Parents, Educators & Engineers

Dream It. Build It. Teach It!

Get kids excited about engineering.

Recently in About Design Squad Nation Category

Thumbnail image for hero-deysids.jpgFour years ago when Deysi Melgar landed a spot on the cast of Design Squad, she was an aspiring actress and dancer--she wanted to be a Broadway star. This spring, she'll graduate from college with a degree in physics and plans to pursue a graduate degree . . . in aerospace engineering. Now, Deysi wants to build planes.

Deysi never considered a career in STEM until her work on Design Squad.

Deysi came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was seven years old. She liked learning about how things work and developed a love for math in elementary school. She also loved acting, singing and dancing, and chose to attend a high school for performing arts. Deysi enjoyed the spotlight, but she was also drawn to the technical side of theater where she could build things--like set design and lighting. When she learned about Design Squad, she realized that her passions for math and theater could be channeled into engineering.

Deysi got the part. While on thedeysiengineersgate.png show, she experienced engineering first-hand and found out how dynamic and multifaceted it can be--collaborating with interesting and talented people, being creative, solving problems, and making a difference in people's lives.

Now at Wheaton College, Deysi is studying physics--which has helped fuel her long-time interest in planes. She's also working on an independent study project learning how to build a laser! She wants to make holograms with it, of course.

Deysi.jpgLast month, Deysi was asked to give the keynote speech at Invent It. Build It., an event at the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) National Conference in Chicago. The goal of the event was to inspire girls to consider engineering as a career. I think they chose the right person to give the podium.

Deysi credits Design Squad with opening her eyes to engineering as a career and showing her a way to unite her many passions.

Adam2.pngGrowing up, Design Squad Nation co-host Adam Vollmer wanted to be an astronaut, a LEGO® engineer (before he even knew what an engineer was), or... a dinosaur hunter. Thanks to his mechanical engineering degree, he's been able to do most of these things and much more.

"I played with LEGOs all the way up through grad school. I worked with NASA during the filming of Design Squad Nation. But I'm still on the lookout for dinosaurs. I hope to find one soon." (We'll be on the lookout too, Adam.)

He can make a mean tower out of plastic bricks, but Adam's also worked in biotechnology, designed micro electro-mechanical devices, programmed (and driven) semi-trucks, and built parts for one of the world's biggest physics experiments at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He now works as a mechanical engineer at IDEO, the international design and innovation firm in Palo Alto, CA. (No, you're not having déjà vu. Adam's DSN co-host, Judy, works there, too!)  

When he's not riding his own handmade bicycle, climbing up a mountain, or exploring new corners of the world, Adam helps kids dream it, build it, and live it on Design Squad Nation.
And as co-host of Design Squad Nation, she's helping kids dream it, build it, and live it. Meet engineer, Judy Lee.

As a kid, Judy loved taking things apart to see how they worked. That love eventually led to a mechanical engineering degree and a range of cool projects. Judy has designed children's toys, created medical devices, and developed systems to provide clean drinking water where there was none.

Impressive, yes? We wish we could take all the credit for finding her, but before she landed this sweet DSN gig, Judy was already a star. (Check out her profile for Engineer Your Life, an awesome initiative to get high school girls interested in engineering.) Judy will also soon be featured in NOVA's online series, Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers, as was another Design Squad hero who may look familiar...

Judy now has her dream job, working as a product designer at IDEO, an international design and innovation firm in Palo Alto, CA. When she's not on-air brainstorming and building, Judy can be found in San Francisco remodeling her new home, growing fresh fruits and veggies in her garden, riding a big wheel down the nation's windiest street, or playing with her pug, Rosie.

What's with all the changes around here, anyway?

Yes, we've got a new name and a new logo, and a few new other things (new web site, new show, new hosts, new blog...) But don't fret, die-hard Design Squad fans, we're not ALL new... more like "new and improved!"

We've still got the same great resources, but they're better organized and more robust. We're still producing a high-energy, challenge-based television show, but it showcases engineering in the real world (sorry reality competition junkies, but we think you'll love this, too). And most importantly, we've still got the same driving goal: Showing how with engineering, you can be creative, solve problems, and change the world.

So watch a sneak peak of the new show and let us know what you think of all things new and improved.