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An Inside Look at the Life of an A-TECH STEM Girl: Arely Ochoa

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Arely Ochoh, a senior in the engineering program

Arely Ochoh, a senior in the engineering program

Allison Clark

Allison Clark

Arely Ochoh, a senior in the engineering program

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Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. A-TECH is famous for its STEM programs, but not for the females in them. What is it like being a girl in a STEM program in a school dominated by boys?

For Arely Ochoa, a senior in the engineering program, she has been underestimated by her male peers.

Although she is plenty capable, she can be excluded from activities or have had her abilities undervalued.

“A lot of the times they’ll just ignore you or they’ll expect for themselves to do the work,” said Ochoa, “They don’t expect that much from you.”

According to Ochoa, there are only six or seven girls in the graduating engineering class of 2018.

Ochoa’s engineering capstone project. (Photo taken by Arely Ochoa)

However, Ochoa has made it clear that she belongs in the engineering program. She has been in it for four years now, and has had plenty of opportunities to prove herself.

“I remember this one time we were mixing concrete,” said Ochoa, “They couldn’t mix it because they were all too weak, so I had to push them out the way and do it myself.”

Ochoa discovered that she wanted to be an engineer in the eighth grade when she started working on robotics.

“I realized that I don’t necessarily find it frustrating, but I kind of like it. I like having a challenge,” said Ochoa.

Ochoa aspires to be a geological engineer, which she learned by participating in a program called the Summer Business Institute (SBI).

She applied for an internship at SBI when she was a sophomore. After a series of interviews and a look at her transcript, she was accepted.

There, she met her mentor, who is a civil engineer.

“She’s really interested in geology, and I guess she got me interested too,” said Ochoa.

She will be double-majoring at UNLV in Civil Engineering and Geology this fall.

Engineering is not just for boys. Arley Ochoa shows that girls in engineering can be powerful and determined. By aspiring to continue in engineering, she is blazing a trail for other girls who want to be engineers.

 

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