IEEE Volunteers are dedicated to a variety of engineering outreach initiatives. Specifically, many participate in outreach programs aimed at supporting STEM in pre-university students. Professor Ts. Dr. Lau Bee Theng was a 2021 IEEE STEM Champion from Region 10 (Malaysia) dedicated to many such programs.
“I reckon the need for students to develop their capabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education to succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society and pursue STEM-related careers,” Dr. Lau Bee Theng shared for the IEEE Region 10 Connect Newsletter at the time she was selected as a STEM Champion. “With this IEEE STEM ambassadorship award, I am committed to continually raising interest and awareness in science, engineering, computing, and technology and striving to help primary to secondary students discover the engineer within them at the state, national, and international levels.”
She is particularly proud of a pre-university STEM outreach project regarding water, energy and food nexus. This program reached 45 youth secondary school students through a series of coding and electronics boot camps held in Borneo Island (Kuching, Sibu and Miri).
“The project was jointly sponsored by IEEE US HAC Fund and IEEE R10 HTA to demonstrate STEM as a feasible solution to the challenges and future solutions in the water, energy and food sectors,” she stated when recently asked about her involvement in STEM programs at the pre-university level. “It was the first of its kind here and conducted as a one-week long boot camp where all the youth had the practical sessions for various scenarios of water, energy and food solutions with mobile and IoT with the guidance from a group of experienced instructors from the industry.”
When asked what she feels is the most rewarding aspect of STEM outreach, she replied that she enjoys seeing the passion for STEM that students, teachers, and even their families exude from these experiences.
“The joys that you can see from the young faces during the STEM activity are the true motivator for us to continue volunteering in IEEE STEM,” she elaborated. “The resources provided at TryEngineering are good tools for us (volunteers) to commence and do the knowledge transfer programs effectively. In this part of the world where I volunteer, many like-minded experts are willing to collaborate, making the stem activities even more interesting to the students. As a volunteer, I feel that I am not alone, that is encouraging to my team as well.”
Professor Ts. Dr. Lau Bee Theng is a senior member at IEEE and has additional memberships with other professional organizations. She is currently a professor and the Director of the School of Research at Swineburn University of Technology, Sarawak Campus (Malaysia). She has both a PhD and MSc in IT. Her research interests include but are not limited to artificial intelligence, smart technologies in healthcare, and alternative methods of learning in STEM. She is an editor of the IEEE Region 10 Connect Newsletter referenced above. She is the winner of IEEE Malaysia Outstanding Volunteer 2018 and IEEE Asia Pacific Outstanding HTA Volunteer 2021. You can read more about Professor Ts. Dr. Lau Bee Theng in her Professional Staff Profile and Biography.
Professor Ts. Dr. Lau Bee Theng was selected as a 2021 IEEE STEM Champion as part of the IEEE STEM Champion Program (formerly known as STEM Ambassador Program).