Girls and robots

Brittany L. Strachota

On November 5, I got to spend the day in a sort of paradise. Emily ('12) and I traveled to Manchester, New Hampshire (Surprisingly close to Olin! New England states are really small.) to FIRST Place. We were invited to sit on student panels at the FIRST Women in Science and Technology forum, right along with professional women for whom I have massive respect. Teachers, entrepreneurs, inventors, the works. What an opportunity it was.

Approximately 200 high school girls attended the event, which was essentially a day-long discussion on science, technology, college, careers, and of course a fun meeting of FIRST die-hards. We were just below headquarters, the center of it all. My excitement was barely containable; I felt like such a geek in this FIRST mecca. Despite the rain and water-logged high heels, we had a fabulous time, and talking with girls just beginning the college application process was a blast.
One in particular told me that she was determined to attend a specific university, and had her major selected and ready to go. I assured her that her plan sounded wonderful, but suggested she keep an open mind. She appeared to brush this advice aside; after all, she had a plan. As the panel discussion continued, however, she seemed to grow slowly more interested until I noticed her tentatively raise a hand. "You have a question?"

"Yeah...what's the name of your school, again?"

I could only smile. That's the thing about Olin. It seems to sneak up on people. Even I tossed aside the prospectus when it arrived in my mailbox and didn't think about Olin again until applications were going in. It wasn't until halfway through the application process that I decided this was where I wanted to study.

She did visit us at our information table later on, and seems open to a new course. That's the best I could have hoped for. Well, besides a sneak peek at the 2011 FRC game, anyway.

An aside: Majors have been declared left and right among the class of 2013! That's right, gentle reader, I am officially a robotics engineering student.

Another aside: I need to know what I'm most passionate about, or what I can tell people about for five minutes. Projects I've done, beliefs I hold, fun things I can do and think others might like to do. I am not joking here. Please, if you have any idea, let me know. Comment, email, find me in person, however you can let me know!

Posted in: Class of 2013