Why did you choose to participate in a STEM program?

STEM is a challenge for me. It is constantly increasing in difficulty and requiring me to do my favorite thing – learn! I love the rigor presented by STEM programs. There are concrete answers to every question, and nothing is subjective. I also like being able to see where my logic was flawed and having the opportunity to fix my mistakes.

How did you decide which STEM field was right for you?

When I began school, math quickly became my favorite subject and still is today! I also fell in love with the human body along the way. The complexities of each individual component dazzled me, and I began to dream about being a doctor. Medicine, however, lacks the amount of math I was seeking, and engineering gave me the opportunity to study both math and the human body.

What is a typical day like in your program at Indiana University Bloomington?

Many of my days consist of group work. We come up with design plans, budget the project, and ultimately create new and/or better systems. We also learn strategies that will help us with our projects such as new ways to write code or attach objects. No matter what we are doing, I am always learning and doing new and exciting things!

What was the most memorable moment of your STEM program?

This may sound silly, but my favorite moment of the Informatics, Computer and Engineering program was when I coded the Indiana University fight song! It was my first experience writing code and I had to translate the sheet music into code that would send an output to a speaker to play the song. I also had to determine proper gaps between the individual notes to create the correct timing. It was so exciting when it finally worked and I was able to show it off to everyone – including my mom, who got an excessively long video!

What advice do you have for teens looking at STEM degrees and/or career paths?

Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Even if you aren’t confident about your ability with a certain skill, get out of your comfort zone and go for it! Explore every possibility open to you but know that many STEM degrees and careers are very time consuming and require a lot of determination. You can do i