Meet Noa Levin ’ 24

Posted by Pine Crest School on June 21, 2024 at 1:39 PM

Coming to Pine Crest School in eighth grade, Noa Levin ’24 was a new student in a new country. Originally from London, England, Noa and her family relocated to South Florida to be near family who had already made the transatlantic move, and for the beaches and weather.

Levin Noa-4950

Graduating from Pine Crest in May as the senior class president, it is clear that Noa quickly found community at Pine Crest in and out of the classroom. As a student, she enjoyed spreading school spirit by working on the student council to plan events like Homecoming and proudly wearing green and white as a member of the crew team.


We sat down with Noa to learn more about her time as a student and what she is looking forward to as she heads to Duke University in the fall.  


What extracurricular activities were you involved with as an Upper School student? 


Noa Levin ’24 (NL): I was the senior class president this year. I enjoyed planning senior events and loved getting to know different faculty and classmates in that role. I was also the president of the Jewish Heritage Club and was proud to bring a Holocaust survivor to campus. I have always loved math, so I was also a member of the Math and Theories Club and the Math League.


You have spent much of your time in Upper School conducting research. What drew you to the sciences, and can you describe your research experience with us?


NL: I have always loved science, biology specifically. When I was 12, I received a microscope for my birthday! During my sophomore year, I worked at the forensic DNA lab where Mrs. Ganden (Upper School Science Research Instructor) worked before becoming a teacher. It was very interesting, and I learned a lot, such as how to extract DNA from evidence. 


When I started AP biology with Mrs. Santarelli ’89, I fell in love with biology even more! I reached out to labs in Boston and Miami looking for summer research opportunities. I also reached out to lab professors in Israel because my grandparents live there. I contacted a professor in Israel who studied at Berkeley and ended up conducting research there for six weeks.


I worked at a pediatric brain cancer laboratory where we were designing a diagnostic tool that would allow physicians to detect medulloblastomas (the most common and aggressive form of pediatric brain cancer) through blood testing. By contrast to MRIs, which can only see a tumor once millions of cells have formed, blood tests would be able to detect the cancer much earlier, allowing for more effective and efficient treatment. During my time there, I cultured cancer cells to perform various experiments on and tested healthy donor and patient blood. 


That experience changed what I want to study in college. I thought I would follow a pre-med track, but when I was researching in the pediatric oncology lab, I realized that I want to learn more about biology and medical engineering. It is a broad subject that spans developing machinery and prosthetics, but I like the combination of engineering, math, and biology. 


Not only did the experience teach me so much about scientific research and innovation in the medical field, but it also put a lot into perspective for me.


What was your favorite class? What did you love about it?


NL: I loved science research with Mrs. Ganden and Mrs. Santarelli. They both inspired me and ignited my love for biology. 


What are you most excited about as you look ahead to your first fall semester at Duke? 


NL: I am most excited to meet new people who have similar interests. I feel like starting university will be a fresh start. 


What do you think you will miss most about Pine Crest?


NL: I will miss the “homey” feeling I have here. The teachers and this community have given me so much comfort over the last five years. 


Class of 2024 Fountain Jump

Do you have a favorite memory from your time at Pine Crest?


NL: My favorite memory is the fountain jump on the last day of school! It was a full-circle closing moment to Upper School.

Class of 2024 Fountain Jump_1

What advice would you give an incoming freshman on making the most of their Pine Crest Upper School experience?


NL: Try everything and have an open mind. At the end of the day, Pine Crest can give you so many experiences you wouldn’t have ever imagined. I had no idea what crew was and then a friend recommended it to me. So, I tried it and I loved it and learned a lot of valuable lessons during my time on the team. Be sure to follow your interests.

Topics: Alumni Newsletter, Upper School, Student Life, Student Leadership, Science, 2024