High School: Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Post Graduate Plans: Will be attending University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall. Majoring in Engineering-Physics.
I am glad to have gotten the opportunity to participate in IDATA as astronomy has always been an interest of mine. I had a lot of fun over the summer at the meetup, where I got to meet a ton of really cool people and help contribute to the IDATA project. In my free time I like to write music, mess around on the piano, and I also play soccer and baseball. Like already mentioned I will be attending the University of Illinois in the fall. I am not exactly certain on my career path yet, but I am considering a degree in either engineering or computer science. However, I like everything math and science so I would say that my options are pretty open.
Naleah Boys is a sophomore that has worked with the IDATA project from the beginning. Naleah is an avid reader and space enthusiast, which is shown in her collection of over 140 science-related books. She appreciates the ability to learn and enjoys helping others discover the joys of Astronomy. Naleah has been schooled unconventionally, at a public virtual school. This has allowed her to pursue her interest in space. She has aspirations to become an aerospace engineer (something she has said since she was four years old), and hopes to one day work for NASA. She is currently working with her father again, this time through NITARP (NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program). She enjoys tinkering in the workshop, most recently welding a 4 ft replica of the Saturn V (dubbed “Close Enough”).
My name is Ellen, I joined IDATA with my friend Jayden in 2019. I like to play piano and spend time outside. After school I plan to work and save money for traveling.
My name is Jayden Dimas and I am a senior at Parker High School. I enjoy art classes, particularly drawing. I found out about IDATA through my Earth Science teacher Mr. Boys, who encouraged my friend and I to join.
Riley Kappell is currently a senior at Endeavor Charter School and Watertown High School located in Watertown, Wisconsin. Riley has cherished every moment he has spent working on the IDATA project for the last 3 years. He has completed all of the modules, given feedback, attended the summer IDATA conference and even helped present the project at the National Principals of Schools for the Blind (POSB) conference. He has learned the language of braille, helped various BVI individuals and was invited to be the first ever fully sighted student to attend Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students (SCIVIS). While attending this camp at the United States Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, he gained a wealth of knowledge about making things accessible to everyone regardless of disability. He also learned more about the stars and constellations, different space missions and he was even interviewed by the U.S. Secretary of Education. He is currently admitted to the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point to major in conservation law and political science. He hopes he can continue to use the knowledge he has gained from this project in many different ways throughout his career. He is very excited to see what the next step for the IDATA project is and hopes that it will be implemented into classrooms around the world.
Joseph Murphy is from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and he is attending Badger High School. He has worked with Yerkes Observatory and the Yerkes Education Outreach since 2017. As part of the McQuown Scholars and Geneva Lakes Astrophysics and STEAM, he has been involved with various programming and design projects including the creation of Yerkes’ 2018 blimp project and building the Lakeshore Environmental Night Sky Sensor. In October 2018, he joined the IDATA project. Throughout this process, Joseph realized that his ability to engage in STEM and computing was something that he had always taken for granted and had not thought about BVI individuals and how exploring astronomy wasn’t an option for them. It made him determined to help them experience astronomy as well.
My name is Logan Ruby and I recently graduated from Parker HS. I had Mr. Boys as a teacher and I enjoyed the Astronomy Unit so I wanted to participate in the IDATA program. My favorite memories of IDATA are when we all got together at Yerkes, being able to learn new things about Astronomy, and being taught how to use the Quorum code. I enjoy helping people so this was a rewarding project.
Alex Scerba is a senior at Williams Bay Highschool. Throughout his high school career, he has enjoyed working and volunteering at Yerkes Observatory. Working at the observatory led him to become a member of the McQuown Scholars, a youth astronomy program. While at the observatory, Alex worked on projects for events, such as a self-balancing robot for the Magic of Astronomy, as well as creating summer camp activities, like a remote, web-controlled blimp, for the YAAYS program. Being a part of these projects piqued his interest in computers and electronics, and Alex plans to attend the Milwaukee School of Engineering pursuing a major in computer science in fall of 2020.
My name is Charlize and I’m a senior in St. Mary’s School in Medford, Oregon. I’ve been working with iDATA since sophomore year and I’m so proud to be a part of a team who celebrates and pushes for progress. The iDATA project not only helps develop BVI-accessible software but it makes the younger generation more aware about the issues in our society and encourages them to be a part of the solution. I was born in Surabaya, Indonesia and moved to the US for high school in freshman year. Because it’s not as common to see women in STEM in Indonesia, I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to join iDATA.
Meg Sorensen, a current junior in high school, was first introduced to the IDATA project through one of her science teachers and the high school programs at Yerkes Observatory. Meg worked on the project for two years during her freshman and sophomore years. Two of the most captivating elements of the project were how it was able to give her a new view on life through a different lens, as well as further her knowledge of astronomy and coding. During her free time, Meg enjoys participating in ballet and running hurdles for track. Meg enjoys working within her community and is very active in school clubs. She holds leadership roles on club executive boards, while also being highly involved in student government. Upon graduating, Meg plans on attending college and continuing her education.
I am an Eagle Scout and Media information major with a love of the stars. I spend lots of time studying radio waves but I enjoy looking beyond our orbit when camping. Working with engineers and programmers is a personal favorite of mine and I had a great experience viewing the stars with other stargazers.
Trevor Warren was born in New Mexico. He has lived in Alaska, Illinois and Texas. Trevor is a high school sophomore. He is a member of his school’s Gamers Club, League competition team and IDATA. Trevor is enrolled in dual credit and honors courses. He will graduate May 2022 with his high school diploma and an Associates in Applied Arts. Trevor enjoys studying astronomy and competing in strategical online games.