We have wrapped another successful summer with our interns, Grace Ruiz Cooper and Sony Gajjala. As undergraduate engineering students at the University of Delaware, they will start their third year this fall. Grace and Sony had a busy summer working on their projects, contributing to our expanding curriculum, and testing their work.
Grace and Sony were tasked with developing a new lesson for our Orthopaedics In Action, in-classroom curriculum. The high quality lesson, Fracture Puzzles, includes fracture bone models, worksheets, presentation, and instructional videos. The interns field tested this lesson at summer camps, where they lead classrooms of middle school students.
Using the mechanical engineering lab at the University of Delaware as their work space, our interns had access to useful tools such as CAD software, laser cutters, 3D printers, casting materials, and light machinery. They used these resources to deliver high quality products for their assigned projects this summer.
As in any project, our interns had their fair share of challenges. Conforming to the time constraint, project guidelines, and multiple concept reiterations was frustrating at times. As future engineering professionals, they know these challenges will come with the territory.
The grand finally of their internship was a trip to San Francisco, CA where they had the chance to explore the city and positively impact local high school students.
“In California we got to personally impact these young girls lives at a POP at the Stanford campus in Palo Alto. It was amazing seeing another group of 40 girls establish a greater confidence within themselves and gain knowledge from the surgeons and medical students. We then traveled to San Francisco and after some sightseeing (of course), we traveled to UCSF to observe Perry co-founder Dr. Lisa Lattanza at the Hand, Elbow and Upper Extremity Surgery Center. Having the opportunity to see how engineering directly relates to the human body and getting to watch three different procedures was incredible.” -Grace
“California was AMAZING! The Perry Outreach Program we attended was so much fun and some of the girls are emailing me with high school and college questions even now! I loved it. It was such a great experience. The food, the travel, the people I went with, everything was great!” -Sony
Sony and Grace also wanted to offer some advice to college students looking for internship opportunities.
Sony recommends keeping in touch with professors and mentors. As she puts it, “They are the gateway into learning new things and experiences. Professor Buckley was a great mentor and I learned so much from her about not only engineering but also leadership. Also GOOGLE! All you need to do is put your best foot forward and so many opportunities will come through.”. Grace also adds that consistency and persistence is key, “The advice I would have to students looking for internships is to apply everywhere. Ten places might say no before the 11th says yes.”
We will surely miss our interns but wish them the best as they continue their engineering studies.
This internship was made possible through financial support of the University of Delaware’s Service Learning Scholars Office. We are grateful to the Service-Learning Scholars Program and University of Delaware Department of Mechanical Engineering for supporting our third amazing duo of Perry Initiative interns.