Last year I wrote an article about the relationship of engineering and sewing and how growing up at a sewing machine influenced me to become an engineer. It was towards the beginning of my experience sharing my experiences in STEM online and was one of my first popular pieces that got picked up by Code Like a Girl.
Out of the blue last month I got an email from Laura, a Science Instructional Coach at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, telling me she was inspired by that article to create this new program in Atlanta centered on combining sewing and engineering to encourage young women of color in the STEM fields. More than half of her students are from low-income neighborhoods.
How being raised by proud bird nerd parents gave me an appreciation for the natural world
My love for nature has always been a major part of my life. Before I could even walk my parents were taking me out on the hiking trails in their backpack and showing me around the base of waterfalls. All of our family vacations were to beautiful parts of nature and were based around hiking destinations, giving me a great appreciation for the natural world.
However, my parents were not ordinary hikers. They were birders.
Now when you picture birders, you probably imagine people walking around with giant cameras, 3 pairs of binoculars and stacks of birding books. Well, you are pretty spot on in the case of my parents.
The workings behind the lowering of light
Although engineering is often associated with things like rockets and coding, there is engineering in the everyday objects around us! When I was in school as a mechanical engineering major, I had friends that had engineering internships everywhere from Gillette to Caterpillar to Nestle. Engineers are needed to plan out how things are manufactured, how food packaging is designed, the patterns of stoplights and more. In this new blog series, Everyday Engineer, we are going to be looking at the engineering behind some of the everyday objects around us.
Today: Dimmer switches
Outwardly, these handy switches may appear simple. Move them one way and the light gets brighter, move them the other way and it gets darker. However, there is more going on behind the scenes.
I had an awesome experience yesterday morning and got to be on live national television for the first time! I had the opportunity to chat with Stephanie Abrams and Jen Carfagno on the Weather Channel about science, fashion and my start-up Sci Chic.
Since I grew up with a mom that was obsessed with weather (we affectionately call her Weather Mom), it was an early Mother’s Day present for her, and a really exciting opportunity for me! Since it was my first time doing this, a few things surprised me about the experience that I was not expecting.
Growing up I was a HUGE fan of making things. From paper towel tube marble runs to KNEX roller coasters, my parents’ home was a constant workshop for my creations. Therefore, its no surprise that even after getting my B.S. in mechanical engineering, I am still a building toy fan. Give me a bin of LEGOS and I would happily play for hours.
However, the market for building toys continues to expand beyond the traditional ones that we all know and love. There are some great new ones to explore! Recently 3 new toys have caught my eye that I just had to share.
With all of the news about the Magic School Bus coming back, I have a feeling I am going to get a lot more use out of my Ms. Frizzle costume. I think we are going to see a lot of STEM loving people wanting to create Ms. Frizzle costumes for their classrooms, events, Halloween, etc, so I figured now would be a good time to put together a little guide on how I put my Ms. Frizzle costume together!
I have a great love for this character. I grew up watching the show constantly, my favorite episode being the episode where the class explores the solar system. This prompted my choice to create her space inspired ensemble.
My 3D printers are definitely the most important engineering equipment in my life right now. I currently have two with plans to get more and I get asked a lot of questions about them, so I figured here is a good place to answer the most Frequently Asked Questions about my 3D printers.
When I go to in person events to talk about 3D printing, sure I get asked about the 3D printer I use, but surprisingly, the more common question I get asked is what all of the 3D printed objects are made from. I wanted to take a moment and clarify the material that goes into these machines to create final 3D printed products.
On a mission to show the art and creativity in science, technology and engineering.