Khanh has always been interested in design, and she was thrilled to have the chance to share her love of STEAM with students in Scotland.
MIT's Global Teaching Labs program made me more confident as a person, as I am more sure of the fact that I can navigate well in a new environment and can command a classroom.

Khanh taught design, engineering, and physics at Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen, Scotland. She worked closely with the teachers in both departments to develop lesson plans and talks suited for all subjects. She found it fascinating to compare the school system in the UK to that in the US. With the encouragement of the school, she was able to take advantage of the more direct and entrepreneurial nature of the US to encourage her students to be more assertive and to advocate for themselves more.

Life in the UK was similar to that in the US, though she found that she had to adjust to the different way that the locals spoke and carried themselves. Sarcasm, for example, is a bit more exaggerated in the US; in the UK, it is more dead-pan and natural. Nevertheless, she embraced the differences and was able to pick up a few words and phrases along the way. She also has a newfound love for haggis and Scottish tablet.

Khanh was able to inspire the next generation of engineers and designers, especially through her experiences of being a woman in STEAM. She realized quickly that for many pupils, being an engineer meant working in oil and gas, as that was what the most common industry in the area was. She aimed to show the flexibility and abundance of opportunities in engineering in addition to that. At the school, in addition to the lessons she taught, she hosted a talk directed towards the female pupils and was able to foster a thought-provoking conversation about redefining what it means to be an engineer. She highly recommends this experience to other students, as it was a rewarding way to engage with and be immersed in a different community, as well as to give back.

  • Teaching
  • MechE