We're proud to share the first in a sequence of gap year blog posts from a few students who will be joining the class of 2019!
Hello! My name is Emma Dumont and I'm extremely proud and excited to say that I will be joining the Olin College of Engineering class of 2019! During my gap year, I will be will be working, traveling for work, mentoring my FIRST Robotics FRC team and advocating for STEM education whenever and wherever I can.
First, let me tell you about FRC Robotics Team 980 - the Thunderbots. Robotics has been a huge part of my life for the past 4 years. I was team lead for fabrication, team captain, robot driver, national award finalist (Dean's list) and now mentor. Summer is the off season for my robotics team, but we've been keeping busy none the less. Recently there have been a lot of new students joining the team, including one of my cousins! When new students come to the team, we like to catch them up as soon as possible. We are a small team so every student gets cross-trained and I've been teaching the new students how to use different tools and machines in our work room. The goal is to have all students up to speed by January which is the beginning of the build and competition season. Along with mentoring fabrication, my goals for this upcoming year are to increase my skills in SolidWorks(CAD) and to assist the controls team with C++ programming.
In addition to teaching fabrication skills, I'm mentoring students in business planning. My team has been redoing anything and everything business related, this includes our mission statement, five year plan and balanced scorecard. We hope the changes we implement will help us continue to grow, but with more organization and better focus. Also, the balanced scorecard is a great measuring tool for our corporate/organizational sponsors who are Disney Imagineering, Comcast/NBC Universal and NASA/JPL.
At the beginning of summer, the students on my team decided that they wanted to do more outreach to younger grades (K-7), and developed a plan to participate in a Boy Scout event. About a month ago we did! We had a large booth and gave lessons on electricity and simple electronics. The scouts really seemed to enjoy it. We also participated in a local parade and the robots from out 2 past seasons "marched" right along with us.
All in all it has been a great summer. We are making the final revisions on our bot now and doing driving practice for an upcoming off-season competition in October. In addition we are starting C++ workshops this fall, which are open to the public. I'm really starting to get excited, because I took the class last year and it was super fun.
As far as advocating for STEM education I was asked to speak at a "Girls in STEM" event for grades 4 - 12 sponsored by Time Warner Cable and the Girl Scouts. The event will be in Kansas City on September 20 and so many girls have signed up to come. I'm so stoked! I'm going be talking mostly about the commonalities between physics and ballet - two of my favorite things!
Also, I completed a FIRST Robotics PSA last year that was super fun and I've been invited to the FIRST Championship Event in St. Louis again in April, 2015. I've either given a speech or spoke on a panel for the past couple of years which is such an honor. My team was a finalist in the Los Angeles regional in 2014, so I am hoping my team will be with me at champs in 2015! Oh and I also just filmed a national commercial sponsored by a large natural fuel company. The commercial is being created to encourage students to major in STEM fields. Like we say in FIRST - "Make it Loud" and I surely try to!
I hope everyone has a blast this school year and I can't wait to get to Olin next year!! Oh and if you would like to get involved in either teaching or mentoring STEM,a friend of mine runs a really cool and innovative robotics workshop school for kids in Boston and they always need volunteers. Check out http://www.einsteinsworkshop.com/. :D