Cultivating a Community of Scientists

Training the next generation of critical thinkers and using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is essential to advancing our society. Interestingly enough, I came to the conclusions that it is conversely also essential to the advancement of STEM.

Through “Good Morning Science”, I had the pleasure and privilege of teaching children how to build tooth brush robots. We took the head of a toothbrush and attached a small vibrating motor to its back. The end result was a friendly bug-like robot that used its bristles and vibrations to move around.

 

As simple as it may sound, the children at our event were fascinated with their new robot friend. They couldn’t believe that something of their own making had the ability to move on its own! They watched it move with a twinkle in their eyes and the gears in their heads turning. They wondered how their robots moved and if their robots could survive a friendly battle with another. I was there to help assemble their robot and answer their questions but leaving some to be answered on their own.

By answering their questions, I realized why our youth are so important to STEM. They bring a new perspective to old problems. They question everything and look for answers in places we haven’t yet explored. They will be tasked with finding innovative solutions to future challenges and it is our responsibility to ensure they have the knowledge, passion and tools to do so. In return, our youth inspire us to be more innovative. They open our eyes to new possibilities and give us hope for the future.

 

As a volunteer, I place great value in what we accomplished at “Good Morning Science” because it cultivates a community of scientist and STEM professionals who are committed to teaching and engaging our youths. This event was my first volunteering experience and it will certainly not be my last!

 

This blog was written by Sae Hoon Gwun.

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