Isiac Orr is a rising senior at Madison High School in Rexburg, Idaho. He lives in a small community on the outskirts of Rexburg called Archer.
Growing up on a farm, he was always surrounded by complex human/environment interactions. Though the agricultural profession wasn’t for him, he was enraptured with the science of the organisms within it. He was fascinated in exploring the seemingly infinite complexities of organisms that looked like simple, inanimate objects. This is where Isiac’s interest in biology began.
Later, in high school, Isiac participated in Madison High School’s Environmental Solutions Class. This program involved combining four courses in biology, technical writing, and statistics into a single course that occupied 4 periods. Students went on field trips every other day to run physical, biological, and chemical assessments on all of the creeks in the Teton Watershed. Seeing the even more complicated interactions within even the smallest ecosystems fostered an appreciation for the systems approach to scientific research. Environmental Solutions showed him that with so many connections, it’s impossible to understand nature fully by only investigating one aspect of it.
Sophomore year Isiac joined the speech and debate team where he would go on to win invitational competitions, place in the 2015 and 2016 Idaho State Debate competition, and qualify for the 2016 National Speech and Debate Association’s national tournament. Isiac’s experience in speech and debate showed him the value of communication, and the crucial role it plays in every field of work. The ability to communicate ideas in a way that not only conveys your thoughts but also invites collaboration is invaluable; especially in science. The internship with Institute for Systems Biology’s communication department was the perfect opportunity to merge Isiac’s love of science and biology with his affinity for communications.
Isiac plans to pursue a career as a research scientist in either an astronautical engineering field or a discipline of biology. Whether it be mechanical engineering, marine biology, astrophysics, molecular biology or cellular biology that he pursues, he will utilize the communications skills he has learned at ISB to advance collaborative scientific research and bring deeper understanding to the STEM world.
Isiac also enjoys being a member of his school’s band program playing the clarinet. He has been a part of the program for 5 years and continues to learn and explore new musical instruments. In his time off he also enjoys writing, spending time with his family and friends, exploring, traveling, learning, and playing with his family’s two dogs, two cats, and horse.