lives of people everywhere. Next year, Carisa will be be attending the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology at the University of Pennsylvania where she plans to major in both Bioengineering and Economics.