By Vi Le
In the summer of 2016, my students and I had the opportunity to experience a factory tour at Tesla, located down the street from the ThinkTank Fremont Center. Three rising seniors pursuing STEM field were chosen in this special opportunity: Justin Wan, who is interested in mechanical and aerospace engineering, Andy Jiang, in computer science, and Erik Wong, also in computer science.
The factory tour impacted everyone attending in profound ways. As an education consultant, it reaffirmed my social mission: I not only guide students toward the college of their dreams but also more importantly ignite their passion and love for learning. For my students, the tour clarified their respective paths toward realizing their dreams, both academically and professionally, and how they could contribute toward the tech revolution.
Erik made the connection between his own success and Tesla’s current success; that Tesla’s breakthrough in the industry was a result of leadership that reinforces a continual “effort toward working toward your goals.” He concluded, “As I look into my future, I understand that I have a long way to go, and I can’t ever get too comfortable.” Erik is further motivated to learn more about how he could use computer science to make positive impact in the tech industry and society.
Likewise, Justin learned that teamwork is integral to Tesla’s business model, similar to the Industrial Revolution, which he learned about in his U.S. history course. He states, “The factory was a hub of activity, in which no one had a greater role as there was a sense of camaraderie.” Inspired by Tesla’s environmentalist mission, Justin is further committed to becoming an exceptional engineer who could one day build robots like the ones at Tesla, and advance the vision for a more sustainable planet.
Finally, Andy learned the value of collaborative diversity at all levels: from the hardware and software engineers to the executives and managers to the workers on the assembly line. He states, “The production requires a larger amount of effort from a variety of fields.” A future computer science student, he appreciated the cooperation of computer, robot, and human labor in producing cars. As a result of the experience, he is further determined to improve computer software to all aspects of human life, including work and play.
At the end, Erik, Justin, and Andy were very grateful to ThinkTank Learning for coordinating this trip. As a part of ThinkTank Learning, I am thankful the privilege of helping ignite these students’ passion and love for learning. While the factory tour provided a glimpse into Tesla’s business operations, these students were able to progress outside of their comfort zones to learn more about themselves and their respective journeys. Through programs like this tour, ThinkTank Learning continues to inspire all students to not only thrive, but also be leaders in their communities.