Inventing your UBC experience

From Google Science Fair winner to Tonight Show guest to UBC student.

Inventing your UBC experience
CategoryStudent
NameAnn Makosinski
FromVictoria, BC
ProgramArts One

First-year Arts One student and inventor Ann Makosinski tells us why she chose UBC and what the future holds

Ann Makosinski’s first term at UBC this fall was distinctly unique from her classmates’ experiences – hers involved a whirlwind trip to New York City for her second appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to demonstrate her latest invention.

The young inventor

Ann is in her first year in the Arts One program on UBC’s Vancouver campus, but to understand how she arrived here and why she’s already been on the Tonight Show twice, we have to rewind to her childhood, when she was a precocious inventor who spent more time experimenting with the everyday objects around her than playing with toys.

“I love dreaming about something, and asking, ‘Is this possible?’” she says. “My philosophy is, ‘The only way to find out is to build it.’”

Ann has been attending science fairs since Grade 6, and in Grade 11 she entered the big leagues. She took one of her homemade inventions – the “hollow flashlight,” which is powered by the heat of the human hand – to the 2013 Google Science Fair as the sole representative from Canada. She won first place and US $25,000 in prize money.

The Ann Makosinski media frenzy

Following her big win she was named to Time magazine’s 30 under 30 and went on to receive four major awards at the 2014 Intel Science and Engineering Fair and speak at four TEDx events. She brought her hollow flashlight to the Tonight Show in 2014, and was invited back this fall to unveil her new eDrink invention, a travel mug that harvests excess heat from hot drinks and converts it into electricity to give your mobile phone’s battery a boost.

“It was super awesome that the whole crew and Jimmy all remembered me the second time I went,” says Ann. “We took a selfie after the show, and of course my entire experience in New York was amazing!”

This December Ann received The Quest Climate Grant, a $50,000 award given to “young entrepreneurs who are advancing viable solutions to climate change in Canada,” funded by Canadian Geographic and Shell.

On choosing UBC

Not surprisingly, Ann received multiple university offers, but she chose UBC’s Vancouver campus for its beautiful landscape, diverse community of students, and dynamic program offerings. “I have the space to learn about myself, and flexibility to explore my different interests,” she says. “My background is science and inventing, but I’m exploring many different areas through the opportunities provided to me at UBC.”

 

“UBC provides an opportunity to interact with a diverse community of students, not to mention the wonderful professors that help you to identify and develop your skills.” – Ann Makosinski, 1st year, Arts One

 

Life in Arts One

As a student in the Arts One program, Ann says she’s enjoying the smaller classes and the one-on-one feedback from her professors. “The support for students when you are having academic or health concerns is outstanding,” she adds.

Now Ann is balancing her UBC student life with speaking engagements, media interviews, and work as a global brand ambassador for worldwide retailer Uniqlo. When asked about the future, she’s optimistic about where her education can take her. “There are so many paths for me to choose,” she says. “I’m only in first year, so who knows!”

Latest Stories

Previous
Peter I standing on stairs at UBC Okanagan

Transitioning from Nigeria to the Okanagan

A Computer Science student in the Faculty of Arts, Peter gets to pursue what he loves at UBC Okanagan
student

Transitioning from Nigeria to the Okanagan

"Coming out of high school, I knew I absolutely loathed physics, wanted to avoid math at all costs, and loved solving complex problems with computer science. As such, finding out about the Computer Science major in the Bachelor of Arts at UBC was monumental for me because it meant that I could tailor my degree to prioritize my strengths and help me avoid my weaknesses." - Peter I., Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
Abby with her laptop on the UBC Okanagan campus

Embracing new opportunities

Management student Abby on discovering her passions at UBC Okanagan
student

Embracing new opportunities

"The ability to be in a smaller tight-knit community while having access to the resources of a larger intuition is a large reason as to why I chose the Okanagan campus. I love being a big fish in a small pond and getting to pursue different opportunities in a competitive yet supportive environment has allowed me to put myself out there, learn from my mistakes, and more importantly try again! I also love that I’m not just a number, my faculty and professors know me by name and we’re able to have meaningful conversations about their research, shared interests, and their journey of getting to where they are today." - Abby N., Bachelor of Management
Jamie walking outside the Longhouse on the Vancouver campus

Inspired to become a better person

How Jamie has connected her Kinesiology degree with her Indigeneity
student

Inspired to become a better person

"When I chose to study Kinesiology at UBC, I knew I wanted to find ways I could connect my degree with my Indigeneity. Throughout my degree I have been a member of multiple committees that promote equity and diversity for Indigenous peoples, taken courses directly related to Indigenous health & wellness, and have learned from numerous Indigenous professors and mentors in Kinesiology. All of these experiences have strengthened my desire to use my degree to connect with community and advocate for Indigenous representation in health and physical activity spaces." - Jamie C., Bachelor of Kinesiology
Danielle G UBC Okanagan Geography student

Pursuing a second degree in Human Geography

Danielle’s experiences as a Geography student UBC Okangan
student

Pursuing a second degree in Human Geography

"As someone who is interested in the humanities and social sciences, an Arts degree at UBC was perfect for me as it allowed me to broaden my knowledge through a variety of different classes, while gaining the necessary requirements for my career goals and graduate school." - Danielle G., Geography
Sophie H. on the Okanagan campus

Exploring cultural theory and social change

UBC Okanagan Arts student Sophie on the power of a Cultural Studies degree
student

Exploring cultural theory and social change

“It is one thing to identify what is wrong with this world, but it’s another to see how people are managing to live and finding joy within it. Because this is where the changes are happening.” - Sophie H., Cultural Studies

Choosing research in Nursing at UBC Okanagan

How Nursing student Dresya is tackling late detection of breast cancer to improve patient outcomes.
student

Choosing research in Nursing at UBC Okanagan

"The program pushes me to redefine what it means to be a 'nurse' daily. There has not been a day where I have not learned something new. Whether it is delving into the pathophysiology of a disease or acquiring a new clinical skill, the learning never stops. In my experience, the program at UBC Okanagan also understands the profound importance of people in nursing. It pushed me to look beyond mastering the scientific basis of nursing, and incorporate the patient's lived experiences into the care I provide." - Dresya D., BSN

Helping Indigenous communities through Nursing

How Ashley made the career change from marketing to nursing, with the aim of making a positive difference within the Indigenous community.
student

Helping Indigenous communities through Nursing

"Once I complete my schooling, my aim is to work closely within the Indigenous population. My passion lies in patient-centered care and ensuring cultural safety, and I'm eager to make a meaningful impact in these areas." - Ashley H., Bachelor of Science in Nursing

An artist's journey to building community

How UBC Okanagan Fine Arts student Ziv fosters community among UBC's international students as an International Peer
student

An artist's journey to building community

"As an International Peer, I aim to introduce the supportive and inclusive environment UBC has for new students to thrive in. I hope to foster a sense of community and belonging among the international student population, because building connections and relationships is crucial to a positive university experience." - Ziv W., Bachelor of Fine Arts
next