When Anna was in second grade, her father brought home a small robotics kit. They spent hours together on the garage floor, building and programming robots to complete simple challenges like following lines or escaping mazes. Anna loved that feeling of accomplishment that came with finally getting a robot working after hours of hard work, so she joined FIRST Robotics, and she’s been participating in it ever since.
In elementary school her participation in robotics taught her about the engineering process, working as a team and presenting her ideas effectively. When she went to middle school she decided to take the initiative to start her own robotics team. That process taught her about leadership and management. This was also when she got really interested in STEM and started to explore programming. Now she is currently the software lead and vice president of her high school robotics team where she has expanded her knowledge to include mechanical and electrical skills as well as furthered her understanding of programming.
The experience she gained from robotics helped her create various individual projects such as an interactive stuffed animal with voice recognition and face detection as well as a smart water meter. Through her projects Anna received recognition from the Ant-Man Microtech Challenge, MIT Think, and the Junior Humanities and Science Symposium. In addition to this, Anna is currently working as the manager of the Synthesis team in Autodesk. She leads a large group of other high school interns as their team works to build a virtual robot simulator.
Anna wanted to give others access to the opportunities that she had grown up with, so she decided to cofound a nonprofit organisation dedicated to inspiring other girls to pursue opportunities and learning in science, technology, engineering, and math called STEM4Girls. STEM4Girls works to showcase technology in fun and exciting ways. With the support of local organisations it hosts workshops for kids in the US as well as provides funding and mentoring for FIRST teams. Through her nonprofit Anna hopes that more students can start learning about science and technology from a young age.
In 2017, Anna was invited to speak all things technology and innovation at Audi’s “Mobility Quotient” Summit alongside such names as Steve Wozniak, David Rowan, Mo Gawdat and many more.
Anna launched 2018 with an inspiring TedX talk on inspiring students with the right type of education: “The value of schooling lies in the critical thinking skills that allow us to solve a variety of problems. By showing students the real world applications of what they’re learning, they’re more likely to stay engaged.”
Being a young leader (born in 2000), Anna represents a new generation that is coming to the workforce, she speaks about the importance of technical education for young kids, future technology trends, girls in STEM fields, generational changes caused by technology and education and much more.