A FabFem's Experience Mentoring an All Girls High School Robotics Team
Contributed by Jamie Krakover
As someone who enjoys STEM outreach and inspiring the next generation of students to explore STEM fields, I’m always looking for outreach outlets within the community. The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has been a great way to get involved in STEM outreach through a variety of organizations and websites. Through SWE, I’ve volunteered with the girl scouts, at the FIRST robotics world championships, and participated on websites answering students’ questions about STEM fields. It was also SWE that introduced me to the FabFems website.
From the moment I logged on to FabFems, I knew this was the perfect avenue for me. A place to interface with, mentor, and inspire young women in STEM fields. I filled out a profile and submitted it to the website knowing the rest was in the hands of the students looking for mentors and advice.
About a month ago that opportunity knocked. With the ding of a single email, things changed extremely quickly. There was a high school student looking for a mentor for her all girls FTC robotics team. Funny enough, I had been looking for a FIRST team to mentor and had no idea where to even start. Even better her school was near my house. The stars were aligning.
I reached out to the team’s coach and a week later I was meeting the girls. Each week since, I’ve stopped by to work with the girls. We talk through ideas, brainstorm how to execute them, and work through issues as they arise.
But it isn’t just the girls who are learning. These young ladies are intelligent, determined, and driven. Every time I meet with them, they show me how bright the future is for STEM fields. There are no problems that are out of reach for them. They have shown me a sense of resourcefulness that I’d love to see more often in industry. And even better, they’ve helped me find a renewed sense of confidence in my knowledge and abilities.
Rampunzel Robotics Team
In my short time with FIRST FTC Team 9905, Rampunzel robotics, I’ve really enjoyed engaging these young women and watching how they problem solve. And it never would have happened without the FabFems. I can’t thank the FabFems organization enough for opening up an avenue that allowed these STEM enthusiasts to connect with a passionate mentor.
Jamie Krakover has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University and a MS in Aerospace Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. Jamie enjoys K-12 STEM outreach and mentoring and is a role model for FabFems. To learn more about Jamie visit her profile on the FabFems website.