Inspiring Young Kids to Learn More about Engineering and Science
Dr. Cobett( left) and me (right) at her office.
In today’s world, it is more important than ever that young kids get familiar with sciences and technology. However, in our school system it isn’t so easy to get kids interested in these subjects because science is usually harder than other subjects. Besides, learning sciences is about having an experience when conducting some experiments, but there’re just not enough extra-curricular science related activities for the kids to participate.
The Path to Education
During her time in grad-school, Dr. Cobett had an internship with a company called “National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center”. When working there, she immediately liked what she was doing. After graduation, Dr. Cobett had an offer for a full time position. The reason she loves what she does so much is because she gets to be as creative as she wants and that matches up with her personality. She also appreciates the fact that she can use all of her educational background as a PhD-graduate engineering student. After working for the company for a while, she found her passion more in the educational field, which is why she decided to teach part-time at Louisiana Tech University, which is the school she got her PhD from. After taking the teaching job, she has a lot more to do, but Dr. Cobett told me that as long as you like what you are doing and with a little time management skill, success is always possible.
Many Ways to Inspire Kids
At her work, Dr. Cobett is responsible for developing engineering curricula for middle school and high school students. The company is a private, so the company has a contract with a school to help them improve their curriculum on engineering and science subjects. Dr. Cobett has to come up with new ideas to introduce scientific theory into the lessons, and often time she would have experiments made from everyday items. I was so thrilled to see all the things she came up with.
Communication at the Work Place
Most of Dr. Cobett’s communication at work involves writing emails to colleagues and writing reports to her boss. Most of her writing has to do with developing the curricula, and she also has to make up a time frame when they have new contracts with clients. According to Dr. Cobett, verbal communication usage is also common at her work. She is usually assigned to work in a team environment, so communication between teammates is very important. Oftentime, when she or her teammates come up with a new idea for the curriculum, they would share with others in the team, and then present it to their boss. Dr. Cobett said that she really enjoys working in the team, and in fact, forty percent of what she does at work is communication with others. Once in a while, she and her teammates have to communicate with their boss, which is a different kind of communication where she has to be much more formal and professional.
The Road to Success
Even though Dr. Cobett loves what she does, like every other job out there, there are always challenges that she has to overcome. Writing is a big part of her job and to be effective in her writing, Dr.Cobett has to practice many times to get better. Her background was engineering, but general writing is not something that she was good at. After finishing her PhD, Dr. Cobett thought it would be easy to write because she had to write so much on her PhD program, but unfortunately writing at work is entirely different. According to her, it was stressful every time she had to write a report when she first started the job, but just like any other thing in life, as long as she pushes hard, it will get better over time.
Dr.Cobett shared with me that even though she likes the job, she always finds her passion toward the educational field. At the moment, she is teaching part-time for Tech, and since she loves it so much Dr. Cobett is considering a full-time position as a professor. The last thing Dr. Cobett told me before we ended the interview was that she still wants to be part of the program at the company even when she gets a full-time job at the university. To her, the opportunity to change a kid’s life is always inspiring.
quyet nguyen, guest blogger