ESP Biography



STEPHANIE BACHAR, MIT Alum




Major: Biological Engineering

College/Employer: MIT Alum

Year of Graduation: 2011

Picture of Stephanie Bachar

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Stephanie Bachar graduated from MIT in 2011 with a degree in bioengineering. After graduating, she worked at a life science consulting firm just outside Boston - in other words, she helped pharmaceutical companies make good business decisions. Recently, she made a big career switch and is now working with refugees to help them learn English, interview skills, and job skills needed to succeed here in the U.S.

She used to help run ESP programs, including Splash, Spark, HSSP, when she was an undergraduate. You may see her helping out at programs still!



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Refugees in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
What are refugees and who defines them? Why and how do they come to America? How do they manage to survive and even thrive once they arrive here? If you're curious to know the answers to these questions and more, come to this class!


Recombinant DNA, or How To Make a Glowing Marmoset in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
Somewhere, in the labs of America (probably even here in Cambridge) there are monkeys, rats, pigs, mice, and other animals that glow in the dark. In fact, there's currently a kickstarter to make commercially available glowing plants (check it out here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/antonyevans/glowing-plants-natural-lighting-with-no-electricit ). This is made possible by recombinant DNA - inserting DNA from one organism into another. This technology doesn't just allow scientists to make glowing plants, though. It enables the creation of cancer therapeutics, GMOs, biofuels and much, much more. Take this class to learn about the scientific underpinnings of recombinant DNA as well as some awesome examples of how it's used today and could potentially be used in the future.


Iron Chef ESP in Splash! 2012 (Nov. 17 - 18, 2012)
Do YOU have what it takes to be an Iron Chef? Compete against each other in this intense culinary battle to produce savory delights! And of course…there is always the secret ingredient!


Drug Discovery and Clinical Development in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
Do you assume that the medicines you take are safe? Do you generally believe the medicines you take will work? The reason why most of us can answer yes to that question is because the US (and most of the rest of the world) has a pretty rigorous system in place to make sure that drugs that get approved for human use are safe and effective. In this class we will talk about how pharmaceutical companies go about developing drugs for specific purposes and how they go through preclinical and clinical trials in mice and humans to make sure drugs work. We'll also talk about how standards are different for different diseases - for example, how safe does a cancer drug need to be compared to a diabetes drug. If you're interested in biology and medicine, then this class is for you!


Understanding Proteins: A Path to Understanding Cancer (and other diseases) in Spark! 2011 (Mar. 12, 2011)
Almost all of us are touched by cancer in some way. So, what does it take to cure it? One tactic is to kill ONLY the cancerous cells. But cancer is an incredibly complex disease where a few of your own cells accumulate genetic mutations that allow them to grow out of control, creating tumors. So, how do we target the cells we want? Find out how understanding protein-protein interactions allows us to answer that question and has lead to the advent of personalized treatments for cancer patients.


Education and Careers in Biology in Spark! 2011 (Mar. 12, 2011)
Do you think Biology is awesome? Do you want to learn more about the subject but are unsure where it might lead you in the long term? In this class we can cover the basics about: Undergraduate programs PhD programs Medical school Research Industry Jobs Consulting among other things... Ask your questions to a panel of MIT students in the biosciences. We will answer to the best of our abilities! Come with questions!


Life is Short -- Eat Dessert First in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
With some good rules of thumb, and some science, you don't really need to pay attention to the recipe. In this class, we'll talk about the point of basic cake ingredients, and then make cakes from scratch without recipes.


Cell Therapy: Science, not fiction in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
Due to some unfortunate accident, you have a large, third degree burn on your body. It's large enough that the wound won't grow back on its own. How do you make the wound heal? Cell therapy is a brand new and growing field that answers that question as follows: Step 1: Extract a sample of your own, unburned (healthy) skin cells. Step 2: Grow a sheet of skin in a lab Step 3: Implant your own cells back into your body to cure your own injury. A number of companies are commercializing products that do just that. But it gets even cooler. Scientists are working on ways to use bone marrow cells to cure stroke paralysis, dissolving scaffolds to grow bone and much, more. So, how does cell therapy work? What can we use it for? What are some of its limitations? And what does the future of cell therapy look like? We'll discuss answers to all of these questions in this class.


