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STEAM in Action

Fernbank’s programming can have a lasting, even life-changing, impact on young students, as it did for scientist Kenya DeBarros. Her first visit to Fernbank as an inquisitive 9-year-old ignited her passion for science.

Today, Kenya is a doctoral student of biomedical science at the Morehouse School of Medicine and a participant in the Graduate Partnership Program at the National Insitute of Health, National Cancer Institute.  She was recently awarded the Anne S. Chatham Fellowship in Medicinal Botany. Kenya’s research focuses on the Senegalese bitter melon used by African healers to treat infection and its ability to prevent SARS-C CoV-2 in cell culture in an effort to discover new treatments for COVID-19.

Kenya stresses the importance of communication between the scientific community and the public. She credits her experience as a FUN volunteer (now known as Fernbank Youth Interpreters) in explaining scientific concepts to young visitors with helping her communicate her research and findings now.

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