Interview With Tiffani Teachey, Author of What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z

What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z is an inspiring and easy-to-read alphabet picture book written by Tiffani Teachey who is an international bestselling Author, Speaker, STEM Advocate, Engineer, and founder of Thrive Edge Publishing, LLC. She is also a Publishing Consultant with Inspired Authors Publishing, LLC.

STEM Careers from A to Z teaches our next generation about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers. This book provides colorful illustrations of six diverse children representing various STEM careers (i.e. astronauts, doctors, scientists, engineers, etc), helping children (5 to 8 years old) see themselves in one of the STEM careers, and motivates them to shape their future through STEM!

Testimonials:

“This is a fabulous book — and much needed. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is shaping our future more and more and our youth need to be exposed to and prepared to be successful in it whether they intend to pursue a STEM major or not. This colorful book introduces 26 STEM fields in an easy read for very young kids. Well done!” — Ellen

“Great book! The author has successfully highlighted STEM concepts in a way that makes it fun and interesting for kids! Even adults can get something out of reading this book. Highly recommended!!”— CharLife

Tiffani Teachey has a passion for inspiring the next generation to engage in STEM careers. As a vital STEM resource, she strives to uplift and educate, so stakeholders can be introduced to an industry never considered before.

We Empower Magazine got an exclusive interview with Tiffani.

What inspired you to become a STEM Author?

Tiffani: As an engineer, I am asked to talk to the kids at school about being an engineer. I asked the kids initially whether they had met an engineer before and not many hands were raised. It was after doing STEM project activities and presentations that I asked that same question of who has met and engineering that all hands went up. It was then that I realized the importance of STEM representation and decided to put it in writing and become the international bestselling STEM author in order for kids to see themselves in the various STEM careers through What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z children’s book.

What do you love most about being an engineer?

Tiffani: I love being an engineer because I am being challenged and utilizing my analytical and problem-solving skills in order to make a difference and impact the world.

Have there been any challenges from your experience to get Girls & Women into STEM? How have you overcome those particular challenges?

Tiffani: There is a need for more girls and women in STEM as it is a male-dominated field. Men outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college and women make up a less amount in the workforce in STEM. Some women deal with “imposters syndrome” and have intellectual self-doubt when it comes to their environment. There are benefits to women being a part of STEM fields.

STEM representation is important for girls and women in STEM. It is important that girls are exposed early to STEM, can gain access to STEM resources, and provide examples of STEM representation. They need to take advantage of opportunities to connect with mentors and sponsors and become knowledgeable of various STEM programs and activities.

What are some misconceptions about Engineering or STEM that you think our readers should be aware of?

Tiffani: The misconceptions about engineering and STEM include: It’s for male students, it is only about math & science and when kids are introduced to technology, they will lack social skills.

When you think of Black Women In STEM, what comes to mind?

Tiffani: The Hidden Figures, three phenomenally intelligent Black women at NASA — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson is what comes to mind to Black Women In STEM. The work of these women and others like them is a necessary reminder for young Black girls that there are no limits on what they can achieve. Young black girls should be given the opportunity to explore their STEM passions and discover how they can make a difference in society, even when faced with obstacles.

The uncovering of history-making achievements from such female scientists has opened up new possibilities in STEM careers with Black girls’ dreams now wider than ever before — it provides motivation not just because these storied figures were once ordinary people too but also a testament that anything truly could happen. The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) comes to mind as an organization for our Black women to be involved in from pre-college to collegiate to professional membership.

Please tell us about some of the latest STEM projects you have worked on and what you have in the works?

Tiffani: The latest STEM projects I have worked on include the STEM children’s books, STEM speaking engagements, and presentations. I have another STEM children’s book coming out soon and a STEM interactive program to help kids with building their STEM skills. As well as a STEM ChangeHER subscription box for girls to include project activities, STEM books by women in STEM or about girls and women in STEM as well as affirmation cards to build the girl’s self-esteem.

What advice would you have for fellow women who aspire to enter a career in STEM?

Tiffani: Advice for fellow women who aspire to enter a career in STEM, is to know your worth and value as individuals so you don’t ever feel like less because of your gender when it comes to entering non-traditional male-dominated careers. Get a mentor and sponsor, participate in STEM activities and programs, meet women in STEM that could serve as role models or representation, get an internship and job shadow to learn more about STEM careers.

For more information please visit the website www.TiffaniTeachey.com and/or connect on social media IG/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest @tiffaniteachey.com

Photo Credit: Ariel Enid Photography

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