STEAM Towards a Healthier World

Musfirah Khan

Juanita HS, WA

Senior (2019-2020)

Career Goals:

I would like to pursue a career in pediatric health and eventually become a pediatrician. I love children and I have noticed that many children are often deprived of a basic health standard from early on in their lives, such as lack of immunizations or proper check-ups due to financial issues or an underprivileged background. I would like to become a pediatrician to prevent these kinds of events from occurring.


What did you learn from this course?

I learned about the existence of the microbiome, and how the body’s many systems work together in a larger system. If one thing is disrupted somewhere in the body, it can cause a spiral or domino effect which then damages the other parts of the body as well. This way of thinking of the body systems and inner bacterial environment was very new and informative to me.


What advice do you have for future Ambassadors?

My advice for future Ambassadors is to remain engaged in lectures and ask plenty of questions; whether that be of guest speakers or the class instructors, as it is crucial to completely understand each topic before moving on to the next. You can’t be a successful Ambassador if you don’t fully comprehend the issues yourself.

– Showcase Project –

"The Taste Of Pollution: A Study On Air Contaminants"

Who/What inspired this project?

Dr. Alison Kudla’s presentation about integrating art with science introduced me to an experiment done by a group called Genomic Gastronomy, who tested air quality in Bangalore. I was inspired to recreate their experiment in various urban areas in Seattle to bring the very serious issue of air pollution to attention. Most Seattle citizens are unaware of the severity of air pollution in this state, so I believe that this was an effective and interactive way to raise awareness.

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

Whipped egg whites are 90% air. By exposing the egg whites to polluted air, some particles from the air can be caught in the egg whites, which means that after they are baked into merenges, the pullution can be tasted. Each area which was tested for air pollution was from a different section of the Environmental Health Disparities map by Esther Min. This will effectively show the difference in air quality between each location, in a way that people will clearly remember the experience: through taste.

Who is your target audience?

My target audience is the citizens of the greater Seattle area. Although we are a very technological and industry-based state, we often overlook the effects that this society has on our environment. Therefore, I want to educate the average citizen about the harmful effects of the past-paced industrialization, so that we can work together as a community to lessen the amount of air pollution we output, through encouragement of public transport and limited use of cigarettes, vape pens, and other environmentally toxic items.


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

My plan is to recreate the experiment once again, but on a larger scale, with around 50 merenges per batch. Then, I would make these merenges accessible to family members and friends, and ask their opinions on any taste differences they notice. Then, I can use their reactions to explain the purpose behind the experiment and educate them about the negative effects on health that our pollution can have.