Coppell Student Media

MacKenzie Becker

MacKenzie Becker

MacKenzie Becker

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“At first, [Engineering] was not something I was very interested in, I had been doing fine arts, theater and choir all throughout middle school, and whenever they had the new endorsements, because my year was the first year they had endorsements, they asked us to pick what we wanted to go into in high school and endorsement we might like, and originally I was even leaning towards public service, I wasn’t really sure, but I never actually considered STEM at first. Until we did the 8th grade tours of the high school, and I met [Yakubovsky] for the first time, and he gave his whole ‘You’re a girl, you should join STEM it’ll be great!’ type spiel, but it did actually hit me and it made me curious about it, and I went home that day and said ‘Hey Mom, I think I might wanna try STEM,’ and she looked at me like I was crazy, because it was never something I had shown interest in, although looking back on my childhood, I can see kind of my logical mind. Originally, I thought it was going to be too hard for me, I wouldn’t be good enough to actually do it, but I tried it anyway and then ever since, I’ve grown in the program and absolutely loved it. The first year was the hardest, it was obviously a big culture shock, because I’m in a class of 32 kids, and maybe 3 girls, and that’s definitely a big change from choir, which was all girls. There were some hurdles I had to jump over and some obstacles I had to work around, but once you learn to do that, and you can show that you belong here and you are deserving and hard-working at it, you pave the way for yourself. Even though the boys can be sometimes a pain in the butt, they have also becomes some of my best friends and they’re really great and they do respect me, and I don’t feel like they look down on me. It’s kind of been about finding my way and feeling my way through it, but it’s definitely been a journey for sure. I had joined both [Society of Women Engineers] and Solar Car my freshman year, not really knowing what was going on. SWE really gave me a group of girls in STEM, and so SWE was there to help create that community for me, and Solar Car was a couple people saying ‘hey you should join this, it’d be fun,’ and I was like ‘Hey why not, sounds pretty cool,’ and in both of those clubs I’ve obviously only grown after joining them. I became president of both my junior year. With Solar Car, I was elected from my teammates, and that happened again this year, same thing with SWE. SWE over the years has evolved with me. When SWE first started, my freshman and sophomore year, it was very laid back, but starting my junior year, we started doing more projects, working with robots and programming and doing more things, and raised money for SWE and made shirts, and the program skyrocketed with that and got a lot more girls involved. Solar Car is my life, it’s what I do, it’s what I love, and I’m surrounded by one of the greatest friend groups I could possibly have while doing some of the hardest things I could possible do. It’s a big project, it’s a lot of work, a lot of time commitment. It’s probably the biggest time commitment I have to do this year, I’m here almost every day after school, as well as that weekend, and we’re actually out there from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. testing the car, which is great for tans, but not great for sleep schedules. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s something I’m very passionate about.”

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