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Where are they now?

Many young women that participated in TWISTER have pursued a science-related career. We got in touch with a few and want to share their stories.

Pooja Soni
Boeing Company

TWISTER was my biggest influence as a senior in high school when it came time to deciding what I wanted to major in college. In fact, after my first TWISTER conference my freshman year, I knew that I wanted to major in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). I attended TWISTER for four years throughout high school and was always exposed to different areas of science and engineering each time. My favorite parts of the conferences were the hands-on activities. I got to engage in activities with professors from universities who brought in actual brains of various animals, several engineers from companies that designed consumer products from tires to diapers, scientists who design and built robots, and many more interesting women in science, technology, and engineering!

I was most intrigued by a presentation by Dr. Sandra J. Rosenthal from Vanderbilt University on nanotechnology. Combined with some of the activities I got to engage in, my decision to major in MSE was easy. I attended Georgia Tech and graduated in 2011. While in college, I did undergraduate research for three years on projects for the Department of Defense, and I even did a six month internship at Campbell Soup Company as a packaging engineer intern! Since June 2011, I have been an engineering project manager at The Boeing Company in Seattle. I love working with airplanes. I am so thankful to have had TWISTER to help me make decisions about my future, and to show me a glimpse of the neverending paths that exist for women to pursue in science, technology, and engineering!

Pooja Soni
Project Manager, BCA Global Engineering and Technology

Brenna Ditmar

I am a home school graduate and I did TWISTER from my sophomore year through my senior year. I am now attending Southern Polytechnic State University with the intention of transferring to Georgia Tech, and I am majoring in Aerospace Engineering.

At TWISTER, I went to sessions hosted by women in a variety of fields. Each of them demonstrated high points of their field with fantastic examples and hands-on activities, but most important to me was the contacts I made. I met a lunar scientist from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and her passion for meteorites and trips to Antarctica were contagious. She nformed me of a NASA program for high school students and I applied for an 8-week paid summer internship at the Marshall Space Flight Center. I worked on the arsenal designing a test platform for a new computing concept, with numerous mentors and fellow interns helping me along the way. I got to see robots, impact response tests and engine firing demonstrations.

Another great opportunity I had this summer was flying in small aircraft with the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter in Nashville. They sponsored me to attend the Air Academy summer camp in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where I took my first formal flight lesson, a helicopter ride, and learned basic skills for building an airplane from scratch. For my birthday in October my parents got me a ride in an aerobatic plane where I learned to fly aileron rolls, loops and hammerheads. My next goal is to get my private pilot’s license and eventually my aerobatic rating.

Sarah Nasab

I am currently attending UTK majoring in Physics and minoring in Spanish. During my first semester, I knew I wanted to follow a Pre-Med track, but I was so overwhelmed by the majors I had to choose from. I decided on Physics finally because I looked to my strengths which were science and math, and I knew that this major could help me in the medical career with the newer technology used in medicine. I am currently in the Chancellor's Honors Program, and in the future will be completing a senior thesis related to my major.

TWISTER definitely introduced me to so many career options. After attending an architecture seminar, I considered the career and researched the career reading books on the subject. However, I have chosen the medical track because I enjoy helping people, and at the same time I know I can conduct research in the field applying my knowledge of physics. I am glad I participated in TWISTER because the program showed me the variety of options I have in science and technology fields.


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