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Gloria Liu

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Building Confidence, Launching Careers
Gloria Liu wants to help students succeed in math, science, and technology. And as the coordinator of the Center for Promoting STEM, she's found a way to do just that.

People say that numbers don't lie. But in fact, it's very easy to misrepresent statistics and research in such a way as to guide people toward faulty conclusions. As a nation, we need to be smarter about such things; we need a better understanding of scientific research and statistical information. Even people who claim that they just don't "get" math need to have this basic understanding.

At the Center for Promoting STEM here at Oakton, we're trying to close that gap by encouraging students to study math, technology, and the sciences-and helping them succeed. We offer support, mentoring, field trips, guest lectures, and more to expose students to the wide breadth of careers in STEM fields and to build their confidence.

We take students to visit research labs, for example, to help them connect their classroom learning to its real-world applications. And we do a lot of problem-based learning, where a student takes on the role of a CEO to solve an actual problem.

That kind of exercise not only teaches students to apply theories to real life; it also allows them to picture themselves in high-powered careers. It's a great way to show students what they're capable of-that they can be the CEO of that company. And the more clearly they can see themselves in a role, the more motivated they are to succeed.

Gloria Liu
Coordinator, Center for Promoting STEM


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