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Curious Minds: Final Brown University Engineering Class Showcase

For the fourth year, a group of Lincoln School students has immersed themselves in a college-level Introduction to Engineering Class at Brown University. The class of 22 girls got hands-on with human-centered design and the framework of engineering principles, by researching, designing, and finally building both an iphone dock and a myoelectronic prosthetic arm.

Facilitated by Iris Bahar, Brown Engineering professor and a past Lincoln parent, taught for the second year by Lauren Hazlett, a fourth year graduate student, and assisted by two Brown undergraduate students, this year’s class was the biggest yet.

“This class has grown and has only gained momentum in four years we’ve been doing it,” said Suzanne Fogarty, head of Lincoln School. “This partnership with Brown is a window into college for all of you and it’s a part of our school’s mission in action: to put Lincoln into the world and bring the world back to Lincoln.”

The class covered and explored concepts like vectors, forces, circuits, electronics, cardiac tissue engineering, clean room spaces, in the newly completed Brown Engineering building, completed in the fall of last year. For some, it was confirmation of lifelong aspirations. For others, it was simply a way to learn about a new field. Either way, each and every student got something critical out of the class.

“What I do see every year is we have a bunch of very curious girls who want to try this out. You don’t want to have to know ahead of time that you want to be an engineer. You just need curious minds. And because you have those in spades, you’re getting such important experience,” said Bahar.

“That’s right,” echoed Fogarty. “Whether you become engineers or not, we know this is an industry in which women are underrepresented. Exposure is essential and you are learning a language and going through an innovative and iterative process that you’ll take with you wherever you go. We need to close the representation gap in this field, and you girls are no doubt the ones who can do that.”

The final class included a gallery walk of all the finished work, with insight into the process behind them. With robotic arms whirring and a packed house of parents and community members, the work these Lincoln students had done over the semester truly spoke for itself.

“This is my second year teaching this class, and it’s so much fun for me and to be all of your wonderful, hilarious and brilliant daughters,” said Hazlett. “After having worked closely with them over the past 15 weeks, I can tell you something you already know: these young women have done, and will keep doing, amazing things in the world.”


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