Status: Rising Freshman
Hometown: Troy, MI
Rising freshman Sara Bashir is an inventor. Since the age of eight, she has kept a running sketchbook of project ideas, and is always finding new ways to innovate. The book includes some pretty fun ideas, including a mashup of a dishwasher and a toaster. She will be entering into Michigan Engineering in the fall of 2017, but says she is still undecided as to which department she wants to study in. When pressed, Sara admits she’s “leaning chemical…or aerospace, or environmental engineering.” Wherever she ends up, she hopes to promote social change. It’s one of the motivators that has driven her to become president of the Muslim Student Association at her school, creating a community in which people can interact, fundraise, and draw inspiration from personal heroes. Sara also led a walkout at her school to protest the travel ban. This was a powerful motivator for Sara.“I got to see all my friends walking beside me, fighting for the same cause.”
Sara grew up reading articles about America’s energy use and the global future. “Those numbers have always stood out to me. It’s astounding. It’s something we need to fix.” And fixing is what Sara does best. She loves to tinker with things, especially to make them more efficient. “I think the cooler [inventions] are about efficiency. It’s sustainable.” In her physics class junior year, Sara participated in constructing an electric house, but once the project was over she immediately went home to her sketchbook and started drawing ways to make it more efficient. This is the kind of work she hopes to go into. “I’ve never really seen myself in an office job,” Sara says. She sees herself instead working at a small, eco-friendly company in creative design, following a five year Masters program at U-M. She mentions a recent, socially impactful invention by a high school girl near Detroit, who created a jacket that morphed into a sleeping bag for homeless men and women on the streets. “I really want to do something like that, that will directly impact the people around me,” she says.
Sara says it will be hard for her to find just one student organization to commit to when she enters college, which is a big concern for someone so passionate. With any luck, freshman year will be just enough time for her to find the right fit–and maybe a few other side projects as well.