From our Women in STEM TV series meet Dr. Kristina Yu, Director of the Living Systems Department at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The Exploratorium is a unique museum that spans science, technology and arts and offers a wide variety of interactive exhibits as well as learning tools for students, teachers and adults.

How did Dr. Yu discover her love for science and nature? What prompted her to pursue science in college? Did she ever have second thoughts about dropping out of her science major? We explore these questions and more in our conversation with Dr. Yu.

We sat down with Dr. Yu to find out how the  microscope became her gateway to the world of science.  Dr. Yu discovered her love for the outdoors and science at a young age. On many weekends she spent time at her family farm in Northern California, which is where she developed an interest in exploring nature and its habitats. A high school biology teacher helped shape her interest in the subject. Shedecided to pursue her undergraduate degree in biology. Mid-way through her undergraduate studies she had a change of heart and wanted to pursue a liberal arts degree. When she ran that idea by her father he persuaded her to stick to science. She followed her father’s advice and majored in biology and ended up getting a PhD in the subject.

After getting her PhD from University of California, Santa Cruz she applied and got a job at San Francisco’s Exploratorium. This was the first job she applied after finishing her PhD and she is  currently the Director of the  Living Systems Department at the Exploratorium. 

This conversation is part of Season 2 of our #WomeninSTEM series that spotlights the role of “hidden figures” in Silicon Valley.

The Kamla Show is filmed and produced in Silicon Valley and airs on TV in the US and is available on YouTube.

This interview aired and continues to air on PBS, Public Media and cable  stations in the US.

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