Geek of the Year Finalists

We were selected as 2016 Finalists for the GeekWire Geek of the Year Award!

Dressed in our buddingSTEM clothes, we stepped onto the orange carpet at the EMP Museum in Seattle.  Once in there we met John Cook and Todd Bishop, the two co-founders of GeekWire, and Jonathan Sposato, the Chairman of GeekWire.  We had an interview with Todd Bishop and Taylor Soper, one of the GeekWire reporters.

We had a special treat, and were escorted up to the Blue Lounge, which apparently was built for Mr. Paul Allen to entertain his guests.  We both got a Shirley Temple and a few snacks.  We met a bunch of people from the biggest event sponsor, Wave.

Then we met up with Jennifer Muhm and Malorie Catchpole from buddingSTEM (who were last year’s Geek of the Year award winners) and walked through a few of the different EMP exhibits, including the Hello Kitty and the indie video game exhibits.  We spent a bunch of time in the indie video games and tried out a bunch of cool video games.  My favorite was called a video game called Metamorphabet.

Then the award ceremony began.  They started out on the huge big screen with an animation of future technology.  Then, John and Todd started to announce the winners of the GeekWire awards in the different categories.  Ours was fifth, so we waited a little bit.  A company called Black Dot won the Geek of Year Award.  They provide resources for black entrepreneurs, and help get younger people more interested in being entrepreneurs.  It was really cool for us to be nominated with them and the other finalists who were doing amazing things.

We didn’t stay for the whole event since it was past our bedtime, but it was enough to understand how much of an honor it was to be there.  We feel very lucky to be able to do that!

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Speaking at Conference for Girls in STEAM

We were invited to speak at a conference called “Girls Rule!” in Eugene, Oregon.  It was organized by Ophelia’s Place, a “prevention based organization dedicated to helping girls make healthy life choices through empowerment, education and support.”

Girls Rule! 2016 was a conference for girls aged 9-14 that was focused on girls in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).  We did several sessions throughout the day, including ones on money management, decision making, steampunk fashion design, and fun with fractals.  They were all really fun, interesting, and interactive.  We wish we could have done more sessions!

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We were the keynote speakers at the conference.  We were invited to talk about the Loki Lego Launcher.  We had never done a speech before, so we ran through it multiple times on the car ride down to Eugene to get it ready.  I (Kimberly) wasn’t nervous before our speech, but I was really excited.  Rebecca was a little bit nervous, but she was still excited too.

In our speech, after giving an introduction to the project, we showed the audience our video, which generated a lot of applause.  Then we talked about the different stages of our project, and then shared some of our Lessons Learned as well as the different aspects of STEAM.  After that, we talked about some of the opportunities we got to have after our launch, including meeting the President.  It took a while for the clapping to stop after we showed the picture of us and the President.  After we ended our speech, we got a standing ovation, which was really surprising and unexpected but pretty cool!

Like we said in our speech, it was really inspiring to see how many girls attending the conference were interested in STEAM.  We told them that science and technology are really fun and interesting subjects, and my sister and I have lots of fun doing projects like this. We’re just 9 and 11 year old girls, and if we can have fun doing stuff like this, then they can too.

Thank you to Ophelia’s Place for inviting us to speak and participate in your cool conference!

http://nbc16.com/embed/news/local/yeung-sisters-inspire-girls-to-study-steam-concepts-with-their-loki-lego-launcher