Silicon Valley - Day 3
28 October 2016
By Vicky Jenkins Year 11 and Mrs Lloyd
Today we were up at 7:30am as today we were going to Carnegie Mellon, which is linked to Ames NASA Centre and then on to Stanford University.
We left at 8:45am, and, horrifically, we brought the British weather with us to California as it was pouring with rain at this point.
The Carnegie Mellon facility in Silicon Valley is a specialist Engineering Centre and as linked to the space research. The main university is in Pittsburgh.
Arriving at Carnegie Mellon at 9:20am, we had breakfast with some of the female students who were studying for their PhD’s and Masters in Technology. They are part of the INI the Information Networking Institute and in particular the Womene@ini. After breakfast we had a small tour of the small campus. Three of the main interesting facts they told us was: their campus used to be a hospital, 50% of applicants are now female and they have a 3D printing facility. We got to see a number of Drones in development.
We then went outside where we were talked to about drones and how they were using some drones to help with their projects and how they want to understand technology better. In particular to develop the need for improved mobile technology.
The main aspect of the morning was to work on ‘Hackathons’. These are design problem solving think tanks. We were split into three groups and each team had to come up with a problem to solve. Working with mentors from the university we worked on possible solutions. Each team had to consider the roles within a project team. After lunch we had to present our findings. This was followed by an inspiring ‘TED talk’ by Richard Lack from Gighya.
Once the tour and sessions at Carnegie Mellon were done, we took some quick pictures at the entrance with the space shuttle and got over to the NASA Ames Research Centre since the two are linked. We looked around the small station where they had a small section of a real shuttle which did actually go to space and we got to see the evolution of space suits. The group made a small stop at the shop before we had to board the mini bus or get in the car to make our way over to Stanford University.
We rolled up to Stanford University at 4:00pm. Stanford was opened in 1891 and is the size of 97 Disneylands. The first part of our tour was being guided around the sports halls and other facilities while being given the history of Stanford itself, why it was built. The inspiration behind it which was “it was aimed to be beautiful like the east coast universities, but different than on the east coast”. We were told about what Stanford look for in applicants and about its success as one of the top universities in the world. The campus was stunning and inspired many of us visiting.
Evening came around quickly, we had dinner which Shannon Hogue Brown who was a top software engineer. She wanted to know what we had been told before and told us about her life and what got her into coding and why she wanted to do it and how being a well - rounded person and how communication can be helpful and why it’s important in any field of work you go into. The main bits of information she gave us was to “put yourself in unconformable positions because then you know you’re growing as a person”.