I am Janice Zou, a fourth-year, first-generation college student studying Mechanical Engineering (ME) at the University of Central Florida. Throughout my K-12 education, I have been a student in the Orange County School District, graduating from East River High School in 2019. Throughout my entire four years as an undergraduate student, I have really enjoyed learning through my Fluid Mechanics I, Fluid Mechanics II, and Fundamentals of Aerodynamics courses—especially so because the professors tied in components of utilizing industry software for course projects, which were very fun to work on! So much so, I joined the Computational Fluids & Aerodynamics Laboratory at UCF where I have studied reaction control system (RCS) thrusters and plume particle impingements in space environments.
I plan to continue my education and push my current research through a graduate degree, pursuing Aerospace Engineering. Upon completion, I hope to work in the aerospace industry so my research may improve space technology and analyses tools.
As a child, math and science were not a strong suit of mine—I would spend hours on one homework, trying to understand what was going on. Although I would find myself frustrated to the point of tears, I never gave up trying. The science-based Gifted program at my elementary school and all the fun projects that my math and science teachers in middle and high school gave us, put the subjects in a new light for me too. Like those teachers, I hope that my activities as a STEM Ambassador can make STEM subjects more accessible and digestible—anyone can be an engineer! Perseverance and a willingness to learn are a great driving factor in achieving anything!
Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my friends, playing the piano (as an ex-classical pianist), and brushing up on my language learning. I have traveled around to many different countries so far, including: Canada, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, Chile, France, and Switzerland! I’m always on the lookout for chances to visit new countries, try new foods, and experience new cultures!