HiTech Visits Again
Asymmetrik Hosts STEM Students
Sep 27, 2017

Last week, Asymmetrik opened its doors to 10 middle and high school students from Howard County Library System’s HiTech initiative. We love supporting STEM education, so when HiTech asked if they could visit, of course we said, “Yes”! It was a great opportunity for the kids to meet and talk with real-life engineers.

In February, we hosted another group of students from the same program. Launched in 2012, HiTech teaches students ages 11-18 the skills needed for today’s job market. Their curriculum combines formal instruction with interactive projects, plus visits to local companies in STEM fields.

HiTech students from Howard County Library System visit Asymmetrik's office

Once the students arrived, Amit Singh, Asymmetrik’s CTO, took them on an office tour. While they loved the open workspaces, green plant wall, and game room, we suspect that the snack-filled kitchen might have been the highlight.

After the tour, Amit shared what he enjoys most about technology, and answered a ton of student questions. Next, Erica Vander Voort, Asymmetrik’s very first employee, stopped by to talk about a day in the life of a Systems Engineer.

Software and UX

Software Engineer Peter Grasso and UX Lead Kristen Davis gave inspiring presentations too. In his talk, Peter explained the real reason why being a software engineer is so fun. Basically, he gets to play with technology every day – what’s not to like? As an example, Peter shared one of his personal projects involving programming a mobile keyless entry for his 1988 BMW using Arduino and Android.

New Loyola Computer Science grads

Next, Kristen introduced the kids to Human Factors, the study of how people use technology.

She dove into the concept of User Experience – essentially, the overall experience of a person using a website or application. Kristen illustrated this by showing examples of both good and bad web design, prompting the students to share their own frustrating experiences with poorly designed sites.

Kristen cautioned these aspiring engineers to always consider the end user’s experience in their design. After all, it doesn’t matter what your app or website can do if end users don’t know how to interact with it. Lastly, Kristen shared examples of college courses to take, and the visit wrapped up with an engaging Q&A session.

Asymmetrik’s commitment to STEM

Asymmetrik wholeheartedly supports STEM education. We believe it’s our responsibility to introduce kids to technology and engineering at a young age, so they can be prepared for careers in the 21st century. Next up, we’re sponsoring and mentoring students at Technica, University of Maryland’s all-women hackathon November 4th-5th.

If you’d like us to be involved in your STEM outreach activities, let us know. We’re always happy to help the next generation of engineers!