Ethan Liang: teaching robotics
It’s summer. The sun’s shining, school’s out, and eight hours of each student’s day are suddenly free for them to do whatever their heart desires. For senior Ethan Liang, this free time allowed him to volunteer at the Redwood City Library Makerspace, a recently opened center for members of the Bay Area community to foster their interests in technology and creation.
Liang’s volunteering journey originally began while taking Living Skills, a mandatory course for all students that requires its students to take on 15 hours of community service. Since Liang opted to take Living Skills over the summer, he faced the challenge of identifying an organization that aligned with his interests, fulfilled the time requirement and needed summer aid. “Summer is nice in that there’s more free time, but it’s hard to find an opportunity that’s got as much need for volunteers as you have free time,” Liang said.
Luckily, the Redwood City Library was in need of a 3D printing troubleshooter, a role that Liang had much experience with through past engineering experiences, including his involvement with the Gunn Robotics Team. Not only did he simply work with and set up the technology, Liang was able to guide and mentor people of all sorts through a 3D printing course and robotics workshop. “It was a great opportunity for me to get better at guiding and encouraging not only kids, but also adults interested in learning 3D modeling and printing,” Liang said.
Although originally volunteering to complete a course requirement, Liang appreciated the incentive to spend his summer free time on something as fulfilling as volunteering. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had such good motivation to get away from my desk,” Liang said. “Being able to give back and make an impact is a really satisfying experience.”