Stanford University Class of 2013, Mechanical Engineering
I don't like not knowing the answers to questions. I have always been curious, and asked lots of questions because I want to know why things are the way they are. When I was in pre-school, my parents had to buy a book called The Handy Science Answer Book to try to answer some of my questions. I learned that most of my questions were about science, and thus science became my favorite subject in school.
But when I was in kindergarten, I was asked a question that stumped me: What did I want to be when I grew up? I did not have an answer, so I promptly set out trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. When I was in first grade, I saw the TV show NOVA: To the Moon and I decided I wanted to be an astronaut and go to the moon. I am the kind of person that when I make up my mind about something, I stick to it. So my parents, never ones to tell me "no," instead informed me that I needed to work really hard in school, and get good grades so I could go to a good college and study something like engineering.
I took this to heart, and have been working toward this ever since. When I was in fourth grade, I did a biography report on Sally Ride, the first woman astronaut. When I found out that she went to Stanford for college, I decided I wanted to go there too. As far as engineering goes, my mom is a mechanical engineer, and she explained that mechanical engineers are the people who design and build things. I have loved building things from an early age (I always played with my brother's Legos more than he did!), and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to join the FIRST Robotics team in high school where I got firsthand mechanical engineering experience. I quickly became an integral part of the build subteam, where I learned how to design, use tools and teamwork, weld, and work under time constraints. My experiences with robotics led me to officially choose Mechanical Engineering as my major, and I am fortunate to be able to pursue this here at Stanford! Currently, my other activities include gymnastics, wushu, and teaching robotics to middle school kids, and I have a deep interest in astronomy. And, to this day, I still want to be an astronaut!
Some of my fabulous volunteer crew of the Stanford FLL Tournament 2012 that I ran