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Gov. Holcomb Announces 2023 STEM Team Students

STEM Team Highlights Top Indiana Students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Christina Molinari
Press Secretary
(317) 503-8915

INDIANAPOLIS –Governor Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Education today announced the four members of the Governor's 2023 STEM Team. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding high school students who have demonstrated exceptional talent and accomplishments in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM).

“I continue to be impressed by the students selected for my STEM team, not only for their commitment to academic success but also their eagerness to make a positive impact on fellow Hoosiers, communities, and our state,” said Gov. Holcomb. “As opportunities for STEM education continue to grow, I want to commend our students for seizing these opportunities to improve their future, as well as our passionate educators for their work to prepare students for all that lies ahead.”

In addition to being selected as a member of the Governor’s STEM Team, each student is awarded a $1,000 scholarship deposited into an Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings plan, administered by the Treasurer of State, and a letterman jacket identifying them as members of the Governor’s STEM Team.

“As we continue to expand access to high-quality STEM education, these students exemplify the potential that exists for all Indiana students to unlock skills that will serve them throughout their life path,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “The skills they are learning today – from problem-solving to critical thinking to communication – will be important regardless of the career they choose and will prepare them to be innovators and leaders who will help drive our state’s future economy.”

The members of the 2023 Governor’s STEM Team are:

Science: Ethan Kiang, Bloomington High School South, Bloomington
Ethan has worked on research regarding climate and temperate forests at Indiana University’s Novick Lab. His project aims to compare the effects of soil moisture and atmospheric drought stressors on temperate forest trees. He is currently working on his first authored paper about the subject. While Ethan is undecided on which postsecondary institution he will attend, he plans to major in Environmental Engineering or Biogeoscience.

Technology: Brinna Porat, Center Grove High School, Greenwood
Brinna’s passion for robotics started at a young age. She has held leadership positions in FIRST Robotics and volunteers at several local, state, and national robotics competitions. Through this work, she has learned how to build, design, and drive robots and work with several technology programs, including computer-aided design (CAD) and Adobe products. Brinna plans to major in Health Sciences or Biomedical Engineering upon graduation.

Engineering: Katie Essex, Southport High School, Indianapolis
Katie has a passion for aviation and recently completed a physics internship through IUPUI to expand her knowledge. Along with flight, Katie also has a passion for her community. She created Mini-Movers, a program that provides modified ride-on cars to young children with disabilities so they can move independently. By graduating a year early, Katie can continue her flight certifications and attend Purdue University for Professional Flight Technology.

Mathematics: Katherine Yu, Carmel High School, Carmel
Katherine volunteers at an assisted living facility near her home, and that helped her realize the lack of independence caused by chronic illnesses. Her research efforts in glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease using CRISPR inference sparked a passion for improving health for all. Katherine plans to study Biomedical Engineering so that she can give people who suffer from chronic illnesses their freedom back.

In addition to the four members selected for the Governor’s STEM Team, eight students received honorable mentions:


  • Luke Reynolds, Marian High School, Mishawaka
  • Isabella Bradburn, Shelbyville Senior High School, Shelbyville
  • Alexandra Tauriainen, Lawrence Central High School, Indianapolis
  • Sarah O’Farril, Hanover Central High School, Cedar Lake
  • Chelsea Gonzalez, Pike High School, Indianapolis
  • Hailey Huser, Martinsville High School, Martinsville
  • Benjamin Myers, Washington High School, Washington
  • Corbin Dowden, Huntington North High School, Huntington