Considering everything she does, it’s hard to believe Danielle Boyer is eighteen; she’s is currently in the middle of a gap year between high school and college, which she took specifically so she could continue her work with FIRST teams, students, and the under served communities in and around Detroit, MI. She spends her days working at InVase Technologies as a project assistant. Her evenings are devoted to toting her blue box of 3D prints and robotics equipment to her students’ homes, where she can teach kids robotics and engineering concepts. She also volunteers at robotics competitions, driving for hours to set up, organize, and judge events. And she finds time to go running almost every day.
It’s a lot, but like Danielle says, “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love working with the kids, I love new projects. I have a lot more I want to accomplish before the year is out.” What else is there? Well, there’s her work with SOLIDWORKS Reseller DASI Solutions. DASI Solutions is going to help her produce an Every Kid Gets A Robot tutorial. “They won the #1 Digital Content Award in NAM at SOLIDWORKS World 2018 and I am so excited for their help!” she said. “We’re going to have a great working relationship. I’m very excited.”
Danielle is also ramping up her involvement in her local SWUGN community. She’s trying to expand the reach of SWUGN in her area and teach her community about SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids and student perspectives. The area surrounding Detroit is an engineering hub, after all. Danielle said, “There are so many users who don’t know there are groups…I think that there’s good potential, especially involving young kids [with SWUGN]. That’s where my interests lie. I like talking to adults, but kids are more fun.”
By the time this feature is published, Danielle will have talked to so many more kids. She will have completed her second annual presentation at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit, titled “An 18 Year Old’s Take: Development Strategies for Remarkable STEM Education.” And she’s going to put more effort towards marketing The STEAM Connection’s coloring books and Every Kid Gets A Robot.
Then there’s college. Danielle wants to stay close to her FIRST community and all the people who support her while working towards a degree in mechanical engineering. Eventually, she would like to attend Cornell University and join their exemplary engineering program. But for now, her students and loved ones come first. “I care about working with my teams and the community, Troy and Pontiac,” Danielle explained.
Of course, a break for Danielle means she will still be teaching classes and working with more FIRST teams. “I started seventeen teams this season. I plan on starting more and giving them more support. It’s a continuous learning process for me. I didn’t know everything starting out this year—I still don’t know everything, but I know a lot more than I when I started teams last [year],” she said. “I want to help start more teams and help the other teams last beyond inception.” Her focus on sustainability in STEAM is always there.
Building the future is hard work. Danielle Boyer is a hard worker. From her past as a ten-year-old animal science teacher to her present as a STEAM mentor and community builder, and off to a future full of unfathomable potential, Danielle’s journey as a student and an educator is ever evolving. “I want to teach other people how to work with kids,” she told me. “I’ve had people tell me that they started working with kids because of what I’ve said and what I’ve done, and that they’ve started focusing more on STEAM.” And that is what every educator wants to hear.
Thank you to Danielle Boyer for taking the time to talk with SOLIDWORKS. Learn more about Danielle and contact her here. Learn more about The STEAM Connection here. All images courtesy of Danielle Boyer.