Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why I started

Hello there. A little introduction before I start.

My background is in mechanical engineering, but never really practiced it in reality (as in design or mechanical aspects of it). After graduating from Cal, I went to work for Bechtel as a project controls engineer (project management, heavy emphasis on cost and schedule), then I worked mostly as a project manager and product marketing manager when I made my way into the semiconductor industry.

After almost 7 years combined of being a stay-at-home mom, along with a writer (Waiting for Appa, and others), and a volunteer science teacher at my children's elementary school, I finally decided to blog about it this year. According to my calculations, I've conducted over 250+ projects in the last six years, covering the grades K to 5th. The projects range from marshmallow buildings and earthquakes to linguistics and language patterns.

I've noticed that there are a lot of science websites and blogs online, and I'll share what I thought were some of the best ones later on. What's special about my projects is that the supplies are very inexpensive and readily available almost anywhere around the world. My goal is to make science and math fun for every child, but more importantly, I want to nurture their natural sense of curiousity and encourage their love of learning.

My children are very curious, and even as toddlers, I used to give them things, household stuff, to keep them occupied while I was busy with making dinner, etc. During this time, I was often surprised at how much I had underestimated what they could accomplish and understand when I explained what had happened. Then when my first child started 1st grade, I decide to actively conduct science projects in his class every week (in kindergarten, I volunteered to help with art projects and read Korean fairy tales to the students). Now, it wasn't "science" every week. I've taught the students Korean alphabet and some key words, along with how to write their names and few basic phrases. Other times, it was more craft orientated project, constructing an origami box. Over the years, I've amassed a group of core projects which could be tweaked infinitely, and these are the projects which I take back to classes each year.

I usually start the years with a civil engineering project titled Magnificent Marshmallow Marvels. I'll write about this project in my next blog (which I hope to have it by next week).

Have a great week!