Alumni Spotlight – Saffron Du

Alumni Spotlight is where you get to meet our wonderful STEAM Summit Alumni. In the past two years, we were lucky to have influenced over 40 young girls who are aspired to become young entrepreneurs in the STEAM fields. Each year, these young girls would work in teams to come up with New Venture App ideas during a two-day STEAM Summit. At the end of the Summit, they would then present their ideas in front of a panel of judges.

Through this experience, we want to encourage the young girls to develop their interests in STEAM subjects as well as entrepreneurship, and to empower them to become the next generation of female scientists and business women.

In today’s Alumni Spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to our 2015 STEAMer – Saffron Du.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Saffron: I’m a high school freshman, and I have been doing synchronized swimming for six years now. I went to the STEAM summit last year and it was a great experience because I got to meet all the people and make new friends. I’m still in contact with my teammates from last year!

What was your App idea?

Saffron: Our team came up with an App for lunch menus, for schools. It’s an App that can be added to most school programs. Most schools have different websites where the App can be posted on. Students can vote online for what they want to eat; and they can look at ingredients in their meals, so if they have dietary restrictions they can be aware of them.

How did you come up with the idea?

Saffron: We brainstormed problems that were relevant to us first. We communicated through Emails before we met, and then we went to the actual summit and we discussed about it more face to face.

What was your best memory from the STEAM Summit?

Saffron: I really enjoyed the Google tour. Astra brought us to the actual Google campus, and we got to see and experience what it’s like to work there.

Diana (Saffron’s mom): She’s been dreaming about working for Google ever since the tour.

What was your biggest takeaway from the summit?

Saffron: I got to know more about STEAM from the influential panelists and mentors who are working in those fields, and it was a great experience. I was still in middle school when I attended the Summit. This experience with Astra brought me closer to the STEAM pathway.

What’s your dream career?

Saffron: I’m not completely sure, but maybe working in Google, be a programmer. Or going to medical school and become a doctor.

What’s the biggest obstacle for you when achieving your dream?

Saffron: Not enough exposure to STEAM subjects, and not enough time between all my classes and other things. I tend to spend a lot of time on other things going on that seem more important now, but as I get older I think I would value getting more experiences like the STEAM Summit.

 

Do you have any advise for the new STEAMers?

Saffron: Connect with your group before going to the actual summit, since you will only have a couple of days at the actual summit. That would really help you to get to know each other, and have a jump start on the App ideas. Also, take notes of the lectures during the summit, and stay in contact with your group afterwards.

Diana: I was there as an audience during their App presentation. Between her (Saffron’s) team and the winning team, all their ideas were comparable and great. It was how they presented it that made one team better than the other. What I remembered what the winning team did was, as soon as they entered the room they shook all the judges’ hands and said “good morning” and smiled. They were really engaging the audience and the panel. They did more than just their presentation, and took the extra mile to introduce themselves. For the next summit, the girls should think about how they want to present their ideas.

Saffron: Our presentation was only about part of our App. We only talked about the programs, interface design, and some interactive parts. We gave an example of the interactive part during our presentation, and that really helped others understand more about our idea. So including something interactive would be really helpful for the new STEAMers.


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