Watch One Senior's Star Turn on a PBS Reality Show
NORTHAMPTON, Mass -- While at Smith College, senior Lindsey Nguyen had a role beyond student. She appeared as a contestant on the PBS Emmy Award-winning show Design Squad. Nguyen will graduate Sunday, May 16, with a degree in engineering.
See clips of the show:
View Nguyen’s profile
Watch her working on a project
Design Squad's executive producer Marisa Wolsky responded to questions about Nguyen’s engineering work both on and off the set.
What do you hope kids will take away from Lindsey's role on the show? Why was Lindsey chosen to appear on Design Squad?
Kids are influenced equally by what they see and what they don't see. Technical occupations, such as engineering, are much less obvious to young people than, for example, nursing or teaching. This is especially true for girls, who, without role models, have little opportunity to imagine themselves in engineering. Who better than Lindsey – who showcases engineering as creative and personaly rewarding – to dispel the stereotype of the engineer who sits at his desk all day and replace it with viewers thinking, ‘That's engineering? I didn't know that! I want to do that.’
What particular strengths did Lindsey exhibit on Design Squad?
Throughout the series, Lindsey demonstrated a multitude of strengths. She was an amazing team player – listening to her teammates, arbitrating disagreements, and coalescing everyone's contributions – she could express her ideas both theoretically on paper and during the actual build, and, to top it off, she was a superb welder.
Tell us more about the Design Squad educational outreach events that Lindsey was a part of?
In addition to her role as a cast member on the television series, Lindsey was involved in numerous Design Squad educational outreach events over the last year. Lindsey's authentic passion for engineering and her winning personality made her a natural choice as a spokesperson for the show. Among the events in which she participated:
- University of Michigan's Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. Lindsey and Design Squad cast member Ana Pelucarte led a virtual event and took questions from the audience. Lindsey spoke about her experience tackling real-world projects on Design Squad, the origins of her interest in engineering, and her experience at Smith.
- WVIZ, Cleveland's public television station hosted a Design Squad competition and Lindsey kicked off the event via Skype and took questions from the audience.
- SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) in the City. Lindsey and fellow
Design Squad cast member Wes Uy kicked off this event for 200 high school girls. They launched T-shirts into the audience with T-shirt shooters they built on the show for a WNBA team and spoke about engineering.