A passion for STEAM: three girls and their aspiring career paths


Photo by Infographic by Ruby Lueras

An overview on the growing field of STEM. Seniors, Lauren Babb, Elana Kraversky, and Tiffany Yen are all planning on contributing their time to the ever growing STEM field.

Ruby Lueras, Staff Writer

Engineering is a demanding job, but seniors, Elana Kraversky, Lauren Babb and Tiffany Yen, know it’s the only career for them.

The trio have always known they wanted to be involved in STEAM career fields, according to Kraversky. Whether it be pursuing chemical engineering for Yen or biomedical engineering for Kraversky and Babb.

“My main motivation for becoming an engineer is to be able to help people through something I create,” Babb said. “I want to be able to help make people feel better and become more healthy because of a device I helped make.”

Yen credits her first interest in chemical engineering to her interests in chemistry and calculus. So when U of I provided her with a summer camp that first introduced her to the idea of chemical engineering.

“[The camp] allowed me to see different types of engineering and how they affect the world. I consider myself very lucky to have opportunities like that,” Yen said. “LZ has also provided me with the classes that actually inspired me to pursue this passion.”

A passion for “building and tinkering” has been present in the girls’ lives ever since they were young, according to Kraversky. Being provided with resources are an important part in discovering your passion.

“Ever since I was little I would always be playing with stuff like Legos. I was always using my hands to create something tangible,” Kraversky said. “In biomedical engineering, you get to make something and see it tangibly, and you get to see that your product has a purpose.”

From the start, the thing that has pushed them to their aspiring career paths is the support that they have revived from their family.

“My parents, mostly my dad, has driven me to want to become a better student and later on in life become a better engineer,” Babb said. “Without the support of my parents, there is no way I would have even considered engineering.”

Support from friends, as well, had helped encourage the girls to pursue engineering, according to Babb.

“Personally, having Elana as a best friend has pushed me and motivated me to become a better woman in STEM,” Babb said. “I think this would be a huge motivator for anyone because your passions amplify and almost motivate you that way.”

According to Yen, having friends involved in engineering allows her to grow as an engineer. She also credits some of her success to her friendship with Babb and Kraversky.

“My friends who are also interested in engineering motivate me to learn different strategies of thinking for one topic or idea,” Yen said. “Lauren and Elana are awesome friends who provide [support] for me, and hopefully I do the same for them.”

The support that has driven the girls passion for engineering has inspired them to give other people the ability to find their own passions, according to Yen. In turn, the the girls have started the schools’ new STEAM club.

“[Lauren and I] didn’t know there was even an engineering class until our senior year, so we wanted to make something open to everybody about discovering professions and possibilities in life, without having to try to cram it in your schedule,” Kraversky said. “We really just wanted to get kids excited about engineering and STEAM just like we are.”

“We simply noticed an absence of STEAM initiative in our school and we wanted to try to bridge this gap,” Babb said. “We wanted to open up STEAM to kids who didn’t really know what it was beforehand. Even for myself, I didn’t know the full extent that STEAM goes into, but this club is providing more learning opportunities for not only others, but for me as well.”