Haemi Noh is a Senior Chemist at Mattel, Inc. who has dual degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics and uses her STEAM skills to bring toys to life. She expressed, “I hope that when the children play with toys that I helped create, they have fun, explore different ways to play, and be creative.” Read more about Haemi and how she uses her STEAM skills to create toys that add excitement to the lives of children around the world.
FIRST Staff: Can you share some information about your current role at Mattel?
Haemi: As a chemist, I work on features in toys that involve items such as slime, markers, special coating, and even cosmetics. This involves collaborating with different functional teams like design, engineering, and manufacturing to create a meaningful play with certain items for our consumers. I also review innovations and new technologies in different industries to see if it's feasible to bring them to the toy space. Additionally, I review ingredients and arrange necessary tests to ensure that the items are regulatory compliant and safe for our consumers.
FIRST Staff: What is your favorite part of your current role as Senior Chemist at Mattel, Inc.?
Haemi: Collaborating with incredibly talented people with various experiences. Teams often reach out to me with new concepts that utilize existing materials in brand new ways. It's amazing to see their creativity and be a part of bringing that vision to reality.
FIRST Staff: How do you use STEAM skills in your everyday work/life?
Haemi: I use them every day. To list a few examples - having meetings with designers and engineers to discuss new concepts and then analyzing what's needed to execute those concepts, clearly communicating specifications to others, and problem-solving when issues arise.
FIRST Staff: Can you share your thoughts on the impact of your personal/professional work in STEAM?
Haemi: I hope that when the children play with toys that I helped create, they have fun, explore different ways to play, and be creative. Many aspects of play can serve as building blocks for skills needed in the STEAM fields.
FIRST Staff: Who is a "Person of STEAM" who inspires you?
Haemi: My husband, Ed, who is a clinical pharmacist who specializes in oncology. After work, he frequently reads the latest oncology studies and then enthusiastically talks to me all about it. Although I don't always understand everything he explains, I do know one thing - he's passionate about the job and is eager to learn more. His desire to better himself to provide the best care to patients inspires me to continuously work on improving myself.
FIRST Staff: If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Haemi: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are stuck solving a problem or having a tough time on a project, there will be a person who can help you. They are most likely happy to teach or aid you. You just need to ask.
FIRST Staff: Do you have a message you want to share for students who are participating in FIRST® today?
Haemi: Expand your horizons and work with those with different backgrounds. They may bring perspectives that you are not familiar with.
Are you a person of STEAM? Share your story with #PeopleofSTEAM on social media or send us your story at email@example.com.