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ASMS Senior Completes Summer Program with MIT

Kim Nathan

ASMS senior Nathan Kim (Class of 2022) from Mobile, AL spent part of his summer studying with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) through the MOSTEC program hosted by the Office of Engineering Outreach Programs at the institution. As part of the program, students take one core course and one intensive project-based course.

For his core course, Nathan took a science writing class where he and his peers learned to write about a STEM topic in a way that is understandable and meaningful to a more general audience. Nathan chose the following topic for his article: How the Gut Microbiome Changes Due to Environmental Factors which can be read here. To write his article, he contacted some of the experts who conducted research on the topic, including a primary author of an article, and he had the opportunity to video call with them to interview and learn more in depth about their research. At the end of the course, Nathan will have written a science article that will be published online and resembles that of an article published in a science journal or national publication platform.

“I was very thankful to talk with the researchers first-hand and to hear what they did, how they did it, and why it was important to them,” said Nathan.

In his project course, Nathan’s work focused on sustainable design. He studied in-depth about the world’s most significant sustainability challenges and current news. Part of the course description reads:

“Sustainability, energy, and climate change: buzz-words used from engineers to politicians. But, do we really know what we’re talking about? To understand how we solve some of the world’s greatest sustainability challenges, there must first be technical knowledge. Just as crucial but is more commonly forgotten about is the social impact. In this reading intensive course, we will investigate both technical and social solutions across four key topics: food, energy, buildings, and consumerism.”

Nathan explained that his course discussions covered everything from how to incorporate sustainable practices into everyday life. He also learned about topics related to consumerism culture, farming, agriculture, and much more.

For his final project, Nathan worked with two other peers who live in California and Texas to develop an initiative aimed at quelling consumerism culture and promoting a more sustainable solution to fast fashion. His project is entitled: Revamping the Cycle of Fast Fashion Part of his project description reads:

“By repurposing and reusing clothes that would just be thrown away, the linear economy of fashion could turn into a circular economy, promoting the recycling and bettering of items for other uses.”

His full project description is copied at the end of this article. He will present his work in August at the MOSTEC Symposium to the other program participants, faculty members, and alumni.

“When they shared that I would be presenting at a symposium, I was already confident in being able to do that because I presented at the ASMS Special Projects Symposium this past school year. It was a great example of how ASMS prepares us for the future,” said Nathan.

Nathan expressed that what he enjoyed most about the MOSTEC program was the opportunity to learn new perspectives surrounding different issues, to hear the different viewpoints of researchers and professionals who work in STEM, and to gain a much deeper understanding of what is going on in the world. Most importantly, Nathan stated that he is thankful for the welcoming MOSTEC community as community is something they really emphasize in the program. He enjoyed connecting with people all over the country, and he noted that he always had engaging discussions about diverse topics inside and outside of class.

Nathan shared, “The program has been hard work, but it has also been very rewarding because I wanted to learn, and my peers in the program wanted to learn too. I know I developed skills to prepare me for college, and I am excited to bring what I learned in the program back to my classes at ASMS.”

Nathan’s Final MOSTEC Project

Project Title: Revamping the Cycle of Fast Fashion

Aware of how the fast fashion industry contributes for the 8% of carbon emissions in our world, we delve deeper into its environmental effects while proposing a comprehensive plan to tackle the environmental issues of fast fashion in our communities. By repurposing and reusing clothes that would just be thrown away, the linear economy of fashion could turn into a circular economy, promoting the recycling and bettering of items for other uses. We are not only looking to positively impact our environment, but educate our society and decrease the detrimental habits we’ve become so accustomed to.

  • Aug 04, 2021