We spoke to the amazing Floriane Fidegnon, 18, about her love for engineering and science! Along with having a zeal for challenges and a curious mind, she hopes to one day take over the world using her insane engineering skills and hopes to convince you guys to do the same.
Keep reading to find out more!
Tell us a bit about yourself, Floriane
I’m in year 13 and I’m studying for my A levels. I’m taking maths, further maths, physics and chemistry. I’m hoping to do engineering at Imperial College in London! If things go to plan, then that’s what’s happening. I kind of got into STEM stuff after taking part in the National Science and Engineering competition in 2012 and then from there I worked with the British science association. They have asked me to do speeches and write articles and things. That’s kind of how I got involved in STEM. So now I advocate getting more young people, girls and ethnic minority on board.
What is it about engineering that you love so much?
Well, I love the fact that I can apply maths and physics in a practical way! When I did the National Science and Engineering competition I really enjoyed being able to build stuff. Originally I was thinking of doing physics but then I realised that I really like doing stuff with my hands as well.
Isn’t engineering really hard?
I think there’s something in engineering that suits EVERYONE but you just need to find that niche.
Why do you think so many young people find science so difficult?
I think it’s because we’ve made it acceptable to not be good at sciences. I think it’s just a society issue. We keep telling teens it’s okay to not like it or be good at it. If we put that barrier up, they’ll never want to do it anyway.
Why do you wish more young people (especially girls) would do STEM based subjects?
I think that the education system sort of forces young people to specify or streamline their choices very early on. There’s plenty of people who probably want to do a STEM subject but don’t because they don’t know what they can do with it. There’s always been that talk on the news about the UK is missing a lot of young people in the workforce. It’s not like there’s no potential out there. I think that needs to change!
What are you hoping to achieve in the next five years with your STEM based education?
Uuum… hopefully I would have graduated from university. I would like to get a first class degree. That’s the dream! I’d like to start working for a company and get involved in some major engineering projects! Or maybe travel and work abroad. I just want to enjoy life and work on something challenging but fun at the same time.
Do you have any advice for a young person who might be intimidated by the idea of studying a STEM based subject?
Put those fears aside. Studying a science is the same as studying any other subject! Just go for it and do your research. Get some experience. There are so many companies out there that want to help young people and it’s up to us to go out and find them. Those opportunities are not always going to be handed to you on a platter. Sometimes you have to go and look for it. If I had never done that then I wouldn’t be where I am today.