Orion Razat is a very busy boy.
The newly minted twelve-year-old is already an accomplished author working on his second book. He is also an entrepreneur, animator, public speaker, designer and dreamer.
Also, add Junior Geek of the Month to the list as the seventh grader received this August award, presented by the Northern Trust in recognition of talented young scientists, innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest.
A prankster in class with a penchant for science, technology, engineering, and math, Orion was inspired by a teacher to combine the two.
“The teacher didn’t like it when I told jokes in class,” Orion said. “They understood it was good intention, so they told me to maybe put all of my funny and silly ideas in a book. And then that could be shared at a certain time during class. “
The idea grew into a published book called “101 STEM Jokes,” a mix of geeky STEM word games, fun facts, and activities for kids.
“I didn’t necessarily see that coming,” said Orion, who became a published author and sold his book on Amazon.
Orion’s mother, Imani Razat, said the love of writing and drawing began at a young age, when Orion was already developing a talent for storytelling. She gave him blank books from the art store, which he filled with stories about his imaginary friends. He started bringing his homemade books to school to share during rug time. In kindergarten he declared himself an author, she said.
Orion’s parents encouraged him to stimulate his imagination and share it on YouTube. He learned Adobe After Effects and started a “production company” called Rocketshipsquid. Under the same grip on Instagram, Orion has just unveiled a new t-shirt design that combines his love for chemistry and ice cream.
Orion’s journey to becoming a writer has taken him to a variety of publications including Parent Map, STEM Spark Blog, Red Tricycle, and The Week Jr. His animation was projected at the Museum of Museums in Seattle and he was the winner of the University of Washington’s 2020 Neuroscience for Poetry Contest for Children.
Orion lived in New York City before his family moved to Seattle four years ago. His father Kaza Razat works in artificial intelligence and founds a startup and chatbot focused on health and wellness. His mother is studying communications at Johns Hopkins University.
Orion has a strong interest in transportation and urban planning. He likes to build in “Minecraft” and “Roblox”.
Orion Razat’s first book.
“It’s a nice way to spend your time creating instead of just mindlessly staring at videos and guys dancing on YouTube,” Orion said.
During homeschooling classes with his mother, he uses the Sketch design program to create his own custom traffic maps, form communities, and imagine who has access to transportation and green spaces. Building just cities is an important part of his teaching.
And now he’s on book # 2.
“I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s like a science fiction novel,” he said before giving up on the project a little more. “The basic premise is that this kid sees a sick whale on the news and tries to help him. And then he builds a device that will allow him to communicate with the whale. The whole world has its eyes fixed on him and the technology he has created, and then the whale speaks at the UN for the oceans. “
Orion said the book is set in the future and will include robots and bullet trains, among other things. He hopes to work with activists and marine biologists to promote the book and its environmental message.
His own attitude towards the planet is a mixture of excitement and reluctance. He believes the future could be a really big leap for humanity in terms of technology, but at the same time 2020 is “crazy enough,” he said, and the next 20 years could get even crazier.
He doesn’t yet know what he would like to become, but he already understands how to help.
“I just want to have a lasting impact on how people see climate change and plastic in the oceans,” Orion said. “I have a feeling that this book could create a certain awareness and cause some kind of change, I hope.”
Nominate a junior geek
GeekWire will feature a new Junior Geek of the Month in profiles designed to show how they want to have a positive impact on the world through their geeky activities. They also receive special recognition from our project partner Northern Trust.
Do you know an extraordinary junior geek aged 12 to 20 who is going to change the world? Submit a nomination.
Nominees must be Pacific Northwest residents and nominees under the age of 18 must provide information about their parents.
Read more about our previous Junior Geek of the Month winners.