STEM Career Expo: Adventure Of A Lifetime

STEM Featured image description is in the body of the post.

“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

Photo of the braille bound agenda, information on Bold Blind Beauty, and resources. The cover is a translucent textured plastic. Braille copies were provided by Miamia Accessible Media Project.
Braille bound materials provided by Miami Accessible Media Project

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

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?

In this photo I am posing with the robot named Baxter. He sits on a gray base with wheels, has a black stand (body) and red arms. There is also a small screen where his face would be.
Me and my beau Baxter.


6 foot vertical banner of Abigale and Bold Blind Beauty contact information
6 foot vertical banner of Abigale

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.

Published by Stephanae

👩🏾‍🦯 | INTJ | HSP | Collector of knowledge | Alpaca Fanatic “If I stop to kick every barking dog, I am not going to get where I'm going.” ~Jackie Joyner-Kersee Hi, I'm Steph! I'm a highly sensitive proud introvert and a recovering people-pleaser. These traits or quirks used to bother me because I always felt out of place until I began a recent process of self-acceptance. While I'm still a work in progress, I view my quirks as my superpowers and am grateful that they contribute to who I am today.

4 thoughts on “STEM Career Expo: Adventure Of A Lifetime

  1. I can’t tell you how excited I was when The Bureau of Blindness and Vision Services asked me to participate in this session. My only wish is that there was more time to explore the other sessions. It was a fabulous event.

  2. I know right??? I was so excited when Stephanie Van (she was my rehab teacher a few years back) reached out to me to ask me if I’d be interested in speaking at the event. I’m still just a tad miffed that I didn’t get to meet the woman from NASA or go to the Carnegie Science Center Fab Lab but I’ll get over it🤣 But in all seriousness it was a fabulous event and I hope to be included in future programs.

    And how cool is it that your son is so involved in STEM. I’m proud of him as well!! Way to go!💖

  3. How wonderful for you to speak at STEM. I must admit this is an area close to my heart with my science maths mad teenage son very much part of the STEM challenge here in Australia. He took out a major award last year in which I was so proud.

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