Meet Reva Kumar

Reva Kumar is a rising sophomore at North Mecklenburg high school in Huntersville, NC. She likes to be in clubs both in and outside of school and has been playing piano since age 6.  As she thinks of her six year old self, she remembers that at first was forced into piano lessons, but has developed a passion for it throughout the years and enjoys it tremendously now. Her out of school clubs & activities include sports (tennis) and debate club and she was a member of her middle school honor society. 


In elementary school Reva was able to participate in the Science Olympiad Club, which is where her passion for science began. Through the Science Olympiad she was exposed to many different fields of science which made her curious about how the world works.  As she entered High School she shifted over to science and engineering fairs, where she is able to focus her research on a specific field. She appreciates both programs and feels that both experiences have ignited her interest in STEM. 

As she explored research areas for science and engineering fair projects her interest in microbiology was piqued.  Reva noted, “It was fascinating to see the colonies of yeast grow.  Microbiology can teach us a lot, even though we are looking at tiny cells, it can teach us about how whole systems and organisms work.” 

While this interview was in early summer, Reva is already starting to look at some problems that could be areas of focus for a new research project.  She admits that as a first time participant the judging was a little stressful. As the judges were very knowledgeable, she was a little intimidated to present her research in front of them.  However, her experience at the region 6 fair left her well prepared and more confident as she participated in the NC Science and Engineering Fair (NCSEF). She felt that at NCSEF her presentation was better and she enjoyed that there were well thought out questions presented by the judges.  She appreciated being asked about things that she had not considered and plans to take them into account for future projects. Reva also enjoyed the 2 Minutes with a Mic where she was able to see the other researchers presenting their projects and sharing their passion with the world.

Reva’s project this year assessed the resistance of yeast cells to UV Radiation (Assessing the resistance of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae to UV Radiation). She was curious about the correlation between sunscreen and human skin cells and tested how long humans can wear sunscreen. Through her project she learned that sunscreen is not as necessary for a shorter period of time if the UV index is lower. 

As a rising sophomore Reva continues to “test the waters” to see what she likes and what she might be able to do in the future.  She is excited to explore many fields, both within and beyond the sciences.  She does not have a definitive picture of what the future will hold, but is interested in pursuing microbiology or biochemistry and/or some computer science. Her true passion is solving problems in the world and she wants to have a global impact. 

When we asked Reva for 1 piece of advice for a young person who is interested in Science or Engineering she said,

“Never give up.  Sometimes science and engineering can seem very difficult, nearly impossible to do the projects you want to do.  If you stay resilient and keep trying you will eventually be successful.  Never give up.”