Watch out, world – Cambridge Rindge and Latin School sophomore Ruth Densamo is on a roll and advancing non-stop toward a career in science and engineering! Several of her recent accomplishments should shed some light.
One of the youngest members of this year’s Science Olympiad team, Ruth met often with Novartis scientist Greg Paris, her CSV Science Olympiad advisor. She also prepared for the March competition and for her other coursework with CSV math and science tutors Tim Coleman, David Bass and Ben Earle. Ruth did well in two events, placing 4th in Circuit Lab with student partner Louisa and 7th in Write It – Do It with her student partner Avery, helping the CRLS team to earn an overall 8th place finish (out of 42 teams) in the state competition.
But it doesn’t end there! During this time, CSV also connected Ruth with volunteer Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) mentor Kristine Gorman, an architect and project manager at STV Incorporated. Because of CSV’s relationship with corporate partners Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and Cambridge Systematics, and particularly with two women scientists, Linda Sharpe and Iris Ortiz, Ruth was asked to apply for a slot at Transportation YOU’s DC Youth Summit. After an intense application process, she was selected for the trip. The Summit enabled Ruth and 25 other girls and their mentors to spend five days in Washington DC. Prior to the trip, Ruth described what she hoped to get from the experience. “I want to meet people who are scientists – my favorite kind of people, because they’re so open-minded about everything.”
There were so many highlights to the trip! For one, she got to meet Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Plus, she met people who worked in aviation, a potential career path for Ruth. “The best part,” she noted, “was going to TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities) to see controllers at work, gazing at radar systems and communicating with pilots”. The trip helped her identify possible career paths in science and engineering that she hadn’t considered before, such as air traffic control and transportation accessibility for the disabled. The experience also included a tour of the White House, meet-ups with other senior administration officials and college reps, plus tours of other exciting DC venues. The Summit was part of a larger initiative of the WTS and the Dept. of Transportation.
Ruth is a “focused, driven, incredibly hard working, and a delightful young woman,” says David Bass, one of her tutors. Although only a sophomore, she has participated in the Harvard Crimson Summer Academy, the CRLS Physics and Engineering Clubs and science Club for Girls, in addition to the Science Olympiad. Her interests also include the “natural” worlds of the Mystic River and Alewife Reservation, and she was a semi-finalist for the Young Naturalist Award for her essay on Green Darner Dragonflies. Amazingly, Ruth is quite modest about her accomplishments.