Exposure to engineering is key to inspiring kids to enter into STEM fields, especially when it comes to underrepresented or disadvantaged groups. We believe that part of our mission is to encourage young people from all backgrounds and walks of life to gain that exposure. These gifted young minds are churning with valuable new ideas, inventions, and innovations—and we’re here to support them.
Read on for an inside peek at how Treetown Tech is fostering exciting opportunities for the next incoming crop of engineers.
Introducing Treetown Tech’s 2022 interns
Treetown Tech welcomed several amazing interns this summer through both traditional University intern recruitment and an exciting partnership with the Michigan Founders Fund which helps provide paid internships, mentoring, and resources to underrepresented students in tech entrepreneurship.
Sydney Dillon, a rising sophomore at Michigan State University, Megan Beemer, a rising junior at the University of Michigan, and Amanda Liss, a rising senior at the University of Michigan, joined Treetown Tech this summer to learn alongside Treetown’s experienced engineers and make fantastic contributions on client projects too.
Sydney’s prior experience with CAD provided a great launching point for her engagement with Treetown Tech’s clients as she experienced designing, 3D printing, and testing. This summer the Treetown team coached Sydney on the ins and outs of engineering: draft angles, fluid dynamics, and preparing models for injection molding.
Megan Beemer spent her summer honing her programming skills while learning to work with data sets as she created new tools to analyze data and provide insights from test programs. Megan also used her background in Industrial and Operations Engineering to help improve processes and tools for the company.
Amanda studies biomedical engineering and has diversified her education by familiarizing herself with the foundations of electrical engineering. In addition to performing tests for many Treetown Tech clients, Amanda learned how to design, program, and build electrical boards.
Connecting with the Ann Arbor community
Sydney and Amanda also lent a hand during a lunch and learn event with Girls Group Ann Arbor. Girls Group supports high school students in learning emotional and economic self-sufficiency so they can be successful in college and beyond. A group of twenty girls with varied interests (including engineering) participated in a demo day at Treetown Tech.
During their tour of the facility, the girls learned what the engineers get up to in several departments. They watched the 3D printers at work, learned about coding and code design in the electronics lab, and observed injection molding in the machine lab. The cherry on top? How to use a laser cutter for rapid prototyping!
The group’s visit closed with a Q&A featuring our fabulous interns as well as some of our staff. They were surprised to learn how many different branches of engineering are open to them, including biomedical, software, and electric. Many were particularly intrigued by how art and engineering overlap in the industrial design field.
Engaging the support network
Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Learning from a mentor is crucial for young engineering minds to thrive. Lauren, one of our mechanical engineers, has been in contact with a member of the Girls Group who’s interested in becoming a biomedical engineer. She will now have a mentor to connect her with national societies like the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), an organization that has supported women engineers for seven decades.
How can you help?
Anyone can help by encouraging children and teens of all ages to be interested and involved in organizations with STEM focuses. Check with your local universities, community centers, or recreation departments for events in your area; also check with organizations such as SWE, FIRST Robotics, NSBE, or even your YMCA for additional programs and activities. There are countless organizations working to make engineering and science accessible to everyone. Many programs are also in need of adult volunteers who also want to be involved.
Additionally, our team here is always excited to chat with anyone interested in learning more about our company or the STEM disciplines. We also regularly host interns and are happy to work with community groups in the Ann Arbor area. Contact us if you are interested in learning more.