Today we are featuring Sci Chic model and engineering student, Christine Chern, and her path to engineering through her high school!
1. How did you originally get interested in engineering?
Before my junior year of high school, I was sure I wouldn't be an engineer. I thought of engineers as nerdy, boring people, and I very much had an aversion and thought it was an undesirable profession because of my vague and general stereotyped understanding of engineers. Nevertheless, I knew I couldn't decide my future with this kind of notion, so I took a Project Lead the Way Intro to Engineering course. Once I learned about the engineering design process and what engineers really did, I knew that it was actually exactly what I wanted to do. It aligned with my personality and was everything I was looking for. From there, I just looked into the specific engineering majors and chose the one that seemed most suited to my interests and goals.
2. What is your favorite thing you have gotten to do as an engineering student?
My favorite thing to do has probably been working for the Office of Sustainability and generally being involved on-campus and getting opportunities to meet people and represent myself and hold my identity as an engineering student with interdisciplinary interests. I think that Gator Engineering is really awesome in that it promotes all "types" of engineering students.
3. How do you see engineering changing in the coming future? What are you looking forward to?
I see 3D printing as an example of the increasing accessibility to implementing and introducing engineering ideas and more hands-on tech. I'm looking forward to advances in transportation and infrastructure and everything related to sustainability in engineering in general.
4. What is your view on combining art and engineering?
I think that combining art and engineering is really important because art is culture. Culture helps bring people together, and so finding ways to bring art and engineering together is essential to bringing engineering to people for both learning and basic understanding, and we definitely need that. I want to point out that I used to be on the other side of this; I grew up in a very science-oriented and somewhat art/humanities-condescending household, but as I've gotten older, I've moved past that to see what I've said about art's significance by it's definition and nature.
5. What is your favorite Sci Chic piece and why?
I really like the laser cut pieces because they are so clean cut (literally) and look really professionally manufactured yet are lightweight and made in a much more friendly way. I think initially I was drawn to the circuit board pieces because they are re-purposing something which automatically speaks to my sustainable side and they just look nice. I love that all the pieces have a meaning behind them. That's probably my favorite thing about them generally: every piece is relatable to some part of STEM. STEM needs to be relatable.