Rebel Rouser Ann Makosinski: “I Learned to Believe in My Own Dream, Not Someone Else's"

As a teen inventor, Makosinski won awards and serious praise—but eventually realized that her true passion lay in the arts, not engineering


Ann Makosinski on a pink background with illustrated border

(Art: Leo Tapel)

“After I had competed in the Google Science Fair during grade 11, I started getting a lot of press and media coverage about my inventions—like my thermoelectric flashlight, which generates light using body heat.

Articles citing me as a ‘genius’ or ‘science whiz’ whirled around, and when people came up to me they would say, ‘So what do you want to do after school? Engineering, right?’

I had always loved inventing and working on my science fair projects outside of school, but I struggled with my chemistry and physics classes, finding English and drama to be my best subjects. When grade 12 came around and I had to choose my degree, a prospective school offered me an engineering scholarship. I was conflicted on becoming an engineer, even though that seemed to be the major everyone felt I was most suited for. When I was a little kid, however, my dreams had been very different. I had wanted to be either an archeologist, film director or inventor.

Much to my family’s dismay, I declined the engineering scholarship and began a general first year in the arts instead. I didn’t feel like the scholarship was right for me and thought it could be put to better use for a student that really wanted it. Luckily my rebellion turned out well; I’m able to work on my inventions outside of school, but still learn about my love for storytelling inside of school. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that you have to live and believe in your own dream, not somebody else’s.”

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