Beyond the Textbook: One woman’s STEAM journey
Beyond the Textbook series is following up on a recent post about nurturing girls’ interest in STEM careers with an interview with physicist, entrepreneur, programmer and CEO of Moondrop Entertainment, Ana Albir. I met Ana recently at the Miami Device learning event where I saw her speak on a panel about concerns on low involvement of women in science & technology fields. The panel discussed the importance of good female role models in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. I was happy to hear that each of the panelists felt that their career paths were positively influenced by women they admired. In this vein, Ana agreed to share her story and experiences to hopefully do the same for our community; encourage young women in believing there are no limits to their hopes and dreams regardless of their chosen field.
How the journey began
I first asked Ana about her journey to becoming the CEO of a popular educational app company that creates management system for schools called Drawp. Ana’s journey is one of creative problem-solving, trial and error and personal resilience. In this clip below she discusses her first experiences with coding, the divisions between theory and practice and her roundabout pathway into designing for education.
Ana’s pathway through school, university and into the male dominated world of science and technology speaks to her grit and passion for learning. Which led me to ask her about how she found this inner resilience that opened the many doors throughout her life. As educators, we often think that learning or doing something quickly and correctly is a sign that someone will succeed in a given field, but Ana shows us that the belief in our own capacity to succeed is more important than quickness at school.
Resilience was one of the major factors that Ana believes was a game changer in her life, but creativity brought her where she is today. Her ability to find the creative aspects of science and technology largely stemmed from her passion for the Arts, something she shares with many scientists.
On the Future of STEAM
Finally I asked Ana about her opinion on the maker movement and what she thought would play the most important factor in getting more women interested in STEAM.
Ana’s story is one of inspiration and the unflagging belief in one’s own abilities; if we are looking to find modern day female role model for our young women, Ana is surely one of them. With an increased awareness of this growing divide in the STEAM fields, educators and parents alike can expose our students/children to more role models that speak to both genders in the hopes that it inspires a levelling of the field.