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Jul 29, 2021

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Madalyn championed STEM Diversity by addressing girls’ underrepresentation and minorities in STEM.

More about Madalyn:

Madalyn Nguyen, a rising senior at Poway High School (PHS) Engineering Academy, is a STEM enthusiast, FIRST Robotics fanatic, and aspiring engineer or computer scientist. Getting a Mindstorm Robot in 5th grade ignited her love for robotics and desire to join every FIRST Robotics program possible: FIRST Lego League (6th grade), FIRST Tech Challenge & SWENext (7th grade) and FIRST Robotics Competition-Team Spyder (experienced/motivated 8th grader).

Seeing that girls were minorities on her robotics team, she founded the Society of Women Engineers and National Center for Women and Information Technology Clubs to create a community that encourages girls, especially minority girls, to join robotics. The purpose of the clubs is to support, promote, give opportunities for advancement, and empower girls in STEM to pursue careers in engineering.

Madalyn champions for STEM Diversity, especially for the underrepresented and disadvantaged, by volunteering over 200 hours of outreach per year since 2016 and is a 4 time recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award. During the fall FLL season you can find her mentoring about 10 FIRST Robotics teams locally and globally. Her greatest accomplishment is starting a FIRST Robotics program at Wilson Middle School in the low socioeconomic community City Heights in San Diego, California where 100% of the student body receives free or reduced lunch. Wilson Robotics increased participation by 300% and now has female representation of 30 % from zero participation. With her continued mentorship and support in procuring funding, Wilson Robotics is thriving going into their next season.

In 2019, she traveled to Paraguay to advance STEM/Robotics Education and women in engineering and Sacramento for political advocacy with Senator Brian Jones and Assemblymember Brian Maienschein.

She pays it forward by being a passionate FIRST Youth mentor & volunteer for FLL, FRC, FTC, FGC and a robot judge for FLL. She was last year’s Chief Project Officer, where she oversaw the building and programming of 120 lbs robots and managed 15 subteam leads. She is currently Team Spyder Co-President, PHS Titan Ambassador (selected exclusively by teachers to represent her high school), and Poway Unified School District Career Technical Education Ambassador.

Madalyn is a changemaker and trailblazer by making a difference in thousands of youths locally and globally. For her commitment to STEM Diversity, she is the recipient of the FIRST Dean’s List Award 2020, the highest honor bestowed to an individual in FIRST Robotics for leadership and advancement of FIRST’s mission. She was one of 10 winners selected from 3400 nominees worldwide for this prestigious award. Even after receiving her Gold Award in April 2020, she continues to advance STEM Diversity. During the pandemic, she organized a virtual 7 weekly STEM Career Series which impacted over 700 attendees worldwide and organized and moderated a two-day Women in STEM forum with over 300 attendees. She also helped create PPE and sneeze guards for local health providers. In addition, she created and organized a virtual Global Engineering Challenge where 65 teams participated worldwide. Overall, she is an amazing & inspiring role model. She often speaks at events and was the keynote speaker for the SWE Conference in San Diego in Feb 2020. Even though Madalyn is just a rising senior in high school, you will not find a more hard-working & dedicated champion for STEM diversity. She is truly a rockstar for STEM!

Links to learn more about Madalyn and her work.

Instagram of Robotics Team & SWENext / NCWIT clubs





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