STEAM Towards a Healthier World

Joanna Agana

Holy Names Academy, WA

Junior (2019-2020)

Career Goals:

Currently, I am considering a career in the medical field. Although I am not entirely sure of what specific career I want to take on in the future, I’ve done some research and am genuinely interested in the career path of a pediatric intensive care physician. I would love to work with children because obtaining that ability of contributing to a child’s smile would certainly be the most rewarding for me. I want to incorporate my passion for biology into my future career and combine that with my desire to acquire a role in leadership that is significantly aimed towards serving others. After having experienced this course however, I know that there are many options in regards to pursuing a career in science. I no longer feel limited to one career path, rather I am confident that I will be able to incorporate all parts of STEAM into my future career.


What did you learn from this course?

When I first heard about this course, I was very excited. I’ve always loved science and had a passion for art. However, I’ve struggled trying to find a balance between the two. It seemed as if I had to give up one of my interests to pursue the other. Through this course I’ve been introduced to many different career paths and goals that have integrated my love for both science and art. Some of the most interesting things that I learned were bioethics, P4 medicine, genetic and environmental determinants of cancer, polygenic risk scores, the microbiome and environmental disparities. For my project specifically, I decided to focus on P4 medicine. P4 Medicine stands for Predictive, Preventive, Participatory and Personalized. Essentially, it is this paradigm shift happening in the medical world, that places emphasis on the individual. This is important as much of the data we have are population averages. P4 medical care recognizes the individual's unique integrated system, as well as the different lifestyle factors each person is affected by. With the usage of 21st century science and technology, P4 medicine works to be more proactive, rather than reactive like the current healthcare system, which has little attention on wellness and actual prevention of disease. Targeting the overall well-being of an individual enables them to manage and eventually sustain their own health. By focusing on the wellness of the individual, together we can minimize disease and maximize prevention.


What advice do you have for future Ambassadors?

My advice for future ambassadors would be to learn as much as you can. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions reveals your curiosity and your engagement in the topic. If there is no answer to the question, that just means there is more work to be done to understand the subject. Get involved in as many things as possible so that you can find what you are interested in. That way, you can still get the experience and if don't happen to like what you are doing, you can check it off your mental list of "what do I like and what do I not like?" Stay curious and strive to learn, and together we can STEAM towards a healthier world.

– Showcase Project –

"P4 Medicine"

Who/What inspired this project?

Over the course of 3 weeks, we Ambassadors heard from so many professionals about many different interesting topics in STEAM. However, the concept of P4 medicine stood out to me the most. I believe that the healthcare system is currently flawed and is failing to serve the entire community. Many people are being misdiagnosed, not being given the proper treatment, or just not having access to the healthcare at all. And on top of that, healthcare is very expensive. By focusing on the wellness of the individual, together we can minimize disease risk and maximize prevention.

"P4 Medicine" Lyrics:

How does your project communicate the relationship between the environment and health?

P4 Medicine is all about focusing on the individual, rather than basing someone’s situation off population data. It is about meeting the needs of the unique person rather than comparing them to “what is supposed to be normal.” This approach takes into account the different influences and exposures of each person and how changing that can prevent disease.


Who is your target audience?

Through this music video, I hope to reach many, but most especially those my age; high-schoolers and just teenagers in general. The internet is a huge part of our lives today, and I believe I could reach more people through the media. We are the next generation of leaders, and by spreading this message now, when we start to break out into the professional world, or even today in our own communities, we can advocate for change and further advance the progress that is trying to happen now. In addition, being able to just spread the overall message of what P4 medicine is can spark change.


As an Ambassador, how do you plan to share your message with your target audience?

I plan to promote my video by posting on social media frequently and telling people about ISB and the goals of P4 medicine. I also plan to tell people who are in an education position about it. In addition, I plan to do something related to STEAM in my future career, and I will continue to advocate for P4 medicine when I reach that stage in my life.