Ask Me Everything - Chief Science Officers - Sahiba, Vinson, Daylia, Sarah, Sreepadha @ April 14th

Chief Science Officers
Chief Science Officers Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 1 Level 2 | Newcomer
edited April 12 in STEM Season


Chief Science Officers @ CSO

Sahiba, Vinson, Daylia, Sarah, and Sreepadha will be answering your questions about what it's like to be a Chief Science Officer!


Post your questions for the Chief Science Officers in the comments section below!

They will be answering your questions on Friday April 14th, 2023!

Posting a question in the comments automatically enters you into the $1,000 STEM Season Scholarship!

More about the Chief Science Officers

Sahiba is a 5th year Chief Science Officer (CSO) representing Michigan on the International Leadership Council. She is a STEM ambassador who is passionate about advocating and sharing their love of STEM with people both in their local community and around the globe. From sharing their youth perspective at various STEM Ecosystem convenings to leading action plan projects to raise STEM awareness, they strive to not only make an impact but also be a role model for other youth to show that if we not only hope to make a change, but take action and the strive to make a difference, then we can be capable of so much. Their main project with the CSO program has been Math Festivals with interactive puzzles that promote problem solving and logical thinking, aiming to instill the ‘aha!’ moment in young children. Looking forward, she hopes to continue spreading the ‘M’ in STEM, as well as get involved in research projects relating to artificial intelligence, hoping to be an innovator in the computer science field.

Vinson is a third year CSO from Georgia, serving on this year's International Leadership Council. He enjoys advocating for expansion of STEM education, and part of his role as an ILC CSO is to ensure that STEM is available to everyone. Outside of CSO, he serves as his school's Technology Student Association President and Student Body Vice President.

Daylia is a junior at Johns Creek High School and is interested in STEM, especially environmental science and sustainability. She is a member of the Chief Science Officers' International Leadership Council and is the committee lead for the CSOs for the World Focus Committee. In this capacity, she leads monthly meetings for all CSOs, advocates for STEM in her community and beyond, and has attended the STEM Learning Ecosystems Spring Convening of Practice as part of the CSO international Program. As a CSO, she started the CSTEM seminar series to expose students to different STEM fields through online guest speakers and has had over 200+ live attendees and 350+ online views.

Sarah, is a 3rd-year Chief Science Officer from ASU Prep Digital and a member of the International Leadership Council. They have an intense passion for helping wildlife, as seen in my past projects with several wildlife sanctuaries across the state. Currently, they are working on restoring bat habitat and developing new technologies to improve bat research. As a CSO, they love to advocate for STEM and train others to do the same; they have led a multitude of trainings this past year, both in-person and online across the country. Beyond the Chief Science Officer Program, they enjoy public speaking, playing the piano, writing, and spending time with their dogs.

Sreepadha is a 9th grader and a 3rd year Chief Science Officer from Innovation Academy in Georgia. Ever since they can remember, they have always been fascinated by science. Specifically, they are interested in biology, the wonderful study of life. They are also highly interested in the healthcare field, especially how large-scale public health efforts are being managed and administered. As a result, they would like to pursue a career ensuring effective management and strong leadership presences for healthcare agencies. The Chief Science Program has not only enabled them to develop such aspirations, it has also greatly enhanced their leadership skills. Their role on the International Leadership Council has especially helped them gain these skills. The council has also given them the opportunity to connect with their peers and progress their abilities.

Best Answers

  • Vinson CSO
    Vinson CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 5 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓

    Hey, great question! I would suggest visiting so you can see if we have a cabinet in your region. If there is one, I would suggest contacting your region coordinator and expressing your interest. If you are not sure if there is a cabinet near your residence, you should reach out to CSO. More information is on our website (linked above).

