STEMxm 16: Big Dreams and DiscoverE — Leading Ladies to STEM

STEMxm Episode 16- 

Who was on the episode:

Avery Bang trained as a geo-technical engineer at the University of Colorado Boulder before joining Bridges to Prosperity where she now serves as Executive Director. Bridges to Prosperity is a non-profit organization that builds
cable-stayed pedestrian bridges throughout the developing world. With design, program development and construction experience in nearly a dozen countries, she has more than doubled the size of the operation. When describing what
she does, Avery asks people to imagine what it would have been like for them to get to their elementary school if the infrastructure they had—bridges, roads, etc—didn’t exist. She explains that she helps people in the developing world build projects that many people often take for granted.

Menzer Pehlivan is a geotechnical engineer specializing in earthquake engineering. Named one of the “2016 New Faces of Engineering” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Menzer was inspired to build more resilient communities and reduce the risk associated with earthquakes following the 1999 Kocaeli Earth- quake in Turkey,which she experienced as a young girl. She received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 and has worked on numerous geotechnical and earthquake projects in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. She currently works as a geotechnical engineer on critical infrastructure projects at CH2M in Seattle.

Thea Sahr is an award-winning producer of national education outreach initiatives and messaging campaigns for multimedia projects. She has over 25 years experience at such organizations as the Museum of Science (Boston), WGBH Educational Foundation, and am now at DiscoverE. She has been a successful team leader and creator of evergreen resources that teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts. She focuses, in particular, on dispelling stereotypes about engineering and science, and encouraging girls and minorities to pursue STEM education and careers.


Places to connect if you’d like to get an engineer to come speak in your classroom (keep in mind, most of these organizations have local chapters, so the national organization should be able to put you in touch with the local chapter if you don’t find them with a google search…):

American Society of Civil Engineers

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers

American Institute of Chemical Engineers


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