Budding engineer heads to Cal Poly camp


For the Madera Tribune

Incoming rookie Matilda Torres Yasmeen Elabdeny stands with her “lavender” group while attending EPIC camp at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo earlier this month.

While some students were enjoying their summer vacation and preparing for their next year of school, Sherman Thomas STEM graduate Yasmeen Elabdeny was given tools for her future profession.

Elabdeny was recently promoted from the STEM program and will be entering her freshman year at Matilda Torres High School.

Interested in engineering, Elabdeny applied and was accepted to attend the EPIC (Engineering Possibilities in College) camp at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to learn more about engineering.

“It’s like a science camp,” she says. “I want to be an agricultural engineer or a computer scientist.”

Her grandfather got her interested in agricultural engineering. During this time, the Sherman Thomas STEM program got her interested in computer engineering.

“My grandfather owned a farm some time ago,” she said. “He had lots of cows and fruit and stuff. I’ve always been interested in that and wanted to get into the ag. Sherman Thomas helped me along the way. I have always been interested in agriculture. When I got into STEM, it really got me interested in computer engineering. I got into robotics and other stuff.

Elabdeny first applied for the camp and a scholarship to attend the camp. She was one of 600 students selected for the camp out of 4,000 applicants.

“My school was emailing about this camp when my sister went to Sherman Thomas,” Elabdeny said. “My mother remembered it. There was a scholarship website. We could have paid for the camp. I applied for the scholarship and a few days later they told me that I had been accepted and received a scholarship.

Although Cal Poly is her #2 school she wants to go to, this was an opportunity for Elabdeny she couldn’t pass up. Stanford is her first choice and she will try to go to camp there next year.

“I thought it was amazing to be able to go to Cal Poly,” she said. “I had never heard of the camp before. When my mother told me about it, I told her that I wanted to go. It sounded like a great and fun experience, and it was.

At the camp, the students were separated into different color groups. Its color was lavender. Prior to camp, she filled out a form telling camp what areas she would be interested in.

“The ones I got were to make a mini surfboard and a fire,” she said. “Every day we had our engineering class. The mini surfboards, we made them in epoxy and foam. They showed us how to do it. We cut it, sanded it, and vacuum sealed it. We were even able to spray paint it.

His group’s main project was to build a car from the materials they received. His group placed second overall.

“We didn’t have a lot of material to make a motor car,” Elabdeny said. “We got second place even though our engine didn’t run completely.”

For her fire activity, she had to protect her house from fire.

“We had wooden crates for our fire class,” she said. “We had to buy materials with counterfeit money for the house to protect it from the fire. Our team used aluminum foil and masking tape. Our whole house was covered in aluminum because we thought it would stop the fire, and it did.

During the four-day camp, she learned many engineering basics. She spent the four days on the Cal Poly campus and was treated like a student.

“We have roommates. It was like a real college experience. It was really cool,” she said. “I had a very good experience.”

Elabdeny is excited to go to high school and is looking forward to joining the world champion robotics team and wants to do some computer programming.

“I’m super excited for high school. I’m counting the days. She said.

Elabdeny would like to design good computers and be able to sell them at low prices.

“At STEM, we had to take a computer apart, looking at all the chips and everything,” she said. “I thought it was really cool. When I grow up I want to design my own computer and sell it. I want to sell it cheaper than other computers because there are no computers that are good and cheap. That’s the kind I want to do.

Going to EPIC camp just reinforced the idea of ​​becoming an engineer.

“It really made me become even more of an engineer. I’m excited to start my future career on this now,” she said.


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