#PeopleofSTEAM: Meet Zeki

#PeopleofSTEAM: Meet Zeki 

Zeki, a member of the 2023 Inspire the Future: FIRST® Educators Recognition Program cohort, is a LEGO® Education Academy Certified Trainer at Teknokta Eğitim Danışmanlık in Turkey. As a Certified Trainer, he conducts trainings for teachers on how to use LEGO Education products and how to develop content. He also volunteers for FIRST in many capacities throughout Turkey and is a part-time STEAM teacher.  

“The best part of my job is seeing the students I met years ago, now studying at university, graduating or joining the workforce equipped with 21st century skills, especially in engineering, or starting their own businesses," stated Zeki. 

Read more below about how Zeki empowers and inspires students and teachers through STEAM learning. 

 Zeki Devrim Sırdaş_2

FIRST Staff: How do you use STEAM skills in your everyday work/life?  

Zeki: As part of my job as a STEAM training and workshop facilitator, I often have to work with people I don't know. It is very important that I use the right communication techniques to achieve the goal of the workshops. These communication techniques, which also require the use of body language (which we can consider as soft skills among STEAM gains), are among the 21st century skills. It’s extremely important to establish the right communication during collaborative work. 


FIRST Staff: What is the hardest part of your job?  

Zeki: The hardest part of my job is the need to be creative all the time. When creating new STEAM content and designing a STEAM activity model, I constantly feel the need to do studies that can attract the attention of teachers and students and catch them at the first moment. I believe that interesting, creative designs increase the focus of students and teachers. 

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FIRST Staff: Can you share your thoughts on the impact of your personal/professional work in STEAM?  

Zeki: By producing and delivering content to teachers, I help them teach their students about STEAM. The more a teacher sees the importance of STEAM education, the better he or she can define their role. Our teachers are the people who convey information directly to the students and manage the discovery process of the students while learning. In all of my work with teachers, I try to make a difference by helping them succeed in their role. 


FIRST Staff: Who is a “Person of STEAM” who inspires you?  

Zeki: Dean Kamen is a role model that impressed me in the STEAM field when I met him at a FIRST event fourteen years ago. The most important person who influenced me to take action in my childhood was the character of MacGyver (1985 TV series). This character could solve vital problems in a very short time by using science and technology with very simple tools. 


FIRST Staff: If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?  

Zeki: Do not avoid asking questions; do not be afraid to make mistakes. 


FIRST Staff: Do you have a message you want to share for students who are participating in FIRST today? 

Zeki: The FIRST events you attend are process-oriented, not result-oriented. Your biggest gain is the experiences you've had and what you've learned, the friends you've made, the people you've met that have had a positive impact on your life, and the wonderful times you've had. Enjoy the process. 




Are you a person of STEAM? Share your story with #PeopleofSTEAM on social media or send us your story at marketing@firstinspires.org.