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SWE Diverse Podcast Ep 237: Empowering the Engineers of Tomorrow With Global STEM Ambassador Jay Flores

Jay Flores joined us in this podcast episode to discuss his experience on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior and his efforts to make STEM fun and accessible for millions of young people!

Jay Flores, founder of Invent the Change, joins us live at the WE23 Podcast Studio to discuss his mission to engage more students in STEM.

Interviewed by FY24 SWE President Elect Karen Roth, Flores shares the moments that propelled him into the world of STEM outreach and advocacy.

Hear about his experience on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, his vision for empowering the next generation of engineers, and the “It’s Not Magic, It’s Science” program that Flores brought to SWE’s Invent It. Build It. event at WE23.

Listen to the episode on SWE’s websiteSpotifyApple Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Speaker: Jay Flores, Founder of Invent The Change

Jay Flores headshot

Jay Flores is a Global STEM Ambassador, the founder of Invent The Change and a star on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. He is the host of PBS’s innovation show Make48 and has starred on shows for Telemundo and ESPN. Combined, he has starred in over 75 episodes of primetime television.

Jay is one of the most influential voices in STEM reaching millions of students every month as a member of Discovery Education’s Mystery Science Team. In his role as a Mystery Science Guide, Jay nurtures curiosity by answering questions submitted by students like “How is ice cream made?” “How were LEGO bricks invented?” and “Why don’t people fall out of roller coasters when they go upside-down?”

Jay holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His high energy and intellect have been recognized by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), who elected Jay when he was 19 years old as the youngest voting national board member in SHPE history. He served 5 years on the SHPE national board and has contributed to a wide variety of state, national and global STEM advisory boards.

Host: Karen Roth, FY24 SWE President Elect

Karen Roth headshot cropped

Karen Roth is an experienced Department of Defense leader in cyber, artificial intelligence and digital engineering.

Roth has taken her proven skills in strategic thinking, communication, and partnership development to create a global ecosystem for the Air Force and to be a trusted fiduciary for the nonprofit boards she has served, which includes the Society of Women Engineers where she is the FY24 President Elect of the 43,000+ member organization.

Roth is currently the Deputy Director of AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force. She leads strategy and execution across the $1.3 billion portfolio through AFVentures, Spark, Prime, SpaceWERX and the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs which serve to expand the defense industrial base for advanced technologies, empower Airmen and Guardian talent and drive faster technology transfer to operational capability.

Roth holds an executive MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in software engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in systems engineering from Cornell University. She is currently completing an executive certificate in public leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

She serves SWE in a personal capacity and does not represent the U.S. Government or the U.S. Air Force in this role.


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