Bungee’s journey into Engineering
How trying new things and combining interests led to potential career paths.
Having just completed her junior year, Bungee has big plans for the future. As someone who has always had an interest in designing things and exploring different fields, the options presented by Pathways at Burnsville High School were a perfect fit.
With a love for art and creating new things through interior design, and what she describes as a huge passion for aquariums, Bungee found that science subjects got her excited about school and allowed for her to use her creativity. She even had an aquarium project go to the state science fair in tenth grade and got great encouragement from her science teachers.
“Biology kicked off my love for science even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the outdoors as a kid,” said Bungee. “I hate bugs, even butterflies, but I really appreciate the environment and the need to preserve it to fight climate change. Pathways really helped me since I wasn’t totally sure what interested me yet.”
Her exploration really kicked off during junior year when she discovered engineering. After taking classes like accounting which she said felt important but not quite for her, her mother encouraged her to explore engineering and architecture, taking her to events to learn more. Having always enjoyed creating, science, and supporting the environment, the field of green architecture and environmental engineering combined a variety of interests. She was excited about the field, so she took classes like Civil Engineering and Architecture, alongside an AP Environmental Science course that was recommended by biology teacher Mr. Huemoeller.
“It was cool to have peers around me who were excited about the same things that I was,” said Bungee. “It was really interesting watching others work through their design process and I looked forward to that class every day. Science and engineering skills are really amazing because they show up in so many different fields.”
Through class trips, hands-on learning and joining the Women in STEM club, she learned more about options. Club advisor and science teacher Ms. Davidson encouraged students to explore different fields, organizing trips to businesses like Collins Aerospace in Burnsville.
“They employ every type of engineer there and it was so cool to see how many different jobs there are,” said Bungee. “I got to talk to someone who does additive manufacturing and 3D prints objects using nickel as well as see where they test flight parts to make sure they don’t freeze while they are in the air.”
Her hard work and curiosity has paid off. Bungee was among the winners for the 2023 Junior Book Awards with the U of M Norman Borlaug Science Achievement Award. Looking forward to next year, she plans to take engineering courses, honors and AP options, and other college level courses to get a head start on her likely next steps, pursuing a degree in Engineering. She wants to explore college options and learn CAD systems and basics of the field before eventually refining her focus to environmental engineering and green architecture.
“My advice to students is to try something that you’re not sure about to see how you like it,” said Bungee. “I personally think it’s important to not limit yourself to one pathway and to try different things while finding what interests you and makes you excited. I also think students should try engineering!”