  • Vinson CSO
    Vinson CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 5 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓
    1. What type of opportunities does being a CSO provide? I joined CSO in the ninth grade and when I started I was immediately given the chance to showcase my leadership ability and work on a STEM project that fits my passion. CSOs complete yearly action plans that allow them to explore STEM related concepts. I am also extremely graceful to serve on both the International Leadership Council and my State's Leadership Council. Serving on the leadership council allows me to work with students from all over the world!
    2. How do you balance being an officer with high school? I am involved in many clubs and organizations. Out of all the activities I participate in, I feel that CSO is the most flexible organization I work with. I complete my school work first and meet the with officer teams twice a week to plan for our meetings. Our meetings are not weekly, so it's rare that CSO would take up too much time. A general day would look like school from 7-5 and then a CSO meeting from 6-7, followed by homework and studying. Generally, I feel that CSO is flexible and I manage it well with my high school course load.
    3. Do you feel like this program helps women and minorities in getting more involved in STEM? YES. CSO is for everyone and I have never been apart of a more welcoming community. CSO allows all of it's participants to dive deeper into their passions. This allows for everyone in CSO to be impacted, no matter their background, so they can advance their ambitions in STEM.
  • Vinson CSO
    Vinson CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 5 Level 2 | Newcomer
    edited April 13 Answer ✓

    According to

    Materials science and engineering graduates often go on to careers in:

    • civil engineering.
    • design and development engineering.
    • engineering technology.
    • electronics engineering.
    • glass and ceramics manufacturing.
    • IT engineering.
    • mechanical engineering.
    • planning, process and production technology.

    Hope this helps,

    Vinson 😆

  • Vinson CSO
    Vinson CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 5 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓
    1. Some day to day task would be checking my email and our team chat. I would also plan my action plan, currently I'm really busy with setting up my STEM awards ceremony and I'm in the process of doing daily script reads with my action plan team.
    2. My experience as a CSO officer has helped me gain cultural competence and it has taught me to be a more empathetic servant leader.
  • Vinson CSO
    Vinson CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 5 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓
    1. Was there anything you did to distinguish yourself in High school to enhance your chance for such a great career. The best thing you can do to distinguish yourself is to be yourself. High school is a completely different from middle school so you must remember who you are and what values you hold. Personally, I stayed true to myself by continuing my participation in clubs that are geared towards my passions. For example, I was in TSA and SGA since middle school/Band since elementary school. In ninth grade I participated in: Marching Band/Drumline, TSA - Chapter Secretary, SGA - Class President. I also joined clubs to try some things out. I was in Debate, Men of Westlake, When We All Vote, and I was National Reporter for the Teen Leadership Network.
    2. What should I do as a Freshman to make myself more distinguishable?  To be distinguishable, I would say find your balance of academics, athletics, and extracurricular and get involved. Stick with your passions, explore, and keep down your track of persistency for the next four years.
    3. How has your time in your career changed you? The experiences I gained has shaped my mind, morals, and beliefs. It has helped me become a humble individual with lots to learn.
  • Sreepadha CSO
    Sreepadha CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 1 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓
    1. Personally, I am one of the youngest members of the council and most of the CSOs that I interact with are typically older than me. Due to this, I always tend to be the "little kid" of the group and everyone around me tends to naturally teach me things. The most important thing that I have learned from encountering such different walks of life and perspectives, is how to behave and interact with different people. I have come to realize that is a super important skill and the only way you can gain it is through experience.
    2. As a fellow 9th grader, I hope to bring some change to my community and school as I progress through my high school journey. More specifically, I hope to bring STEM to my neighboring school counties and spark such passion among younger children because the sooner you start the better!
    3. For younger audiences, such as elementary students, I think the most interactive activities are demonstrations. The 1 thing that will definitely encourage younger people to be involved in STEM is enthusiasm. It is really up to us to give them that excitement so that they can also experience it.

  • Daylia CSO
    Daylia CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 3 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓

    Thank you so much for these questions!

