Kylen Williams: A Renaissance Man


Kylen Williams remains enthusiastic about coding and hopes to continue with his passion for it in the future. His thirst for knowledge grows every day, while his spirit of creativity flourishes. Photo courtesy of Saule Kondra.

When it comes to coding, he is the one to call. Kylen Williams, a senior at Steinbrenner high school, has devoted a large portion of his high school career to technology and science and even more impressively, completed an internship with NASA.  

It all began in his seventh grade computer class when Williams fell in love with coding. His gateway to coding was a program called “affirmative” which then later transferred to scratch, a more advanced program which he describes as the “toy version of coding”. This site allowed him to create games out of blocks of prewritten code for his avatar to play. The more Williams’ interest peaked, the more time he would devote to coding. Williams’ interest continued to spike as he watched multiple YouTube videos about the topic which introduced him into the more advanced world of coding “I just feel like the internet teaches better,” said Williams. 

Recently, Williams partook in a prestigious NASA internship for teens. His application process included a video submission talking about himself and his resume. There were also academic requirements that came along with this submission that the participants had to meet. Out of about a thousand submissions, Williams was one of 80 that was selected for the experience.  

During the NASA internship, Williams chose from multiple projects to conduct, and he landed on the “Moon base project”. In this creative assignment, he worked with a group of like-minded individuals to create a prototype of an International Space Station specifically on the moon. The goal of this prototype was to potentially be used in order to help researchers on the moon study where water is located and discover an easier way to resource and use lunar dust. 

After Williams completed the internship at NASA, he came to the conclusion that he, in fact, did not like the genre of space science and said that he would rather study current issues on Earth.  “I would prefer not to work with NASA and make things more useful to people on our Earth right now.” said Williams. 

One of Williams’ biggest supporters at Steinbrenner is, without a doubt, Michelle James-Yarish. They first got to know each other through long trips to robotics competitions where they would talk for hours. Not only was she Williams’ online chemistry teacher through COVID-19 but she also sponsors the science honors club which Williams has been a part of since freshman year and is the current president of. In the science honors club, the students participate in a yearly event called the “Brain Bowl.” This is where the students are required to complete a set of challenges and use their problem-solving abilities. William’s role in the event included building part of the trebuchet and competing in the quiz bowl.  

“Recently he started to do writing. He’s a real renaissance man,”

— James-Yarish

When it comes to teamwork, Williams is very friendly and welcoming. “If somebody is sitting by himself, he’ll go out of his way to go talk to that person,” said James-Yarish. In a classroom setting, Williams is always that one student who digs deeper into class discussions and asks questions whenever given the chance. One can clearly recognize this as Williams strong suit in class, however, because he is always so intrigued by everything, his hobbies can turn into a tightly packed schedule. “His biggest flaw is that he tries to do too much,” said James-Yarish. 

As of now, Williams has even started to dabble in the world of creative writing. After seeing his friends producing stories and poems, he found a passion for writing within himself. He currently creates science fiction pieces and some other forms of literacy. He has even made a website to post his pieces on for those interested in his writing and other projects called