OUR MISSION

KAST’s mission is about showing what science is really about: creativity and discovery. We give our students a chance to interpret and understand science in a different way – creatively. We believe that understanding science in this way would be beneficial to all careers. We support these professional journeys that our students and volunteers may choose to pursue, regardless of whether it falls under the STEM umbrella. We teach high school students how to lead, organize a club, and channel their passion for science in a positive way that helps their local communities. These high school students then interactively show elementary school students what science is about – innovation and creativity – giving the elementary school students fun, lasting memories of how science affects their world. Through this student-led structure, our 501(c)3 has already spread this new way of learning science to over 10 states. If you have any questions or comments, email us at info@kidsarescientiststoo.org.

WHO WE ARE

Our senior leadership is by students, for students. High school students from Washington D.C. to Washington State and college students from Virginia Tech, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Yale, and more collaborate to design content, raise funds, and teach programs. Learn more about the national executive team below. If you like what you’re reading, why not apply to join us?

Meet the team

SENIOR EXECUTIVE TEAM

Micheal

Micheal Munson

Chief Executive Officer

As a freshman at Baylor, Micheal began his career with KAST by establishing his own branch in Waco. His aims were, and still are, to inspire those to foster a love for learning and experimentation and an appreciation for the topic. Micheal's fondest memory with KAST is when a young boy intentionally poured vegetable oil all over his new shoes, and the student exclaimed, "I wanted to see what would happen if the vegetable oil mixed with my shoes!”. Outside of KAST, Micheal is a postgraduate at the University of Liverpool studying materials science & genetics, focusing on hydrogels and their medical applications. He hopes to take what he learns to eventually open his own lab to advance healthcare.

Shannon Du

Shannon Du

Chief Financial Officer

Shannon is currently a freshman at Northeastern University. She has always had a passion working with kids from all ages and different backgrounds. However, nothing can beat the satisfaction of teaching elementary school students science. It's always so rewarding to watch how a student grows from an observer to someone who actively engages in every class discussion and experience. She believes that educating and supporting the youth is the key component to a better future and the reason that makes her work with KAST so enjoyable.

Gurleen

Gurleen Kaur

Chief Product Officer

Gurleen first became involved with KAST the summer before her sophomore year, when she decided to help lead the Virginia KAST Camp. She then became a Lead Facilitator for her school’s branch and the Virginia Camp Director. As a first-generation, low-income student with a love for science, KAST’s mission to ensure every student has access to science enrichment opportunities is especially close to Gurleen’s heart. Her favorite memory in KAST is when, on the first day of camp, a student said she hated science and was only there because her mom forced her to be, and then, on the last day of camp, said she loved science and couldn’t wait for next year’s KAST Camp!

Shriman

Shriman Sel

Chief Compliance Officer

Shriman is a freshman at the University of Virginia majoring in Computer Engineering. Having a passion for working with students and STEM, Shriman co-founded a KAST chapter in Northern Virginia in 2017. Over the years, Shriman has worked closely with the local and state chapters of KAST and is currently working with National KAST. Apart from academics, some of Shriman’s hobbies include playing sports and traveling!

Victor

Victor Ying

Chief Operating Officer

Victor started as a KAST branch manager in 2010, then led KAST programs in Maryland in 2011-2012. Since graduating from high school, he has worked to provide technical and operational support to branches across the country. He enjoys mentoring student leaders working to further the KAST mission in new ways. Victor received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 2016. He is now pursuing a PhD, and works on computer architecture, parallel programming models, and compilers.

Nihar Headshot cropped

Nihar Thakkar

Chief Admin Officer

Nihar is currently a senior at Green Hope High School in North Carolina. He had heard about KAST from a friend and was amazed by his experiences. Nihar was motivated by his own passion for science and decided to found the KAST club at Green Hope. In the two years KAST has been operating at Green Hope, Nihar and the 65+ club members volunteered at two elementary schools, working on a bi-weekly basis. Now entering his third year of KAST, Nihar and Green Hope KAST have implemented a virtual platform with the use of a structured module system so that the spirit of KAST runs on! Nihar is excited to take on the new role of Chief Administrations Officer on the National KAST Executive Board. He is determined to make the same impact he already made at the local/state levels to now the national level.

Alec Yip

Alec Yip

Chief Product Officer

Alec has loved KAST ever since he got involved with the organization in 2017. From planning events to interacting with the kids, he cherishes every moment of the experience. Above all, he loves seeing the smiles from the students, and is proud to be part of the Executive board. Currently, Alec is attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and majoring in electrical engineering.

Caroline Sun

Caroline Sun

Chief Information Officer

Caroline is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia. She was first introduced to the KAST program through friends who volunteered and is currently involved in the local, state, and national branches. Through elephant toothpaste and cookie cell experiments at local schools, she hopes to foster a love for STEM and a confidence to further pursue it. As part of the executive board, she’s excited to continue spreading KAST across the country and bridge the STEM opportunity gap.

IMG_2048 – Amy Lin

Amy Lin

Chief Media Officer

Amy is a second year student at McGill University majoring in Chemistry. In high school, she discovered her love for working with kids through volunteer and employment opportunities. She found their authenticity and endless wonder to be unparalleled. At the same time, with the help of dedicated teachers, she found a passion for science and all the mysteries this vast field is able to uncover. So, when a KAST branch came to her school, she was thrilled to be a part of something that brought two of her passions together. She is very excited to continue her role on the exec team and to see what the future holds for KAST!

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Julia Zhang

Chief Technology Officer

Julia is currently a third year computer science and data science student at the University of Waterloo. As someone with a passion for science and working with children, Julia thoroughly enjoyed her high school experience of co-founding one of the first KAST branches in Canada. She is excited to continue her journey with KAST on the Executive team, and hopes to help further expand KAST's impact.

Jay

Jay Siva

Chief Product Officer

Jay is a junior in Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia. He first heard about KAST from a friend and immediately fell in love with the students and curriculum. As a director of KAST in his school, he cherishes every moment that he spends working with students and volunteers. Jay is proud to be a member of the Executive board and the Virginia state leadership and hopes to continue to work with KAST to continue to revolutionize youth education in the world.

Meet the team

ADVISORY BOARD

Matthew Sun

Matthew Sun

Stanford University Alumni

Allan Wu

Allan Wu

Yale University Alumni

Jessica Sun

Jessica Sun

Virginia Tech Alumni