    1. The CSO program does not overlap with the regular school day and is more like an after-school organization. For Georgia’s cabinet, we meet virtually twice a month after school. Other than the bi-weekly meetings, CSOs get to choose when they want to meet with their advisors and work on and execute their STEM action plans in their communities.
    2. Thank you for asking this difficult question, as I am not familiar with the official recognition processes of colleges. However, as the CSO International Program continues to grow in the past 6 short years, areas with local recognition of the participants allow many universities and colleges in the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community to interact with Chief Science Officers. For example, Georgia Institute of Technology has previously hosted our Georgia cabinet’s leadership training institute in the fall! We hope to expand and be as nationally recognized as the National Honor Society in the future!
    3. In 9th grade, my science teacher introduced me to the CSO program because of my participation in the science fair competition and my passion for science. I submitted an introduction for an online schoolwide vote to select our school’s two CSOs and I was lucky enough to be elected by my schoolmates! I have had an amazing journey with the CSO program ever since!

    I hope these responses help answer your questions!

  • Daylia CSO
    Daylia CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 3 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓

    It is great to hear from students around my age that are interested in the program and in STEM!

    1. My favorite part about STEM is being able to work in teams and use science to solve real-life problems. On the Chief Science Officers’ International Leadership Council, we incorporate these teamwork and problem-solving skills throughout all of the meetings, presentations, and events we host together.

  • Daylia CSO
    Daylia CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 3 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓

    Hi Grace, it is nice to hear from you! Thank you for all these great questions!

    1. I was inspired to apply for the Chief Science Officers’ International Leadership Council because I hoped to connect with more CSOs worldwide and work with this amazing international team of youth leaders to spread the CSO program to more students. I wanted to lead the CSOs for World Focus Committee because of my passion for environmental science and sustainability. In this position, I have created programming to introduce and inspire more CSOs and students to participate in climate action and sustainability initiatives. I have learned so much about leadership, communication, and teamwork from both of these positions!
    2. CSTEM was my CSO action plan for last year that was created by me and my friend when we realized that schools did not have many resources for students to learn about specific STEM jobs and inspire them to pursue further STEM education. We have hosted 7 seminars in different STEM fields, including physical sciences, medicine, software engineering, and more. We have impacted a total of 200 live attendees and many more through our online YouTube channel with the seminar recordings. Some students emailed me after the seminars thanking me for helping them find a career they were passionate about, which made me feel fulfilled and made me realize that our project was really inspiring students to pursue STEM careers. 
    3. I plan to pursue a degree in environmental science in college and then pursue a career in both environmental technology and policy. After college, I want to develop sustainable materials and renewable energy sources and implement sustainability programs. Concurrently, I want to volunteer at nonprofit organizations, such as international energy alliances, and help to combat environmental injustice. With these experiences, I want to develop policies to enhance clean energy production and reach zero carbon emissions.

  • Sarah CSO
    Sarah CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 2 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓

    Hi there! For questions 1 & 3:

    As Chief Science Officers, we are constantly in touch with each other, even if we are thousands of miles away. Each third Saturday of the month, CSOs from across the world come together on Zoom to discuss Action Plans and different topics in STEM. Personally, I learn so much from each CSO I meet. It can actually be anything, not just STEM-based, such as leadership styles, philosphies on life, different hobbies to try, etc. In reality, the CSO program is a large community of students learning together.

    Before I got involved with the Chief Science Officer program, I actually was not very engaged in STEM. I found, once I joined, that the best way I got engaged as a young student was through interactive sessions. It was not enough for me to read about the topics. Instead, talking with professionals or learning skills in STEM hands on, like coding or engineering, was so much engaging for me. Of course, this will depend on each student.

    Thanks for the questions!

  • Sarah CSO
    Sarah CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 2 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓

    Hey there!

