Did you know that the problem itself can be just as important as the solution in a hackathon, if not more so? Or that as the team leader, “why” questions can do more harm than good?

Well, neither did I until I participated in my 2 first-ever hackathons (one in AI by TKS and soon after another one called the Digital Inclusion Challenge). So prepare yourself because I’m about to drop some knowledge 🎤

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Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Communication is 🔑

During one of the hackathons, my team and I didn’t have great communication at the beginning. We had about a week and a half to solve a problem and we landed on human longevity, or more specifically stem cell exhaustion which is one factor that causes ageing 🧓

We vaguely split up some roles and “got to work”. All was well except for the fact that none of us had any clue what we were doing and we all relied on the fact that someone else on the team knew what was going on. …

I got the opportunity to go to MIT’s Tough Tech Summit a few weeks ago and one of my favourite sessions was a fireside chat with Matt Rogers– Co-Founder of Nest & Founder of Incite.org– and Ilan Gur–CEO of Activate 🔥 I want to share with you some of my most insightful takeaways!

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Background image from The Engine; Photo of Matt from Twitter; Edited by Yours Truly :)

Quick note before we get going: some of my insights came from a podcast episode with Matt on The Climate Journey. It’s a great listen so check it out here!

1. Helping Young Entrepreneurs → A Compulsion

One of the first things discussed during the chat that I found super interesting was how Matt saw everything he was doing– like helping smaller startups and non-profits– a part of his obligations rather than a favour he was doing. He then reiterated this later on…

I’ve been the product of a lot of privilege, and it’s not my honour but actually it’s my requirement to do some of the work that I do [helping entrepreneurs that are solving huge, world problems with no current solutions]. …

When I was first about to meet Ahmed Elsamadisi, the founder and CEO of Narrator, I decided to actually learn about data warehousing, star and snowflake schema, and all that fun stuff. But then I realized, there weren’t any quick guides for beginners like me! So I decided to make one, with the help of Ahmed!

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Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

Before we go any further, I need to share something critical that I learned while talking to Ahmed about the entire data world. Definitions won’t get you anywhere. You need to understand the problems that are present in the data warehousing space and address them and knowing just knowing what a star schema is won’t help you do that.

So just wanna learn some definitions and basic ideas? …

What happens when computing and biology combine? We enter a new world of possibilities, no longer bound by the limitations of silicon chips or the mysteries of DNA.

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Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

So… what’s biocomputing?

Glad you asked! Biocomputing, short for biological computing, is an intersectional field where scientists try to essentially turn DNA (or deoxyribonucleic acid) into a mini computer, capable of storing data, carrying out commands and more. …

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By Breakingpic on Pexels

I recently read James Clear’s “Atomic Habits” after hearing so many good things about it! I found it to be a very clear and straightforward guide to mastering habits.

However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my short time in an amazing STEM program, called TKS, it’s that you NEED to take note of what you learn so you can act on it!

Here are my top 4 key takeaways from the book. Read until the end to find out about the new habits I’m trying to implement!

Takeaway #1: Habits Are Like Compound Interest

One of the first things I learned through reading this book was the importance of taking “baby steps”. If you’re a high schooler in this day and age, you know the pressure that’s put on students to achieve more and more, and part of that includes building healthy habits. If you build the habit of getting straight to work after school, your life would be a lot easier…


Parmin Sedigh

Hey! I’m Parmin, a 14-year-old passionate about biotech & medicine 🧬 I love problem-solving & challenges myself so I can become the best version of myself 🧠

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