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Scientists and Engineers from Asia

Scientists and engineers from around the world are doing amazing things!
Link to lesson ideas for how to use the resources below. 

  • Charles Kao - physical science/physics/engineering, fiberoptics - PS4, PS1, PS3, ETS1, ETS2 (China)
  • Anya Lim - life science, ecosystems - LS2, LS3, LS4, ETS2 (Laos/United States)
  • Yuji Niino - earth science, soil science - ESS2, ESS3, ESS1, ETS1 (Thailand)
  • Yariv Bash - aerospace science/engineering, moon lander - ESS1, ETS1, PS2 (Israel)

Dr. Charles K. Kao - Electrical Engineer and Physicist 

 Photo of Dr. Charles Kao

DCI Physical Science  
PS1 Matter and its Interactions
PS3 Energy
PS4 Waves and application
ETS1 Engineering design
ETS2 Links among engineering, technology, science, and society

Country:  China

Map of China

Bio and Projects:
Dr. Kao studies the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication. He is called the “Godfather of broadband” because he figured out how to use fiber optics to telecommunicate with light, when people use technology like computers. Dr. Kao received the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physics.

What inspired me to go into science?
Dr. Kao currently suffers from Alzheimer's disease, so he was not able to share an what inspired him by email. Based on the image below from his biography, it seems that curiosity inspired him throughout his life! 

Dr. Kao showed an early fascination with the properties of sand.

Dr. Jeong Eun (Anya) Lim - Ecologist

 Photo of Anya Lim

DCI Life Science  
LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
ETS2 Links among engineering, technology, science and society

Country:  Laos

Map of Laos

Bio and Projects:
Dr. Lim recently received her PhD at UW-Madison, where she studied  and lectured about how tigers survive on edge of extinction and how local people and tigers interact with each other in China, Laos, and Korea. 

Children Text Resources

Mai Ya’s Long Journey by Sheila Cohen - story of a family's move from a refugee camp in Thailand to Madison, WI. 

Nine-In-One Grrr! Grrr! from a folk tale of the Hmong people of Laos, by Blia Xiong

San Diego Zoo information about tigers (includes various tiger sounds to investigate)

Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins - children's book on human impacts related to tigers

From Anger to Stewardship: Changing hearts and minds about tiger conservation Information about Dr. Lim’s research


Tigers Up Close and Personal - National Geographic

Can We Save the Tiger? (some mature ideas such as the illegal tiger trade)

Brief video about tigers, from Wildlife Warriors, grades 3-5

Teacher Materials

Lesson: researching endangered species 

Information about endangered species from Kids Discover

California Academy of Sciences - a range of activities and educational resources on various organisms and ecosystems - more on their educator resource page

Tiger resources from Nat Geo Kids


Dr. Yuji Niino - Soil Scientist

 Photo of Yuji Niino

DCI Earth Science  

ESS2 Earth’s Systems
ESS3 Earth and Human Activity
ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe
ETS1 Engineering Design

Country:  THAILAND

Map of Thailand

Bio and Projects:
Dr. Yuji Niino is a soil scientist in Thailand. He is fascinated by the question of using soil to sustain life in developing countries. He wants to bring equity to the world and reduce the amount of struggling and starving people. Dr. Yuji wants to reduce the global phenomena of land degradation.


What inspired me to go into science?
“South Asian region has the largest concentration of the poor not only in the Asia-Pacific but also in the entire world. A critical aspect is sustainable land management and improved agricultural practices. Land degradation causes loss of ecosystem function and resilience and consequently environmental disasters. The issue of land degradation assumes greater importance and complexity in the wake of climate variability and change” from the Asian Institute of Technology  


Children Text Resources

The Cartoon Guide to Genetics, by Larry Gonick and Mark Wheelis - kind of a non-fiction graphic novel (MS+)

If the World Were a Village, by David Smith - exploring the world condensed to  a village of 100 people

Helping Out, by George Ancona - picture book of youth helping out in various contexts

Teacher Materials

Resources about Thailand

Genetics: Our Past, Present, and Future - A middle school unit from Sage by Lindsey Asbury

Genetic Science Learning Center from the University of Utah

Dr. Yariv Bash - Moon Scientist

 Photo of Dr. Yuriv Bash

DCI Earth & Space Science  

ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe
ETS1 Engineering Design

Country:  ISRAEL

Map of Israel

Bio and Projects:
Dr. Yariv Bash is building a vehicle that will land on the moon. He is the co-founder of a team of engineers, scientists, and business professionals working together on a contest to be chosen to be able to build their design to go to the moon (Google's Lunar XPrize). He wants Israel to be the fourth country to send something to land on it!

There is a link to staff members of the SpaceIL program.

What inspires me in science?

“It started out because of community. You have to be a little crazy to start something like space air. At first, our first project, we were trying to build a flying machine. We didn’t know who would be the pilot. There were five guys and each one was thinking if they wanted to be the pilot. We held a raffle to decide who would be the pilot. I was picked for the pilot. I ended up swallowing a lot of dirty water. We got second place for distance.” From Reuters News

Children Text Resources

The Third Planet: Exploring the Earth From Space, by Sally Ride and Tam O’Shaughnessy - lots of photos from space of earth's features, geared to grades 4-8.

Rocket! How a Toy Launched the Space Age, by Richard Maurer - rocket images and basic physics of rocketry

Book about WWII and Atrocities against Jews: Hear O Israel: A Story of a Warsaw Ghetto, by Terry Treseder


For questions about this information, contact Kevin Anderson (608) 266-3319