Titan Chapter
Founded: 2014
Location: Ashburn, Virginia
Chapter Leader: Sweta Karlekar
Status: Full

Sweta is a hard-working student at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She has a special interest in computer science and biology and her extracurricular activities include Bioinformatics Society, Quizbowl, Astronomy Club, Future Problem Solvers, and Team America Rocketry Club. Among Sweta’s honors are National Merit Finalist status and National AP Scholar award. Her biggest accomplishment has been creating Club Luminous in an effort to spread her passion for STEM to younger students in her community. She has been a Teacher’s Assistant for computer science courses, participated in Girls Who Code, and gained work experience in two hospitals in UK.  In the future, she hopes to use her knowledge of STEM subjects to conduct research and bring new scientists into the world.

Orion Chapter
Founded: 2015
Location: Sterling, Virginia
Chapter Leaders: Hamsa Mani & Militsa Sotirova
Status: Full


Hamsa Mani is a 15-year-old at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Two of her greatest interests are computer science and math. She has learned quite a few concepts in these fields and would like to expose younger students to a variety of them. From personal experience, she knows that entering the STEM fields can be difficult at a young age and wants to provide that opportunity to students. She is currently a part of an organization called Femgineers, whose mission is to inspire and encourage young girls to pursue STEM as a career, as well as a lifelong passion. Through this STEM Outreach program, she would like to build on her efforts to foster STEM learning in students.

At 15, Militsa Sotirova attends Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology as a sophomore. Upon entering high school, Militsa had the opportunity to take her first computer science class. That was all it took to realize how fascinating the subject is. She is currently taking AP Computer Science and is hoping to compete for TJ’s intermediate computer team this year. She is also a part of Coding Lady Colonials, a program that encourages girls to pursue careers in the STEM fields. Her realization that she wants to spread knowledge in STEM fields started even before high school. In eighth grade, she volunteered at a local elementary school and helped the students in various science and math concepts through fun and educational games. She would like to continue doing so through this program.

Europa Chapter
Founded: 2015
Location: McLean, Virginia
Chapter Leaders: Grace Lu & Aditya Sarkar
Status: Full

Grace Lu is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She loves computer science and cyber security and is working on expanding her skills with artificial intelligence this year. She also enjoys web/app development and exploring different operating systems. Outside of her classes, Grace is involved with the Russian program at her school and the Smithsonian and likes to watch Mr. Robot. She enjoys spreading STEM to children and encourage them to pursue such fields when they grow older. Grace believes programs like Club Luminous are an integral part of developing a student’s interests and help them find what they are passionate about and is very excited to work with the Europa chapter.

Aditya Sarkar is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. He loves biology and hopes to study medicine or pursue a career in biomedical research one day. Aditya enjoys teaching STEM topics and has worked with students from elementary, middle, and high school through TJ Peer Tutoring to help increase their interest in those fields and build their creativity and problem-solving skills. Beyond his classes, Aditya has been a longtime participant in Quizbowl competitions and is involved in TJ Aerospace Initiative’s high-power rocketry division. In his free time, he reads books (his favorite genre is sci-fi) and loves to watch shows like Doctor Who and Sherlock. Aditya is very excited to be a part of the Europa Chapter of Club Luminous and believes that it is essential to provide an opportunity for kids interested in STEM to explore several fields and discover their passions.

Aurora Chapter
Founded: 2015
Location: Oak Hill, Virginia
Chapter Leader: Anika Sindhwani
Status: Accepting Members


Anika is currently a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology with a passion for software development. Anika and her team were semifinalists for their iPhone app in PilotDC, a 24-hour Hackathon. She formed teams that competed in picoCTF, a computer security “Capture The Flag”, in 2013 and 2014. Anika did a summer internship with a college professor where she designed a web application using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. She is currently taking AP Computer Science and Web App Development, and she would like to work on developing mobile and web applications in the future, as well. She is also currently vice president of her high school’s GEMS club and Outreach Coordinator for ProjectCSGIRLS.

Gemini Chapter
Founded: 2015
Location: Ashburn, Virginia
Chapter Leaders: Alice Kang & Samantha
Status: Full


Alice Kang is a diligent junior at Stone Bridge High School who is interested in accounting and business. She has a passion for STEM field and she has been in the top 5% of her class. Alice is in National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, and Music Honor Society. She is very involved in her school in that she is the co-President of Red Cross, Vice President of GEMS, President of Intermediate, Advanced, and Artist Orchestra. Outside of school, she is the Secretary of Loudoun County Youth Advisory Council and co-leader of Engineering for Kids Back-End Work. She has experience in teaching young students in both violin and various subjects.

