Last month, computer science and computational math engineer Betty Jing and six of her peers had the opportunity to attend the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers West Regional Conference in San Diego. The conference theme was “Bamboo Ceilings and Concrete Feet,” which represented the main focus of the conference: Identifying and resolving the problems faced by Asian Americans in the workplace. The conference also served as an opportunity for high school students to pursue science and engineering. This is what drew Betty to the conference. “Science and engineering have both accumulated incredibly intimidating reputations that deter students from entering them, but in reality, they are actually quite fun and rewarding to pursue,” she explained.
SASE even had the opportunity to host their very own workshop for high school students. During this workshop, Betty and her fellow SASE members set out to teach 30 students about the engineering design process through the building of wind turbines. The students worked with various materials to design blades for a wind turbine that generated the most energy. This workshop gave SASE members the opportunity to share knowledge and excitement about engineering and get K-12 involved in engineering design.
Betty’s favorite part of the conference was the GE design challenge. In this activity, participants were organized into teams and challenged to use GE technology to benefit the healthcare system. “I came out of that event with newly acquired knowledge from speaking to people who had expertise in areas I am not familiar with […],” she said.
“I was honestly a bit nervous about hosting a workshop and speaking to members outside of ASU’s SASE […],” Betty admits. However, the event went smoothly and she learned a lot. The SASE conference served as a reminder to Betty and her fellow organization members of the importance of the younger generation. With this in mind, they plan to set up more workshops for high school students in order to draw more K-12 students to science and engineering fields. Looking back on the experience, Betty advises future conference-goers and youth-inspirers to “maintain a bright outlook” and “give off positive vibes.” They are the future, and we wouldn’t want to scare them away. “We want to share the excitement and enthusiasm we have for engineering! We want to share how engineering makes people’s lives better” said Betty Jing.
For more information about the ASU – SASE chapter, click here.