Edge 2016 3

Hi, my name is Laura Walker and I am currently a second-semester sophomore at Hope College. When I came to Hope, I was originally thinking about being a communication and business management dual major. But after taking part in some of the initial classes I soon figured out that this major was not for me. I began struggling to find what major best fit my personality, so I started talking to some of the girls in my residence hall to see what they were pursuing.

That led me to a girl who lived just down the hall from me (and who is now one of my very best friends) who was majoring in engineering. When we would hang out after she got back from her Introduction to Engineering Lab she would tell me about all these amazing things that she was doing. She was building circuits, taking apart engines, and even making ethanol while I was just sitting in class taking notes! So I made the decision to jump into engineering, too!

During the first semester of my sophomore year I took that Introduction to Engineering course and it was everything that I expected and more. I was able to more fully develop my problem solving skills, dip my toes into many different disciplines of engineering, and create meaningful relationships with my professors. In the final part of the lab, we took part in a program called EDGE, where were were given a real-world problem and had to come up with a solution to fix it. For my lab section our real-world problem came from a man named Norm who has a degenerative muscle disease that is causing his arms and hands to become extremely weak. Because of this disease he is no longer able to put his socks on by himself. So our goal was to create a device that he could use to put on his socks. Being able to work with a team to try to create a device to help Norm was an amazing experience! Because of this program, I have the necessary skills to develop a solution to any engineering problem. I am very grateful that this lab and program brought me to a major that I love, and I would highly recommend this program to anyone even slightly considering Engineering; you will not be disappointed!

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