Tell us a bit about yourself and your interest in STEM – when did it start? What do you love about STEM learning? Is there a particular area of interest you have?
My name is Clara Brown. I am a CAGIS Teen Ambassador, a Global Youth Mobilization panelist, a Young Canadians’ Parliament participant, and a youth member of Girl Guides of Canada. I have always been interested in STEM. At first I was most interested in science and engineering since I love to build my own inventions and have always done experiments with whatever resources I have at home. Participating in CAGIS virtual sessions has shown me many more aspects of STEM, and I have a broader interest in all STEM fields.
Tell us a bit about your role with CAGIS as a teen ambassador – what are some of the things you’ve done and accomplished?
I definitely feel I have become more confident in my abilities thanks to CAGIS. Being a Teen Ambassador has made me a want to learn more about all kinds of STEM areas of study, and share STEM with other youth. The session about flexagons was really enjoyable — we learned about mathematics and history, and made different paper flexagons. I made many more different kinds after the session! I also enjoyed when I did the coding sessions with ImagiLabs and AstroPi, it was really cool to send my code into space!
What does it mean to you to be a CAGIS teen ambassador?
I was very proud to be part of CAGIS as a Teen Ambassador this year.
I enjoyed creating our own project for the end of year presentation and sharing STEM with others. The flexagon session about mathematics I found very interesting because it was challenging and fun at the same time. The imagiLabs and AstroPi sessions about coding were cool and I have continued to learn more about coding on my own after attending the CAGIS Virtual coding sessions. I am now thinking about pursuing a future career in coding. CAGIS helped me to learn more and to keep looking for more things to experience. I now feel more confident in my skills and myself.
What are your aspirations for your future in STEM?
I have recently learned how to do coding for web design, and am considering pursuing a future career in that area because of the inspiration CAGIS gave me. CAGIS has shown me there are so many different ways to apply knowledge, and encouraged me to keep asking questions about the world around me.
Tell us more about your role as a youth panel member of Global Youth Mobilization.
Global Youth Mobilization (GYM) is an organization of young people supported by the United Nations, World Health Organization, and the world’s largest youth organizations. GYM’s goal is to address the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth, by helping them build a stronger future for themselves and other youth. By funding innovative youth-led initiatives, GYM aims to help youth support their communities to bring positive changes for youth in the future. As a GYM Panelist, I review these youth-led solutions and make funding decisions in collaboration with the other panelists. I feel honoured to be working with the Global Youth Mobilization team alongside young people from all around the world.
Who are your STEM role models?
My STEM role models are my mother, who has a Ph.D. in science, Erin McConnell who is also involved with CAGIS, and Larissa who founded CAGIS. I also admire Annie Easley, Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, and Roberta Bondar. I feel really grateful that I get to interact with so many people who are so knowledgeable about STEM through the CAGIS Virtual sessions.
Was there a CAGIS experience/event that is most memorable?
One of my favourite CAGIS events that we did was when we planned a presentation and activity for youth who were interested in STEM. Our project was to make and explain to them about the science of a homemade lava lamp. I really enjoyed going through the whole process with my team and sharing STEM with other youth, and hope to do more sessions about other topics in the future!
If you were giving one piece advice to a young girl interested in exploring STEM, what would it be?
Follow your dreams, and do what you love.