Selection to Governor’s STEM Team helps Carmel High School senior show it’s ‘possible to overcome challenges’


Carmel High School senior Katherine Yu has been selected for the Governor’s 2023 STEM Team. The award recognizes high school students who have demonstrated exceptional talent and accomplishments in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math.

Yu, 18, learned she had been named to the team while at a fencing club meeting surrounded by friends.

“It means I have the opportunity to show others that it is possible to overcome challenges if you work hard and don’t let someone telling you ‘no’ stop you. I haven’t always been successful in math, but I kept asking for more opportunities to prove myself,” Yu said. “I failed a math placement test to get into honors math in fifth grade, but I asked for another honors math placement test in seventh grade and self-studied enough and ended up passing. Last year, I got a 5 in AP Calculus BC so I’ve been successful in proving that I can succeed in math, even though it may not come the most naturally to me.”

Yu learned about the STEM Team application process from her IB Biology professor, Jeremy Cook. Yu said she is interested in STEM because it “can explain the world while offering new perspectives to view life.”

As for the sciences, chemistry is Yu’s favorite.

“It joins together all the other sciences and is therefore the most essential one in my opinion,” Yu said. “After all, everything is chemistry. Chemistry can make bulletproof vests and explain how geckos can climb up glass. I just think that’s pretty cool.”

In her free time, Yu volunteers at Sunrise on Old Meridian, an assisted living facility in Carmel.

In addition to being selected to the Governor’s 2023 STEM Team, Yu received a $1,000 scholarship and a letterman’s jacket. Yu will attend Williams College in the fall to study chemistry while and pre-med. She also plans to apply to Williams College and Columbia University’s 3-2 program for Liberal Arts and Engineering.


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