The world is a better place when we support each other and lean in together. When we fall into the trap of believing preconceived notions and stereotypes such as “girls can’t be scientists or mathematicians,” we are tearing down ourselves and preventing humanity from accelerating forward. As a teenager and passionate advocate of STEM education, Amber Yang will share the story of how she learned to be fearless about pursing her goals and making a difference. The encouragement of the next generation of potential scientists, argues Yang, should never be undermined by preconceptions about gender.
Amber Yang is a 17-year-old innovator and scientist who attends Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, FL. For the past two years, Yang has been studying novel and effective techniques for the tracking of space debris. When Yang was 16 years old, she developed a novel Artificial Neural Network system capable of tracking the orbits of space debris to an accuracy that is ten times more effective than current systems. Later that year, her research was accepted and is pending review for publication in Harvard University’s Journal for Emerging Investigators. In March, Yang was awarded the Grand Prize (Best-in-fair) award at the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair and was named an International Grand Prize Ying Scholar for her work. In May, Yang received second place and an all-expenses-paid trip to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science competition. Yang has presented her research at scientific conferences and has been recognized by both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Additionally, this summer, she was a keynote speaker at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Yang is a competitive extemporaneous speaker, has her own science blog in Nature Publishing Group’s Scitable publication, and is Editor-in-Chief of her school newspaper. In Yang’s spare time, she enjoys playing the piano and running.