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Technology. To some, it is the 21st century’s opiate of the masses. To others, it is the embodiment of progress and our development as a society. To junior Helena Merk, who writes code for iOS apps, it’s a medium to create and innovate. Merk decided to take an unconventional route — in the form of an app — when creating a DNA model for her biology class.

“I was out of town, so I thought that an app would be easiest,” Merk said.

Using a programming language called Lua, she created an interactive app that allows users to play around with the model and see the different bases and phosphate groups that make up a DNA strand. She also included a game component: users can drag and drop the phosphate groups and bases. Merk has been coding since seventh grade and has become good enough to open her creations to the public. In the past, she has created five other apps that are available on the App Store.

Interview and photo by George Shi.