STEM education is and will always be vital for the prosperity of the world. Arguably it is more important than ever before, young people of all backgrounds need to be prepared to tackle future global challenges, such as climate change – whether they are working directly in science or not.
Project working title: “Ahh so that’s Engineering …”
Encouraging students to study engineering and learn about sustainability.
Noorafsha is an inspiration for both the young and the young at heart to really get involved in STEM and specifically to be able to use robotics and STEM in an accessible way for the disadvantaged. Whilst an exciting future for herself, she has her eyes firmly set on being able to enable others to do the same. Not only a fantastic example for Women in Sustainability, STEM and Engineering, Noorafsha can help to really help others all over the world achieve the same.
So Noorafsha, tell us a bit about your backstory
Previous to starting my Engineering Product Design degree at LSBU, I was one of only five females on my A-Level Science and DT (Design & Technology) courses, upon coming to university, I was still a minority. My experiences working as a STEM ambassador for the past 2 years and now, highlight under-representation of certain groups who could become the scientists, engineers and technicians of the future.
It is an aspiration and hope my research and design work through my final year can help make STEM
education more equitable for current and future generations. Greater equity could help
young people have the skills and aspirations to fill the UK’s STEM skills gap and bring
the diversity of thought.
So Noorafsha, why Sustainable engineering and why are you passionate about this aspect of sustainability?
When engineers are given the opportunity to develop sustainable solutions to global challenges, the results are outstanding.
The key is finding a balance between the three dimensions of sustainability: the economic, the social and the environmental.
Sustainable engineering as the process of using resources in a way that does not compromise the environment or deplete what is available for future generations. All engineering fields should incorporate sustainability into their practice in order to improve the quality of life for all
What’s next for you?
I am currently in the development stage of a fun and exciting STEM project around classroom teaching to enhance students’ learning of the subjects and improve the uptake of STEM careers.
The project idea is to provide students with a cross between digital learning and traditional building block robotics. The topic being ‘Smart Cities’, where the benefits of using a variety of robotic applications in different living contexts are demonstrable, and careers can be brought in to encourage young people to learn about different STEM areas including designing, engineering, programming, testing and development.
I aspire to work in the field of educational technology and create innovative solutions to enrich both in-classroom and remote teaching and learning experiences.
One piece of advice for a sustainable future
Sustainable design is no longer simply focused on reduce, recycle and re-use or repurpose. Today, sustainable design is about adding value, designing products that bring societal benefits and solving environmental challenges that are also viable for businesses to implement.
What would you recommend from RYVIAS for our audience?
Sustainability is important for a very simple, straightforward reason: we cannot maintain our quality of life as human beings, the diversity of life on Earth, or Earth’s ecosystems unless we embrace it.
The root of that change lies in understanding striving and learning about sustainability — in our homes, in our communities, and around the world.