I genuinely think that BioBuilder was a turning point in my experience with science."

Ria Kothari is a Junior at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Tennessee

In this conversation taped on January 15th 2022, we caught up with Tennessee high school student, Ria Kothari, who learned about synthetic biology as a freshman through the BioBuilder program at her school. Ria talks about how the application and possible impact of science on the world, rather than just memorizing facts, made science more attractive to her.

Her interest in interdisciplinary science led her to pursue external opportunities at a local college, taking courses through the summer Governor’s School program on the nearby campus of East Tennessee State University (ETSU). 

She sees her deepening interest and knowledge about science and engineering science as a guide for her college and career aspirations, and speaks to how BioBuilder’s application of synthetic biology sparked excitement — in ways that can happen at any age and in any location.