Understanding Proteins: A path to curing cancer in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
Almost all of us are touched by cancer in some way. So, what does it take to cure it? One tactic is to kill ONLY the cancerous cells. But cancer is an incredibly complex disease where a few of your own cells accumulate genetic mutations that allow them to grow out of control, creating tumors. So, how do we target the cells we want? Find out how understanding protein-protein interactions allows us to answer that question and has lead to the advent of personalized treatments for cancer patients.


Poetry Infused with Neologisms in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
Poetry Infused with Neologisms Do you enjoy a good chortle when reading a clever poem? Well, that’s only possible because of a poem called “The Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll which first coined the word “chortle.” Such words are called ‘neologisms’ – imaginary words that evoke the intended meanings. Some famous examples include: Frugal, manxome, frumious, vorpal, galumphing, grok, quixotic, cyberspace and frindle. Even if you find most poetry uffish and tulgey, come to this class and we’ll show you a frabjous time!


Metered Poetry: Impress your friends with potent speech in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
You’ve probably learned about poems in school scanning verse after verse, until you start to drool But if you take this class I’ll teach you some class Unlike your school teacher I am no fool


Iron Chef ESP in Spark! 2010 (Mar. 13, 2010)
Do YOU have what it takes to be an Iron Chef? Compete against each other in this intense culinary battle to produce savory delights! And of course...there is always the secret ingredient!


Drug Development 101 in Spark! 2010 (Mar. 13, 2010)
In 1999 Americans bought close to 3 Billion prescription drugs for a total of 121 Billion dollars. That's an average of ten prescriptions per person per year. Where do these drugs come from? How do scientists design them? How do we know drugs are safe for use? In this class we will look at two case studies and investigate the scientific and logistical hurdles these drugs had to go through before they could go to market.


A Game of Tag: Protein Mechanisms in Spark! 2010 (Mar. 13, 2010)
Your body produces 88 pounds of ATP every day. Anyone who has taken a biology course knows that ATP is the currency of the cell. But how does it work?? ATP can help pass signals from one part of the cell to another. Through ATP "tag" a single signaling molecule outside the cell can result in a complete change of cell function. In this class we'll explore a series of cellular protein mechanism in detail. By the end of this class you will realize that the biology of your body is governed by logical interactions that can be rationally explained.


A Bit Of Everything! in Spark! 2010 (Mar. 13, 2010)
Choose up to four whirlwind discussions and question-and-answer sessions about: Facts and myths about our universe: A chat about modern physics, what we know and what we don't know. We'll answer questions about stories you've heard regarding curved space, quantum teleportation, dark energy, strings, and whatever else you want to know. International Development: 1 billion people in the world do not have access to water, 29,000 children under the age of 5 die every day, and half the world lives on less than $2.50 a day. How do we even start to solve these problems? Protein cascades: how hormones and other external signaling factors can cause drastic changes in a cell's behavior through a series of astonishingly specific protein-protein interactions. Paradoxes: The next sentence is false. The previous sentence is true. This topic will amuse only those students who are not amused by it. Geoengineering: Geoengineering is what it sounds like - world engineering. Some scientists are proposing massive changes to our planet to combat global warming, like putting giant mirrors in space to reflect sunlight, or building giant, carbon filtering trees. Group Theory: What if you could "add" things that weren't numbers? We'll explore the theory of mathematical objects that allow for combining two elements with rules that mimic addition, and explore what kinds of objects we can get. Telescopes: From Galileo to the summit of Mauna Kea, learn how these pieces of glass have let us glimpse into the heavens; how astronomy, the oldest science, is born anew.


Experimental Biology or: How I Learned To Make Glowing Marmosets in HSSP Harvard HSSP Spring 2010 (Feb. 06, 2010)
Follow in the footsteps of Darwin, Mendel, Hook, Avery, Watson & Crick! Learn about glowing marmosets, exploding cells, virus batteries and how a baby can have four parents. Did you ever wonder how all these famous scientists got their Nobel prizes? We'll take a trip through biology, learning about the experiments that worked (and some that didn't) while getting a grounding in the basic science.


