Kenan Fellow/Mentor Partnership

November 30th, 2016 by Annie Polashock

The Kenan Fellow/ Mentor partnership was a life-changing experience for me. I grew out of my shell and tried new things that I would have probably never done otherwise — sewing, soldering, printing 3D cases, sanding. I learned about a different trade and how it is going to affect the next generation.

I worked mostly with Drs. Veety and Jur at the ASSIST Center. However, there were so many professionals that came in from NC State to talk to us about the textile industry, electrical engineering, solar cells, and many other things. Dr. Veety was kind enough to find a leader in the industry at NC State to help us with our particular wearable devices.

I had an “ah-ha” moment when trying to get our UV sensor to work on our wearable device. We were having issues with it actually reading the values of the sun outside. It turned out our circuit was not properly connected. Furthermore, data is not useful unless you understand what it is saying. Dr. Veety not only ¬†helped us with the circuit, getting our UV sensor to work, helping us solder the battery and other wires so that our solar panel could work, but she helped explain what the data was telling us. The readings were in UV intensity in millivolts per square centimeter. We are used to a UV index. When she explained how the graph worked, it helped me figure out a way to convert that information into a UV index. Just her looking at our circuit and showing¬†the UV reading graph to interpret the information, gave me a huge “ah-ha.” That was when we were finally able to start figuring out how to change the RBG LED light based off of the UV index.

Dr. Veety worked with all of the groups, but she came around and gave individual attention to each group to help make our wearable device work. She taught us so many things about circuits and coding. She is beyond brilliant.

The lasting impact of this partnership is that I have someone on my side at the ASSIST center that I can call upon for assistance. My students get the opportunity to learn about wearable devices, see how the industry is developing, and get interested about the possibilities and advancement in STEM careers.

I plan on keeping in contact with Dr. Veety after the fellowship ends. I want to continue to learn more about wearable devices and have my students involved with the ASSIST’s educational outreach programs.

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