Elizabeth Taylor is transforming the world one mind at a time. In her role as director of STEM outreach and K-12 education programs at Milwaukee School of Engineering, Taylor teaches courses in computer science and facilitates program activities. In 2021, Taylor was featured in the Milwaukee Business Journal as a 40 under 40 winner. She was selected for the award out of hundreds of nominations for her professional achievement and community involvement. In this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Computer Science, Taylor joined host Sandhya Padala to discuss her mission to get more students to pursue careers in STEM.
When Taylor was a young girl – like many of us – she was a bit unsure about her career aspirations. She briefly considered becoming a lawyer or possibly a physical therapist. At that time, nothing STEM-related appealed to her. She wasn’t particularly skilled in math, so an occupation that didn’t involve numbers would have been suitable. But then she discovered physics and her views on the subject were completely transformed. Math soon proved useful to Taylor as a method of solving problems. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering under her belt – and a master’s degree on the horizon – she now focuses her efforts on increasing access to computer science education for K-12 students. Under Taylor’s leadership, students are given the opportunity to develop a variety of computer science skills. She designs curriculum that is aligned with modern technology and extends beyond what is taught in classrooms, giving young people a deeper understanding of the subject.