Cheesecakeology in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
The follow-up to the award-winning* Breakfastology from Spark 2009, we'll be going over the finer points of cheesecake-making including: graham-cracker crushing, creaming cream cheese and topping with fruit/chocolate. Oh, also eating. *awards may be fictional Please note: both meeting times are for one class. The intervening time is for the cheesecake to cool.


Battleship Twister in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
What is battleship twister? Exactly what it sounds like - a strategy game that requires some quite the balancing act to win. Guess where on the twister board your opponents hands and feet are. If you guess right, they must balance on one fewer limbs. The team with the last person on the twister board wins!


A Hands-on Approach to Clean Water For All in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
Have you ever wondered what is in your drinking water? What makes water safe to drink? What makes you sick from drinking water? We'll discuss these questions and perform hands-on water-quality tests on your choice of water (e.g. Charles River, Evian, tap water, etc.). Find out what you're drinking every day! NOTE: Information presented in this workshop is being used globally to help millions of people gain access to healthy drinking water. You can contribute too. Join us to find out how.


Drug Development 101 in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
Many people take drugs on a daily basis - for headaches, acne, cancer, arthritis, you name it. The average drug takes 15 years to develop and over 1 billion dollars to fund. In this class we will go through the drug development process step by step to understand how scientists identify drug targets, design drugs, and go through clinical trial.


Prions in Droplet Spring 2009 (May. 01, 2009)
When first discovered, prions were so novel and controversial that those who stood by the prion theory were shunned by much of the science community. Why? Because prions, the infectious proteins that cause Mad Cow Disease, break the fundamental genetic dogma of biology. How do prions work? Where are prions found? Why do prions exist? What do prions have to do with cannibalism? We'll attempt to answer all these questions and more during this class.


Breakfastology 101 in Spark! Spring 2009 (Mar. 07, 2009)
Want to learn how to cook a delicious and balanced breakfast? Come learn how to cook pancakes, bacon, popovers, fruit salad and other delicious breakfasty goods.


Sonnets: A Dynamic Discipline in Spark! Spring 2009 (Mar. 07, 2009)
Witty, provocative, versatile. Despite its fairly strict and restrictive form, (14 lines, iambic pentameter) sonnets have a myriad of styles in historical and modern poetry. This class is designed to show you how sonnets have grown and developed over the past centuries into a diverse and powerful form that knows no bounds. We'll spend the first hour learning how to read and talk about a few classic sonnets to ground you in the sonnet tradition. The second hour will be dedicated to discussing you the myriad paths sonnets have taken since then. Come ready to think. Come ready to talk.


Prions in Spark! Spring 2009 (Mar. 07, 2009)
When first discovered, prions were so novel and controversial that those who stood by the prion theory were shunned by much of the science community. Why? Because prions, the infectious proteins that cause Mad Cow Disease, break the fundamental genetic dogma of biology. How do prions work? Where are prions found? Why do prions exist? What do prions have to do with cannibalism? We'll attempt to answer all these questions and more during this class.


FTP: French Toast Party!!! in Spark! Spring 2008 (Mar. 08, 2008)
Do you find yourself wasting away your weekend mornings (or sleeping through them entirely?) No longer when you become a french toast master! Impress your friends, enthrall your parents, and make a tasty snack for yourself.


How to Make Ice Cream! in SPLASHONWHEELS (2008)
All you need is a little bit of milk, ice, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Voila! Ice cream! Why salt, you ...


Make Your Own Ice Cream in SPLASH (2007)
What kind of ice cream do you like? Vanilla, strawberry chocolate chip, butterscotch bannana, some other crazy concoction? Learn how ...


Cook Your Own Thanksgiving in SPLASH (2007)
Ready for two hours chock full of baking, broiling, chopping, and (most importantly) Thanksgiving? Cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes ...


Duct Tape Design in SPLASH (2007)
Come learn how to make things out of duct tape! We will discuss techniques to construct just about anything out ...


Make Your Own Ice Cream in SPLASH (2007)
What kind of ice cream do you like? Vanilla, strawberry chocolate chip, butterscotch banana, some other crazy concoction? Learn how ...


Spiral Paper Gift Cards in SPLASH (2007)
Have you ever wanted to personalize cards to friends and family? In this class you'll learn an awesome gift card ...