Science / Tech

Hannah Herbst

The High School Senior Making Waves (Literally)

All we ever sent our high school pen pal was some candy. Hannah Herbst sent hers a sustainable power source. After corresponding with a fellow teen in sub-Saharan Africa, 16-year-old Herbst devised a solution for the region’s energy poverty. Her ocean energy probe prototype seeks to offer a stable power source by using untapped energy from ocean currents.

When did you realize what you wanted to do in your life?

“In seventh grade, my parents encouraged me to try engineering through a summer camp. I was a bit apprehensive at first (as I was the only girl in the program), but after just a few days of programming and building robots, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to pursue STEM!

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

“The ability to inspire other young girls to pursue their passions.”

What’s something you’d like people to know about you or your job that they probably don’t?

“Science can’t be done solo. STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] is a collaborative effort between many people, and I am extremely grateful for the mentors who have tapped into my life and shown me the value of teamwork.”

Snack food you can’t live without?


Desert island question: If you could bring only three things, what would they be?

“My Bible, a fishing pole and a water filter.”

Whom do you admire more than anyone else?

“I admire my parents most. They have encouraged me to become the person I am today, and I would certainly not be where I am without them.”

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