Friday, June 9, 2017

FIRST Robotics Women in STEM Reception 2017, Part III of IV

Continuing the questions and answers from the engineering panel

Two of Grove's F.R.O.G. Robotics Team

6. What do you wish you had known in school or in work? What advice would you share?

I wish I would have known, in college and just starting out at my career, that I didn’t need to know everything and that I didn’t need to be perfect, or excel at every subject/topic.  in college, I focused on finding the easiest classes to take that were outside of my core classes.  In hindsight, I wish I would have found classes that were more interesting to me and I wish I would have studied abroad.
Jessica Steffan Dano, engineer

I wish I had talked with more upperclassmen to know which classes I didn't need to take, because I took a couple my first semester that were slightly unnecessary. My advice is to talk to people who have been in your major or field for a while to learn specific things you wouldn't know starting out. Other than that my best advice is to never give up!
Addison Schwamb, OCU

My advice is to remember your classmates. You might run into them later down the road. I go to conferences with some former classmates and professors. It is important to continue to interact with them. They could be a client or a valuable resource.
Caroline Heller, engineer

One thing I wish I would have known before coming to college is that asking for help is okay and does not show signs of weakness. I am very hard on myself and determined to do things on my own, so when I had troubles in a class or grasping a concept, I would never go to my professors because I thought it showed I wasn’t smart enough. I had to learn the hard way through low performances on multiple tests that I really needed help, which is normal and perfectly fine. The more help I got with my professors and tutors, the better I became at the subject. Don’t be afraid if you don’t know something to reach out for help! 
Abby Smith, OU

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Johnson with a mentee

7. If applicable, please describe any internship or study abroad?

I had an internship the summer after my junior year with Trane.  It was an amazing experience and was a peek in to my future as a professional engineer.  I was offered a job after graduation, but didn’t take it at first for personal reasons.  However, my circumstances changed and because of my continued relationship with people from my internship I was offered a job again and I really enjoy it!
Jessica Steffan Dano, engineer

After my sophomore year of college, I spent eight weeks studying abroad in Montpellier, France. I was out of my comfort zone, but that is why it was one of the best experiences of my life. We met some French engineering students and traveled all over the country to see their famous engineering pieces- my favorite being the Canal du Midi. I also had an internship after my junior year of college with Terracon in Oklahoma City. Through that experience, I learned all about SPCC Plans for oil tank batteries. I completed the site visit, took the necessary measurements, and compiled the documentation for more than 100 tank batteries throughout Oklahoma.
Caroline Heller, engineer

I studied abroad in OU’s own campus located in Arezzo, Italy last summer with an organization I am a member of here at OU, President’s Community Scholars. I took a two-week class called Community, Art, and Action. The scope of the class was to learn about how Italians view community service and experience some of the country's art and learn about the history in multiple cities across Tuscany and Rome. For the community service aspect of the class, my group painted murals in the local hospital wing that connected the Emergency Room to the rest of the hospital. After that was completed, we took day and overnight trips to other cities to learn about the art. It was a trip of a lifetime, and I recommend studying abroad to any college student who is even remotely interested.

Abby Smith, OU

Jenks Prime Movers

Tulsa Union Ubotics members with their mentor

Important Point in Closing

It was brought up at the panel that every one of us had some sort of support group that helped us through hard times, which I think is super important to have.
Addison Schwamb, OCU

Mentors with the Missouri's Camdenton team, a very lively group.
Tinker AFB's Jackie Pearson is the mentor in the back. On the
left are Erin Roark, Lizzie Long and Jordan Fox, representing
Alpha Omega Epsilon, a sorority and professional sorority for
women in engineering and technical sciences. 

Teachers, Team Sponsors and Chaperones

Some mentors passionately return year after year and also recruit first-time mentors. Chaperones, teachers and sponsors not only do the same but also work with the teams throughout the year. Cheers for all of these women for championing STEM opportunities for young women!

Two of Tulsa Memorial Circuit Chargers'
enthusiastic support group

Among teachers, sponsors and chaperones is
Pryor's Tonya Backward, third from the left.


It was incredible to see the young women from MCROBO (Mayes County FIRST Robotics Team) get excited about their futures. I feel this year's planel was key in giving them the confidence they need and by allowing students to hear firsthand from local young engineering students and professionals. The information the panel provided to the audience was applicable and encouraging.

As a sponsor, it's inspiring to hear young women say, "I can do that." That's what every mentor/sponsors wants to hear.

Tonya Backward
MCROBO Team Sponsor and
Workforce Development Coordinator
MidAmerica Industrial Park
Pryor Creek, OK

Tulsa Memorial Circuit Chargers

Student Review

[Kat H., a member of The Circuit Chargers consulted the other attendees before writing the following.]

At this year’s SWE event, I heard a lot of new useful information and got a refresher on some of the things I already knew. When I asked the panelists about what activities we should do before college, they said that picking just a couple activities that you really like. This answered my question fully and was very helpful. For the three of us that went last year, we thought the speakers held our attention much better this year because the talk was broken up, and we had time for questions. I had a lot of questions to ask, so having our table mentor there was great, and we all got to know each other very well.

Lane Matheson
Instructor, AP Physics 1/C, AP Calculus BC, & Engineering Robotics 1/2/3
Director, Tulsa Engineering Academy at Memorial (TEAM)
Coach, FIRST Robotics Team 932 - The Circuit Chargers
Tulsa Public Schools, Memorial High School

Addison Schwamb with Amity from Metal
Chickasaw Nation Science,
Technology, and Math Academy,
sponsored by the Chickasaw Nation

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