There was a flair of competition in the air. Students from different schools were present striving to place first in the event. Holding my boomilever and mousetrap car, I felt a sense of unease yet confidence at the same time. At that moment, the countless hours I spent designing, building, testing and repeating the process flashed before my eyes. The thought brought in a jumble of feeling felt during the process filled with both frustration and satisfaction. This created a sense of accomplishment. and renewed confidence in my decision to study mechanical engineering.

There was a flair of competition in the air. Students from different schools were present striving to place first in the event. Holding my boomilever and mousetrap car, I felt a sense of unease yet confidence at the same time. At that moment, the countless hours I spent designing, building, testing and repeating the process flashed before my eyes. The thought brought in a jumble of feeling felt during the process filled with both frustration and satisfaction. This created a sense of accomplishment. and renewed confidence in my decision to study mechanical engineering.

During my sophomore year, I joined Science Olympiad to explore science and engineering. My first exposure to engineering and its process came from designing the mousetrap car and boomilever. My efforts on the mousetrap awarded me a third-place medal on the first try and a good load score for the boomilever.

But then came the most difficult and also the most satisfying part of the whole process — optimizing the design. I found myself 3D printing different wheels for ideal weight to using my knowledge from physics classes to create rough mathematical models. I went online watching YouTube videos and read websites along with communicating with other students on scioly.org, bouncing ideas around.

For my boomilever, I explored an online software, Autodesk Inventor with the help of my engineering teacher, Mr.Beesly. I drew force diagrams while also performing stress tests on software combining my love for physics and engineering.

I felt a sense of excitement and thrill with each test run on both the computer and the track, reflecting hours of effort. To chase that thrill I spent hours on the computer to even unintentional long showers pondering about the design.

Moreover, I signed up for more events the following years from model planes and helicopters to coding for a thermometer. Each event brought in a totally different challenge motivating me to explore various tools like 3D printing, stress tests, computational fluid dynamics software, and java.

It’s difficult to find a major that can combine all the varied interests. However, with mechanical engineering that flexibility is possible. This flexibility is great for versatility providing proficiency in programming, electronics, construction, and much more. Additionally, the knowledge of multiple industries will help to provide the capability to work in designing parts for space missions to reduce the agonizing noise in Chicago’s Metra or HVAC for skyscrapers and much more.

College Student