    1. I really wish I could count the types of opportunities being a CSO provide. The majority, of course, are STEM and leadership. You are given a large support system to pursue projects of your interest, from physics to forensics. If you do really well in the program, there are also extra opportunities, like public speaking, national trips with CSOs from around the world, and others. Again, these are only a couple.
    2. This has been very tricky for me since I have a hard time saying no to all the amazing opportunities CSO gives. However, the program is very customized to what you desire. All you that is required is complete your Action Plan, which is essentially a STEM-based project. The rest the program offers is completely optional. So, just do what you are interested in!
    3. Absouletly! A large percentage of our CSOs are women and other communities that are typically under-represented in STEM. The Chief Science Officer program welcomes, encourages, and mentors everyone interested in this field.

    Thanks for the great questions!

  • Sahiba CSO
    Sahiba CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 5 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓

    Hello amazingdanie! As a women in STEM, I thought I could give some insight here.

    1. CSO provides the unique opportunity to have leadership specifically in STEM in high school, rather than what you may expect of a student council at schools. Youth are truly the advocates at STEM discussions, whether it be the CSOs presenting at district board meetings, or even national conferences — the mission is to provide the opportunity to share perspective and have a say in the decisions being made, since we are the generation directly impact by them.
    2. For me, I have a lot of leadership in the CSO program, so it's actually one of the few programs I commit a lot of time to. I would say it's my priority before other activities, so with that mindset I can always make time for it, but it's also important to remember that as a student the schoolwork should be done first before moving onto other things. What I do is if I'm behind in school, I solely work on catching up, and when I'm back on track I can do cool things with CSO!
    3. I definitely think this program helps women and minorities in getting more involved with STEM! The program reaches out to many underpriveledges areas that may not have many STEM opportunities. Many CSOs also choose to host girls-night based action plans or choose to specifically target minorities. Their action plan is the project they plan to make an impact in STEM.

    Adding onto #1, the CSO program also provides a network in which people can make connections and find out about opportunities, from meeting STEM professionals like the ones from Tallo to getting an internship.

  • Sahiba CSO
    Sahiba CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 5 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓

    Often times, Chief Science Officers can be elected at a school if you school already has the program and has many people interested (generally there are around 2-4 CSOs per school). For students interested in the program that don't have this already at their school, there's 2 options —

    1. Work with the international team to get the CSO program started at your school if your school is in a region that already exists with the program. Many states have already started up the CSO program this year! Reach out to us to check.
    2. If your place is not in the program, then we can work to either start the program in your state while putting you in the at-large CSO group for the time being, which includes all of the other CSOs also working to start CSO in their own locations.

  • Sahiba CSO
    Sahiba CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 5 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓

    Hello dcadi! I'm not Daylia, but I thought I can provide some insight into these questions that may help as well.

    1. The CSO program is indeed for 6-12 graders, and does not overlap with the regular school day. Around 2-3 times a year depending on location, there is a cabinet meeting, which is essentially a meet-up for a day of all of the CSOs in the local area to spend a day meeting STEM professionals, networking, and also get time to work on their CSO projects with support. This tends to happen during the school day, and students are able to get that day school-excused. Otherwise, the rest of the program is run like a club after school, but rather than the students being the attendees, they're the ones leading their own path in the program — I believe this applies to anything, but what you put into CSO is what you'll get out of it, and also the impact you will end up making in STEM!
    2. For me, I don't think of doing this program for it's name or any prestige. I have a passion for STEM, and am a young leader who is motivated to make an impact — this is something I want to be doing throughout my whole life, being a role-model and advocate for others to get involved with STEM and encourage people to use their knowledge to be a part of today's problems and solutions. I don't think that colleges would immediately recognize CSO as it hasn't been around for nearly as long as some other national program may be, but explaning work as a STEM advocate and showing the impact you've made is what may be recognizable. If CSO aligns with your passions and goals, then it could definetely be something recognizable to colleges.
    3. I personally joined early on in 6th grade, so over 5 years ago! When I was in 5th grade, I always showed interest to my teachers in STEM and even towards the end of the year I took it upon myself to walk to the middle school to attend their STEM club (it was actually off-season Science Olympiad meetings) since there wasn't many STEM clubs during elementary. The coach of the Science Olympiad club also happened to be the teacher advisor for Chief Science Officers, and she saw my strong interest from a young age and invited me to join as a 6th grader. At this point, the program had just finished up it's 1st year, so quite early on in the journey. During Covid time when things were online I attended many zoom meetings with the program and really grew as a leader and a person, individually hosting an International Math Festival with fun puzzles, which got me really involved with being on the International Leadership Council and helping expand the program to other places.

