“We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and will go away, but there will always be science, engineering, and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics.” ~Katherine Johnson
So I got to hang out at the STEM Career Expo held at Carnegie Mellon University yesterday where I spoke about How Losing My Sight Expanded My Vision during a breakout session. The room was full of amazing young ladies who are blind and visually impaired and eager to make their mark. It was an honor for me to talk with these students and assure them that with desire they can achieve anything.
The agenda was simple:
- During introductions, we shared our passions and what brought us to the STEM event
- We talked about eating elephants. You know elephants like:
- an elephant called deceit
- the elephant of self-doubt
- an elephant called the naysayers
- the elephant of blindness
- A day at the office is like an episode on Survivor
- a little guidance on navigating office politics
- Then lastly I shared a few resources
- Veronica With Four Eyes www.veroniiiica.com (a college student studying information technology and assistive technology)
- How to Win Friends and Influence People for Teen Girls by Donna Dale Carnegie
- The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
I have a recording of the breakout session which I’ll share once the video is edited down to a couple of minutes.
A Resounding Success
While I was initially concerned about how the STEM event would turn out, my worries were unnecessary. When I couldn’t get into my Spanx I was sure it was a bad omen. Had I got them on I probably would have ended up in the ER because I couldn’t breathe. See how things work out?
At any rate, I met this handsome robot named Baxter built by the brilliant CMU technology students. Baxter was designed to assist blind and visually impaired people with navigation in an indoor setting. As a fan of Lost in Space, I was so blown away by a life-size robot I can’t remember his capabilities. Isn’t he the cutest though?
STEM Featured Image Description:
My Vision Rehabilitation Teacher (Stephanie Van) and I are standing on either side of an easel holding a poster board of the Bold Blind Beauty breakout session. We are outside of the conference room where the session was held. Stephanie has short blond hair and is wearing eyeglasses, a pink floral flowy tunic top, and black pants. I’m wearing a navy flyaway jacket trimmed in a gold print with navy and gold print pants with a cream top and cream shoes. Both Stephanie and I are posing with our white canes.