The following is an interview with Aubury Erickson (B.S. in Mechanical Engineering degree candidate), who offered her view on the benefits and need for STEM education.
Q: How did you gain an interest in STEM fields, and what industry do you want to pursue post graduation?
A: My mom is the catalyst for my interest in STEM. I’ve always liked math and science, but never thought about a career in engineering until my mom encouraged me and introduced me to “Star Trek.” I watched the “Voyager” series and felt inspired.
Q: Why is it important to get more students, including females, interested in STEM education?
A: STEM is our future, and it is what will help save the environment, both human and non-human lives, and make everyone generally happier. More women need to get involved, so that the two genders can be more equal. Young girls should be empowered to do anything their hearts desire.
Q: What advice would you give to female students concerned about the gender disparities in STEM fields?
A: Don’t let it hinder you. The ONLY way the gender disparities are going to go away is if we make them go away. Follow the career path that you want, and never let anything stop you.
Q: What projects are you working on at Florida Poly?
A: I am the treasurer for the University’s student chapter of the American Association of Mechanical Engineers, and I am involved in building a human-powered vehicle for the competition. I am also heavily involved in the mentoring program through the Women in STEM Leadership Program (WISP), as the chair for the speaker committee. Currently, WISP is setting up a long-term mentoring program with local middle schools and possibly high schools to encourage young women to pursue STEM fields and get students excited about science.
To read the full interview, please visit Florida Poly’s admission blog.