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Lincoln-Way East student attends intensive summer engineering program
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

From June 17 through July 19, 2018, Griffin senior Camryn Shirley attended the Multiethnic Introduction to Engineering (MITE) Program at Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana. Shirley learned of the program through her older brother who previously attended MITE in 2016. This year’s summer program hosted 20 students for nearly five weeks.

Student schedules were grueling. Shirley worked 16-hour days with very few breaks. Each morning began with classes such as SAT Math, Chemistry and English. After classes, students worked on projects related to different types of engineering. However, the long days did not reduce the intensity of take-home assignments. “There was always homework and everyone stayed up late studying for our weekly test,” says Shirley.

Although her love of science has intensified since her attendance to MITE, Shirley has always showed an interest in the subject; upon entering high school, she knew she wanted to explore different science fields. “When I joined Science Club, I was in awe of all the possibilities,” she says.

Lincoln-Way East Science Department Chair, Maria Wilson, helped pique her interest. “Ms. Wilson supported me with every opportunity I had,” Shirley says. “Ms. Wilson will always be one of my biggest influences in general. She helped me gain confidence in myself, and showed me that I am a strong, powerful and intelligent woman. I will always appreciate Ms. Wilson and everything that she has done for me.”

Despite the intense schedule of MITE, Shirley loved the experience. Before attending, she knew she wanted to pursue medicine, but Shirley says the experience helped her narrow down her interest. “With this program, MITE showed us different majors from Civil Engineering to Chemical Engineering. MITE provided me with more options to achieve my career goal. I grew to love biology, and decided to apply for Biomedical Engineering as my major next fall.”