First Name


Last Name



Karissa is a sophomore attending Scioto High School in Dublin, Ohio. Since early childhood Karissa was interested in science and she attended many science camps. Once she met the minimum age, she started to volunteer at the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio. To date she has 675 hours of volunteering and she continues to attend and teach science and show science experiments to children of all ages. She also has a Team Lead designation and mentors and trains other volunteers. In 2018 she was one of 17 students across Ohio selected to attend the Ohio State University Ohio Supercomputer Center, Summer Institute. The topic of her research project was Dark Matter in Galaxies. She and her team used data from the U.S.'s biggest radio telescope - the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico and the Spitzer Space Telescope to prove the existence of dark matter. Using these data, Karissa wrote a Python program to measure how fast the galaxy spins, and then solved for the mass needed to hold together a galaxy spinning. After "weighing" galaxies in this way, the team compared their masses to the amount of light in stars and gas, proving the existence of dark matter. Karissa is also part of a FIRST Tech Challenge team and enjoys programming robots. She intends to attend college and further study the how artificial intelligence can improve the world around us.