DEI Chat: AWIM Volunteer Ana Logan Joins SAE for Hispanic Heritage Month to Talk Diversity in the Classroom
Posted: October 5, 2022
Ana Logan likes to joke that she’s married to SAE International.
Her love affair with the organization started when she met her husband, Derek Logan, at the University of Arizona, where he was involved in Baja SAE. Derek stayed steadily involved with SAE in a variety of areas. That connection led to both Derek and Ana becoming involved with SAE’s A World In Motion (AWIM) at the Chandler Unified School District when their children were in school, a commitment Ana has continued even now that her kids have graduated.
Ana was instrumental in getting the program started at her children’s school.
“When I had my kids, I told my kids I wanted them to be a part of this program,” Ana said. “I talked to the principal, and she said she didn’t think they had time to do this. I told her, “I know you don’t want to talk about this, but I’m not moving until you talk to me.’”
Ana got in touch with longtime SAE AWIM volunteer Don Robbins and asked for his help in convincing the school to start the program. It didn’t take long for the program to take root and thrive, and now, Ana shares, the school is using AWIM kits for annual science projects.
But while many of SAE’s volunteers are engineers or those who have studied engineering, Ana breaks the mold. She’s got a degree in computer science, and it’s thanks to her upbringing as the second oldest of 10 siblings that she loves working with kids. She enters the classroom not as an expert in the discipline of engineering, but as a Hispanic woman and a mother who loves teaching kids to embrace their curious nature and believe that it doesn’t matter what they look like or where they’re from—they can be successful in STEM.
“It’s very valuable. Every year when we start, we ask the kids, ‘Who wants to be an engineer?’ and maybe three people want to,” Ana said. “By the time we’re done, everybody wants to be an engineer. The kids really change their mind in how they think about science.”
Knowing how much it means to kids to see role models of diverse backgrounds in the classroom, Ana is advocating for more parents to get involved with AWIM. She’s keen to see training implemented for non-engineer parents, and said she’s already seen the benefit of having a good trainer with her fellow volunteers.
And when they do get involved, Ana shared just how fulfilling it is to see kids recognize their own potential, and to play some small part in that.
“When we see the kids, and how they value science more after we finish [the program], it is just amazing,” Ana said.
SAE International is having honest conversations with our members, volunteers, and employees about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the world of mobility. We reflect with our partners on how identity has shaped their experience in the field and how we can work toward a more equitable and inclusive future.