Samantha is a high school senior at Stone Bridge High School who will be studying Mechanical Engineering and Physics in college. She has been in top 5% of her class and has been involved in many clubs and organizations, such as Science National Honor Society as Vice President and Multicultural Club as President. She also is a current employee at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and has a deep passion for sharing her love for STEM.

Samantha and Alice have known each other since sixth grade and would love to teach young students math and science!

Polaris Chapter
Founded: 2015
Location: Reston, Virginia
Chapter Leaders: Nash Hemrajani & Nakul Dar
Status: Accepting Members


Nash Hemrajani is currently a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and has a lot of experience in the STEM field. He loves to spend his free time playing sports like basketball and soccer. He has been in active member in his school’s Environmental Science Club built a self-sustaining environment for fish and plants. Nash is also a huge participant in debate club and has placed in numerous tournaments and competed in the VHSL State Finals. Having done many interesting labs and activities in his science class, Nash believes that it would great to show these experiments to kids starting at a young age and to prepare them for the future.

Nakul Dar is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. In school, he is interested in all of the fields of STEM. He is an active member of Environmental Impact Club, Spanish Honor Society, and Namaste. Outside of school, he enjoys long walks on the beach and reading next to a campfire. He hopes to encourage future generations to study STEM and foster a lifelong love of learning in his students.

Scorpius Chapter
Founded: 2015
Location: Stone Ridge, Virginia
Chapter Leaders: Gautam Ramanathan & Jashan Matharoo
Status: Accepting Members


Gautam Ramanathan is 16 years old and attends Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology as a sophomore. He believes that Club Luminous is one of the best options in the community for promoting youth involvement in STEM. He is a member of Neuroscience Society and Medical Society. He is also an editor for Teknos, a science journal. In his free time he prefers to watch TED talks and comedy movies.

Jashan Matharoo is 15 years old and is a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. He shows interest in biology by participating in Medical society and Biology Society. In his free time he works out, reads, and builds things.

Pisces Chapter
Founded: 2015
Location: Fairfax Station, Virginia
Chapter Leader: Haimeng (Margaret) Zhao
Status: Accepting Members


Haimeng Zhao goes by Margaret and is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She is very interested in medicine and biology but enjoys all STEM subjects. She has tutored students in reading, math, computer science, and Latin. She has been a coach on her neighborhood’s swim team since she was 13 and has enjoyed working with other swimmers on their skill and technique. She strongly believes that students should be introduced to STEM at a young age so that as they progress through school their passions may grow. Through Club Luminous, she has the opportunity to teach students about STEM and she is very excited to be a chapter leader!

Callisto Chapter
Founded: 2015
Location: Waxhaw, North Carolina
Chapter Leader: Katrina Chandra
Status: Accepting Members


Katrina is a junior at Charlotte Latin School. Her extracurricular activities include Odyssey of the Mind, piano, and ballet. She has recently attended a seven-week long Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program and now wishes to pursue a technological field of study. Some of her recent accomplishments include going to Odyssey of the Mind Worlds, playing at NFMC State Festival, and placing first for the team Chemistry NC Super Competition. In the past, Katrina has participated in two science fairs, at school, regional, and state levels, the Power of the Pen competition, and a regional-level spelling bee. Her hobbies include reading, writing, drawing, traveling, and playing board games. Katrina is excited to share her past experiences and spread her love of math and sciences to the younger generation.      

Sirius Chapter
Founded: 2015
Location: New York, New York
Chapter Leaders: Nathalie Leon & Ircania Aybar
Status: Accepting Members


Nathalie Leon is an ambitious student at Demarest HS. She has a passion for computer science. Nathalie’s main focus is to spread her knowledge to younger generations because technology is becoming very significant in the future. Future generations need to be at the forefront of technological advances. The implementation of STEM is important to a child’s education in order to develop creativity, and innovative thinking.

Ircania Aybar was born in Brooklyn but has lived in the Bronx most of  her life. Currently, she attends CMSPx327 and is a junior in high school . She’s a teacher of children with disabilities at her local church. All her life, she has wanted to go into the medical field and become a surgeon. Since then, she has loved medicine and it’s goal to help people. She believes that everything that STEM stands for is the future. Her goal in the program is to guide those students who will play a crucial role in the future.