A smoking, abandoned Route 61 leading to the ghost town of Centralia (explorationproject.org).

For the past 57 years, the town of Centralia has been burning. Hundreds of feet below the town, a series of anthracite coal fires smolder in an area the size of seven Disneylands. Belching forth carbon monoxide, sulfurous compounds, and toxic gas, these anthracite fires have transformed lush Pennsylvania countryside into a landscape pockmarked with deserted strip mines, sinkholes, and a ghost town where Centralia once stood.

But it wasn’t always this way. In the early 1960s, Centralia boasted over 2,000 residents. Nestled on top of a rich vein of slow-burning anthracite coal, this Pennsylvania town also nurtured a robust…


Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

On December 22nd, it wasn’t just the US government that shut down over disputes on how to fund the $5 billion dollar U.S.-Mexico border wall. With the federal shutdown came the shuttering of the National Air and Space Agency (NASA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Crippling repercussions were also felt at the National Science Foundation (NSF), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Parks Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service.

Scientific collaborations with government agencies ground to a halt. Access to invaluable…


Final sentence of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (forceps image credit: Mortech Manufacturing, Inc).

My informal CRISPR education began in early 2016 with a forwarded email from my dad titled “Crisp lady.” Attached to the email was a Nature report on Emmanuelle Charpentier, a French molecular biologist whose work with Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist at UC Berkeley, resulted in a revolutionary tool: CRISPR-Cas9.


In recognition of some seriously interesting and impactful research from Intel ISEF 2018, we’re profiling the work of several scientists from the Delaware Valley Science Fair team. Over the course of the coming weeks, we will post a series of research highlights to celebrate science, spread awareness of ways to get involved in research, and share the reality that there is no one avenue to research and all preconditions to scientific greatness are imaginary.

Today, we’re continuing our research highlight series through a Q&A with Ryan Luo, a rising high school senior interested in using artificial intelligence algorithms to detect…


In recognition of some seriously interesting and impactful research from Intel ISEF 2018, we’re profiling the work of several scientists from the Delaware Valley Science Fair team. Over the course of the coming weeks, we will post a series of research highlights to celebrate science, spread awareness of ways to get involved in research, and share the reality that there is no one avenue to research and all preconditions to scientific greatness are imaginary.

Today, we’re continuing our research highlight series through a Q&A with Adam Zhang, a rising high school senior and current Show Some STEMpathy blogger interested in…


In recognition of some seriously interesting and impactful research from Intel ISEF 2018, we’re profiling the work of several scientists from the Delaware Valley Science Fair team. Over the course of the coming week, we will post a series of research highlights to celebrate science, spread awareness of ways to get involved in research, and share the reality that there is no one avenue to research and all preconditions to scientific greatness are imaginary. …


Can you believe it? There are only 10 days left until the inaugural Student Advocacy Summit! To celebrate this milestone, I asked several members of our organizing team some questions about the upcoming summit.


It’s time to get excited, people!

It’s official. In less than 20 days(!), the inaugural Student Advocacy Summit will kick off at the Hilton in Chicago. Running from Friday, July 6th to Sunday, July 8th, the summit will bring together young minds from a variety of backgrounds to explore the intersection of science, policy, and society. Whether you’re a science fanatic or just super passionate about putting evidence-based policy into effect, we’d love to see you there!

So, in anticipation of the summit, we’re posting a series of articles, op-eds, and summit highlights every five days until July 6th to celebrate science and build up excitement…


Photo by Kisha Bari.

Science has a problem. We want to fix it. However, this problem can’t be solved with clever experimental design, breathtaking data analysis, or late hours in the lab. Why?

Science has an advocacy problem.

In 1945, MIT engineer Dr. Vannevar Bush wrote President Roosevelt a report titled Science: The Endless Frontier. After working tirelessly with other brilliant minds to safeguard the US during WWII, Dr. Bush sought to articulate to Roosevelt the value of science in peacetime as well as war. …


One month ago, I was invited along with thirteen other brilliant teen scientists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware to participate in Intel ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) 2018. As soon as I heard I was going to ISEF, I entered another dimension of happiness.

Actual footage of me 0.00001 seconds after the announcement (gif credit: Giphy, Minions).

As you can see below, there’s good reason to be inhumanly excited about ISEF. According to their website:

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), a program of Society for Science & the Public (the Society), is the world’s…

Sophia Swartz

Sciences without cease, sociologies on the side, and seen public speaking sometimes.

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