2021 William Muir Edwards Citizenship Award Nomination - Yu Han (Angela) Wang

“Engineering is about solving problems, but it’s also about building the future.”

Donna McKinnon - 01 April 2022

yw-1.pngYu Han (Angela) Wang can trace her passion for community-building back to her childhood. 

Moving from one small town to another as a youth, Wang had little access to the resources and mentorship that she would later encounter as a U of A engineering student. Determined to find a way to provide the type of learning opportunities that she and other budding engineers would have loved as a kid, Wang went to work.  

Early in her program, Wang formed Future Creators, an engineering student group that mentors students in grades 5-12 by providing the resources and knowledge participants need to complete a project of their own. Students receive free parts and lessons, and projects can be anything from micro-controllers to machine learning video games.

Initially, Wang and other members of Future Creators engaged with The Pod, an alumni-based mentoring organization and “maker space” focused on supporting student-initiated and led projects with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. Members of the Pod, including engineering professor Steven Knudsen, were able to provide hands-on training in a number of different skills — areas where Wang felt they needed experience in order to mentor youth.

“Along the way, we had many wonderful discussions on how best to help younger students engage in STEM-based projects,” says Knudsen. “Not only was Angela becoming skilled and experienced, she was independently exploring projects that might work for the Future Creator’s target audience.”  

While Future Creators started small, just four friends, Wang put in the time and effort required to build the initiative, putting together lessons, test projects, and running many after-school mentorship sessions with their first partner school, Harry Ainlay High School

“From 2018 to early 2020 we recruited over two dozen mentors and ran workshops at five schools, and I spent countless more hours refining our projects and overseeing the swiftly growing club,” she says. “The team was amazing, traveling to schools and working with other organizations to run sessions reaching over a hundred total attendees — and then the pandemic hit.”


Future Creators went online, mentoring students virtually and even delivering project kits directly to the participants. When they opened it up to individual students in the winter of 2021, CTV Edmonton featured them on their broadcast and the team received over 80 sign-ups from all over Canada. 

“Not only do they provide wonderful experiences for students who have to stay at home, they have helped build communities where young people can share ideas and have fun,” says Knudsen.  

Since 2021, Future Creators has mentored more than 180 students across Canada. 

Many exciting things are in motion for Future Creators, explains Wang, Future Creators completed a partnership with Toronto West Academy to deliver programming to international students in China, and is aiming to expand to other universities. 

“I’m incredibly passionate about Future Creators,” says Wang. “It’s been an amazing experience to guide our growth, and most of all, knowing we help so many youth foster their love for engineering and innovation. Engineering is about solving problems, but it’s also about building the future. I hope to continue working in the nonprofit sector and inspiring youth to become “future creators,” so that they may one day find their own passion to help build a better future.”

Named in honour of the Faculty of Engineering’s founding professor, the William Muir Edwards Citizenship Award recognizes Engineering at Alberta undergraduate students who have made exceptional contributions to society. It’s a celebration of citizenship and of engineering students who go to extraordinary lengths to make our world a better place. Special thanks to the David Morris Family Foundation for supporting our students and making the William Muir Edwards Citizenship Awards possible. 

Do you know an undergraduate student whose volunteerism, contributions, and efforts, both on-campus and off-campus, work to make the world a better place? Learn more about the nomination process here