  • Sahiba CSO
    Sahiba CSO Member, Talent Seeker Posts: 5 Level 2 | Newcomer
    Answer ✓

    Hi IK_2025! Here's my insight on your questions.

    1. The CSO program offers different opportunities from networking events to leadership trainings. Some of these are required parts of the program, and the rest is up to the time you want to put in and what your goals are to get out of the program! Each CSO is required to do an action plan project to make an impact in STEM in their community, and a lot of activities in the program revolve around getting support for this, making new connections, and learning about opportunities which you can then share back to your community and other kids at your school to give them the equal chance to be a part of STEM!
    2. My favorite part and my mission for my action plan project in CSO is the 'aha!' moment that sparts on people's face when they realize that math can be fun. My action plan is a Math Festival, which has interactive puzzles that gamify math to explore problem solving and logical thinking different from the regular school cirriculum. I'm always very proud to be able to make an impact, and specifically I really am passionate about Math, so being able to get other people interested in a field that is typically seen as scary is something I really like.
    3. Awesome! Let's connect you with our director of student success, [email protected] We can work with you to either get your region in the program or get your school connected to the region affiliated with where you live.



  • knewkirk
    knewkirk Member Posts: 1 Level 1 | Just Joined

    Are you familiar with the jobs that one may get as a Material Science Engerneering major?

  • Rlora0
    Rlora0 Member Posts: 3 Level 1 | Just Joined

    How do you become a Chief Science Officer?

  • amazingdanie
    amazingdanie Member Posts: 1 Level 1 | Just Joined

    Hello CSO Officers!

    1. What type of opportunities does being a CSO provide?
    2. How do you balance being an officer with high school?
    3. Do you feel like this program helps women and minorities in getting more involved in STEM?

    Thank you!

  • jainikp19
    jainikp19 Member Posts: 1 Level 1 | Just Joined

    Hey Vinson,

    1. What are some frequent day to day tasks that you carry out as a CSO officer?
    2. How have you grown from your expereince being a CSO officer?

    Thank you!


  • Atreyu08077
    Atreyu08077 Member Posts: 56 Level 4 | Navigator

    Hi I was wondering if any you could answer the below questions for me whenever given the chance?

    1. Was there anything you did to distinguish yourself in High school to enhance your chance for such a great career
    2. What should I do as a Freshman to make myself more distinguishable?
    3. How has you time in your career changed you?

  • IK_2025
    IK_2025 Member Posts: 2 Level 1 | Just Joined

    Hello CSO Officers!

    Here are some of the questions I have about the CSO program

    1.) What is the experience of being a CSO officer like, and what types of activities do you do in the program?

    2.) What do you enjoy the most about being a CSO officer?

    3.) How can I join the CSO program, and what would I have to do to start the program at my school/in my region?


  • Penny
    Penny Member, Group Leader Posts: 707 Level 5 | Seeker

    Wow!!! Yall sound really cool!

    1. As many of you are of different levels of education and experience, what are some things you feel like you learn from each other that comes from your different walks of life and perspectives???
    2. This one's for Sreepadha - as a fellow ninth grader, what are some things you're looking froward to as a chief officer as you progress through your high school journey?
    3. For any of you - what's one thing you think would help encourage younger people to be involved in STEM??? What kind of activities do think engage younger audiances???

    Thank you so much for being willing to answer out questions guys!!!!!