It's been a pretty quiet week here, because Michelle W. was gone, and Sam was at a conference. But it meant I got to spend some quality time with the interview data! I spent most of the week working on grouping. When we coded the interviews, we did it by person. Now, in order to get some kind of useful information out of it, I had to group everything (for example, finding how many people said communication was an important skill). I discovered some interesting things, like females were much more likely to say people skills like communication and teamwork were important for an engineer to have, people were generally learning skills from college and high school classes, but believe inherent skill plays a large role, and when asked which skills they had, males wer much more likely to respond, "All of them!" I also got to look at the recent interviews, and find out what skills they are using in their current jobs. The list of the top skills they are using was different than the list from the junior year interviews - communication, teamwork, and problem solving jumped up, and math and science were less important. I think people undervalue developing these people skills when it comes to engineering, but they are really just as important, if not more so. This has encouraged me to work more on those skills, because as one person pointed out in their interview, doing great engineering work is nothing if you can't communicate it to other people.
On a more fun note, there were three people who specifically mentioned playing with Legos as a kid as a place they learned some skills! This was encouraging to me since I teach Lego robotics to middle school kids. It's nice to have confirmation that it really might impact their lives in a larger way. On that note, I had a fabulous meeting with Mark and Elizabeth (who I met last week)! I was able to share my experiences, and convinced them that we need to start 2 FIRST Lego League teams (www.usfirst.org), one at each of the two middle schools they are working with. Since I am the president of Robotica, the student group here on campus dedicated to teaching middle school robotics, I was able to commit the group to mentoring these new teams in the fall. I am very excited to be working with them to start these teams!!
I also created more test surveys in Qualtrics to answer Helen and Shannon's questions about timing (which required some emails to their tech support) and drop-down menu questions. I worked more on this ePortfolio (you can now read About Me!, my robotics experiences both in my interests and volunteer work, and look at the classes I have taken). I had to play tech support here in CDR one morning to get printing working (for some reason, everyone else seems to have Macs around here...) so I had to get it working on my computer and then help someone else (only two non-Mac uses in the building at the time, haha).
At the Design X meeting this week, us SURIs worked on brainstorming how to redesign this upstairs space we are using. We re-arranged the tables so we can all sit together and be more social, and have ideas for other improvements. We also had one last meeting with Sheri before she left for Germany for the rest of the summer, where Sam and the others who had been at the conference got to tell us a bit about that, and I got the materials about the Delta Design game, a new little project Michelle and I will be working on. We will be trying to scale the game down so it takes less time and does not invlove all four roles.
And finally, in the realm of life outside work, I went on a dorm trip to see Transformers 3, which was fun (and the movie was pretty good - I think the first one was the best though). In gymnastics, I started working on learning how to twist while I flip (which is going to take a long while to get!). It's been a good week :)