There is a lot going on in the shop and feeling comfortable enough to step up and help can take some time. We’re going to demystify some of those processes so that you can join in with the boys with unwavering confidence. From hand tools to power tools and all the nuts and bolts in between, you’ll discover tidbits of information that will help you in the future as you grow in your engineering, design and robotics careers.
How can attendees practice the skills that are taught in the “How-To” camp?
“How-To” camp is teaching students how to use basic tools. We are going to be focused on the house, the car, the shop, and safety. These are everyday lessons that will make it easier for the students who attend to do basic tasks.
Why did you decide to create this “How-To” camp?
I grew up following my father around and doing these basic tasks. Learning how to: swing a hammer, give proper measurements, check the oil in my car, change a flat tire. It’s important for young girls to have the confidence to do this. Especially when peer pressure and being teasing by the boys makes it seem as though it is something that only boys should do. It is important to know how to do all of these tasks that we are going to teach you regardless of your career path.
How did you learn these skills?
I was lucky to grow up on a horse farm and in a construction family. I was expected to do these tasks. It wasn’t a question of if, it was a matter of when. I was driving a tractor at the age of five and swinging a hammer before that. I have always been that one who volunteers to help do anything just so that I can learn how to do new skills. Even if I don’t know how to do it, I jump in and learn. I have been like that my entire life. Being open to learning new things and trying new experiences is one of the most valuable traits of being an incredible human being.
What type of projects do you do?
I do everything from projects around the household to projects on my car. It’s something new every week. For me, downtime is doing something around the house to make it prettier – working in my garden or cutting the grass. This past month, I have completed a lot of maintenance projects on my F150 to use as segments in our camps. A lot of wrenching that I never imagined myself doing. I think knowing how to do a variety of just random, fun, cool things helps to keep your brain flowing. Helps to keep you young and creative.
Do you encourage young girls to create their own shops or help out in other shops?
I know that space is limited for most so you probably can’t have your own shop at your house, but I do think it’s important for you to have your own tool bag. I also think it is important as a young teenager to volunteer to help with anything that you can. The more things that you try to do and learn to do, the more you’ll realize what you do want to do. You’ll also discover which tasks you would like to be able to pay somebody else to do.
Do you think this camp will still be beneficial for those who don’t want to take the engineering path and they’re higher education?
Yes! This camp is all about teaching you the basics. Whether you want to become an engineer or not it’s important to know how to do basic maintenance around the house, on your car, and how to properly use tools. Regardless of which career path you have in mind, we just want to teach you the basics so that you don’t have to rely on others to do the simple tasks. So that you feel comfortable in any situation!
Do you have any advice for attendees who may feel frustrated or feel like getting up during the camp?
First of all, I think you should never give up. It’s all in where you focus your mind and your mental self-talk. It’s better to feel these frustrations and voice them while surrounded by like-minded girls and with adults who will help you – to be around those who will support and encourage you. It’s not easy working in a man’s world when you have never picked up these tools or completed these tasks. We want to take that worry and mystique away so that you feel comfortable doing this regardless of who is around you.
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