Background: optional read
When I was high school, robotics was my passion, it was a cause I could get behind and a mindset I would champion. When I went to college, I was enrolled in the mechanical engineering program at a well known research university. I discovered in my first semester that shockingly, I wanted nothing to do with engineering. I felt like there was a disconnect with what I had been learning in FIRST, I was asking myself, “where is the building, teamwork, and innovation?!” Fortunately, I was able to discover exactly what I was looking for.
You see that object next to you? Yeah, pick it up. Have you ever wondered why that object was the way it was? Why the button was put there or why it’s shaped like that? Well, someone did, and they were most likely a product designer. A product designer not only considers the feasibility and mechanics behind a product, but also the user experience and aesthetic. Right now, this may seem silly, but it’s becoming a BIG deal around the world. In fact, NEA expects employment for product designers to jump to about 29% in the next few years, which is equal to the demand for nurses and computer scientists combined. Plus, a product designer can end up in just about any field, from toys to medical devices, people are creating innovative solutions.
By now, I hope I have your attention. Just like robotics, product design is that perfect blend of engineering, business, and design. It isn’t for everyone, but if you find yourself interested in more than just one component of FIRST, it may be time to consider product design for yourself. If you still don't think product design is like robotics, take a look at a project I made last year for a class called Toy Product Design.
This class gave me the opportunity to explore a variety of software like SolidWorks, the Adobe Suite, and Rhino as well as explore tons of fabrication techniques like a CNC router, plasma cutter, and laser cutter. If I stuck with a traditional engineering degree, I doubt I'd get to experience all of these tools until maybe my senior year, but I'm so happy to say that this is what I get to do every semester until I graduate.
This blog was written by Claudia Dube. If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule.
Be a guest
Do you want to be a guest blogger for FIRST Ladies? You can write about a topic of your choice! Please email us the completed blog and track your creation using this link: