If Kids Really Knew STEM
By Dale Dougherty
December 9, 2022
0:00 / 26:24
If Kids Really Knew STEM
Dale

I'm joined today by Jasmine Florentine who just published her first book and it's called Hex Allen and the Clanksmiths. It's a book for middle schoolers.

First of all, welcome Jasmine. Nice to talk to you.

Florentine

Thank you so much. It's an honor, honestly.

Dale

Tell me when in your life did you start making stuff or how did that sort of emerge as part of who you are?

Florentine

So I basically, as long as I remember, but a lot of it was channeled into arts and crafts at first, just cause I didn't really know about, I don't know, like engineering and like electronics or any of that. I wasn't quite introduced to that. So I was doing a lot of things like drawing and origami and scavenging things around the house and assembling them into weird things.

And it wasn't really until I got to college that I found out what engineering was and was oh, it's just making things like this is great. Yeah,

Dale

It's funny. It is that simple in a way, but sometimes, it gets portrayed as well. You gotta be this math person, you gotta do all these other things.

And sometimes I find in some of the schools in their recruitment of engineers end up with people who actually don't have a desire to make things. They just found their way into engineering because they had good math scores and which is fine, but it's just a different path.

Florentine

That's fair too. Like engineering is a hugely broad field and there's parts of it that are like much more theory and math heavy and parts of it that are much more hands on and making heavy. Like, I went into mechanical engineering with a focus on product design, so then there's a lot more of an emphasis on -- okay, most of math is gonna be back at the envelope calculations. And then you're gonna actually be prototyping something to figure out if it works. But if you're doing something that's I don't know, complicated fluid analysis, then you're probably diving the math.

Dale

I don't mean to disparage math. I think it's another tool in the tool chest. And actually that back of the envelope calculation thing is quite a good way to look at things.