Digital Shipbuilding’s Curriculum Coordinator, Jessica Johnson, got the opportunity to present at the very first She Can STEM Spring Break Explosion virtual event held in early April.
Mrs. Johnson presented about STEM careers, innovate research, and projects that utilize technology at your fingertips!
The event was through Butterfly Village Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an environment that will empower women and girls to succeed academically, socially, and professionally.
One of the student speakers was a young woman named Ayonnah Tinsley, who has been involved in STEM education for many years and is now headed to USC! Ayonnah, who just graduated from Westfield High School in Chantilly, VA, will be studying the business of innovation.
Since third grade, Ayonnah has been interested in STEM education when she went to the Air and Space Museum and watched a movie about STEM being more than science. “When I saw the movie and they talked about how airplanes are nature and music and art, it blew my mind. From there, I’ve been thinking about ways to get people, especially kids, more engaged in STEM. To make school for everyone, not just the ones who have the right skills,” said Ayonnah. “My inspiration for this comes from meeting engineers through school projects, learning how engineers are more than how we see them on TV, and I wish more people got to see that side of them.”
Ayonnah was so inspired by engineering that she even wrote a book about it! Her book, titled “This is What an Engineer Looks Like,” aims to educate students on STEAM jobs and to increase the number of women and minorities in STEAM involved careers. Ayonnah also wanted to show diversity in fields dealing with science and technology.
“I wanted to show representation for students and STEM jobs, which are more than just engineering. There are cartographers, aerospace engineers, computer programmers, and I emphasized that my characters look different. I want kids to see themselves, to see they have the opportunity, and that representation is important. I wanted to expose kids at younger ages and show how these jobs impact our daily lives,” Ayonnah said.
Even though Ayonnah is just embarking on college, her future is bright. “I want to have my own company in the future. I like being able to oversee my ideas come to life. I want to help change the education system in the United States, specifically at the elementary level. I want to work with companies to figure out ways to make trainings and education more accessible to everyone, rather than the privileged. I want everyone to have the same chances,” Ayonnah said.
Ayonnah’s book is on sale on Amazon kindle and paperback. For more information, click here: https://www.amazon.com/This-What-Engineer-Looks-Like-ebook/dp/B085ZRTH6T