U.S. Engineering Construction Project Engineer Hannah Thomazin recently participated in a video Q&A for an all-girl STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) team. Thomazin joined other women STEAM mentors to answer questions posed by an all-girls FIRST LEGO team.
Watch the video:
Backstory: Martha B. McCabe, Executive Director of KC STEM Alliance, Marian McClellan, Program Consultant at KC STEM Alliance, and their team compiled a video of women STEAM professionals cheering on the all-girl FIRST LEGO team as they prepared for remote competition season. The team in turn created a video for their encouraging mentors, asking questions about their work and professions. The video with Thomazin is a response to the girls’ video, featuring responses to the team’s questions.
In the video Thomazin talks about how she became interested in STEAM. While taking physics and chemistry courses in high school and college, Thomazin said, “I liked those classes because they offered explanations of the world around us, and I thought it was really cool to be able to predict or know how different things in our world move.” She went on to point out her appreciation for equations, which present complex concepts in a straightforward way. She closed out with some sage advice: “Don’t be afraid to fail.”
The KC STEM Alliance partners every year with the Society of Women Engineers – KC (SWE) to provide a “Women in STEM” luncheon at the FIRST Robotics Competition regionals. The lunches include an activity, a keynote speaker and direct connections between the women STEAM professionals, the girls who are team members and women who support the teams. Last year, the KC STEM Alliance and SWE decided to expand the program to include the FIRST Tech Challenge and the FIRST LEGO League.
But when the pandemic hit, the luncheon was reworked into a series of videos, including this one featuring Thomazin. Tim Moormeier, President of U.S. Engineering Company Holdings and KC STEM Alliance Advisory Board member, thanked Thomazin: “I’m proud to be associated with you. The FIRST program is near and dear to my heart because my son learned a great deal from his participation and so I’ve been involved ever since.”