By Feyone La, APIASF/GMS Scholar
Math has been my favorite subject since I first started school. I’ve always been good at math and I LOVE math because ultimately you get the right answer, regardless of how you solve it. The thing that I love most is that as long as I follow the correct steps to solve a problem, I will get the right answer; without a doubt. From a young age, I didn’t like doubt; I liked knowing that I would be right about something, that I could be sure my answer was correct.
As I got older, I began to solve problems by observing before I was taught a concept. I often found myself using different strategies than the ways that my teacher or even other students would solve the problem. Most of the time, my unique strategy didn’t pose a problem; until one teacher asked me “why?” to every step of my problem solving process.
This was the moment when I fell in love with the STEM field. I realized that what I was doing was way more than just the steps involved in solving the problem, but the PURPOSE of why I needed to solve the problem in that manner. From that moment, I began to think critically about everything in my life. The reason for the developed process in math and science is because someone had to ask the question why and then discover the answer in their own process, in a way that made sense to them.
I want to be that person; I want to create something more than memorable. I want to create something that will help others in the most positive way. My mind is constantly circling around situations and wondering why or how something came to be or how that situation can be better. This ranges from simple everyday tasks to the complexities of engineering problems and the roots of my culture and heritage.
The STEM field challenges me every day, not only in classes, but in every aspect of my life. The structure of STEM is to solve problems using a general system, not only in the technical and academic areas, but also in any aspect of life.