My second semester of Geometry, in 9th grade, was the year I fell in love with math. That semester math just finally clicked for me. I remember truly enjoying using a compass to measure angles and loving my introduction into trigonometry. This was quickly becoming my favorite class.
When my family learned about my love of Geometry, they suggested I consider becoming an engineer when I grew up. I remember asking, ‘What’s an Engineer?’ The reply was always the same, ‘Engineers build things. If you like math and science you should think about becoming an engineer’. So that is what I did. I continued to advance in math throughout high school, ending with calculus my senior year. Then I went on to UCLA and majored in Chemical Engineering. However, three years into my studies I wasn’t enjoying my engineering classes and I decided to switch my major to Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
Despite not becoming an engineer, I’m so thankful that my family simply suggested I consider engineering as a career. Their suggestion helped shaped my life in a way I could not have imagined. That little seed they planted was the driving force behind my success in math and science throughout high school and college. Today I’m doing the same for girls in my community. I’m visiting schools giving fun science presentations and demonstrations, about the wonderful career opportunities in science and engineering. And I’m hosting an all girls conference in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), this fall at UC Santa Barbara.
If you have a daughter, sister, niece or young relative interested in math and science, I encourage you to suggest that they consider going to college and exploring the field of engineering or science. Your mere suggestion can change their life forever, in a great way!
- SparkTruck is STEM Education On Wheels (artofthestem.com)