Here at Play-Well, we are lucky to have a lot of super cool, smart, creative instructors! Briana is one of those instructors, teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area. She fits in great at Play-Well because of her passion for engineering, teaching, and challenging her students. As a woman engineer and instructor, she is especially interested in the roles women play in engineering and how to support and inspire our female students. Recently, we chatted with Briana about what inspired her to be an engineer and her thoughts on women in engineering.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ENGINEER?
I really like understanding how things work. For some people understanding how things work may take the magic out of it but for me, that’s what makes things magical. I love to understand how things work, how to change them and how the universe is.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WOMEN BRING TO ENGINEERING?
Women naturally work together, are very creative. They are able to think about things in a different way, which can lead to exciting and creative collaboration, creation, and engineering. Sometimes engineers bring preconceived notions of how things work and how they think things should be. They follow in the footsteps of other great engineers which can prevent them from being as innovative as they could be. Many female engineers break this mold and innovate by thinking outside of the box.
WHAT ARE THE GIRLS IN YOUR CLASSES LIKE?
The girls in my class are very inquisitive and they are strong problem solvers. They approach problems in creative and flexible ways. They excel at teamwork, of course, and that’s what solves real world engineering problems after all. They are often excited to see that their teacher is a woman and I try to inspire them and recognize their efforts and victories so that they know how awesome they are and so they don’t slide back into their comfort zones.
We and Briana are both determined to create a fun and open environment where all of our students feel that they can learn and build together with the support and direction of our instructors. We encourage our instructors to engage all of our students while inspiring them to think and work creatively within an environment where they feel safe and comfortable. So we hope that you will send your boys and girls to learn, grow, and innovate with us!
For more information about our Play-Well camps this summer, visit: bit.ly/2012PlayWellCamps.