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Derryfield Senior Chosen for Technology Program

Elaine Loft
Derryfield senior Abigail Van Dyke was recognized on April 19 by the BAE Corporation of Merrimack, NH for her participation in their Women in Technology (WiT) program. Each year, up to 24 local female high school juniors and seniors are chosen to participate in the twelve-week course.

Alyssa Partridge, WiT program coordinator, described the course of study. 
 
“Each week a BAE Systems employee subject matter expert (SME) teaches the participants about an engineering discipline and then does a hands-on activity. Throughout the sessions, the BAE Systems employees answer questions about college, career paths, and what the day-to-day of an engineer looks like.”
 
The disciplines covered include:  
  • Electrical Engineering: students build circuits on a breadboard and learn to use a digital multimeter
  • Microwave / RF Engineering: students build an AM radio transmitter on a breadboard
  • Antenna Design: students build a directional antenna reflector to increase cell phone and wifi reception
  • Digital Signal Processing: students examine, manipulate, and filter audio signals
  • Mechanical Engineering: students design and assemble a solar robot to meet a challenge
  • Software Engineering: students complete a coding challenge using an Arduino
When asked what drew her to the WiT program, Van Dyke said, “The main reason I decided to apply was the hands-on experience it offered. You can hear or read about something all you want, but it doesn't compare to actually doing something in my opinion. My favorite module was probably microwave/RF engineering. I had fun setting it up and fiddling with the signal. I couldn't believe it when the audio started coming through!”
 
With college decisions due in a little over a week, Van Dyke added, “I plan on studying marine science in college, as I am interested in ocean exploration, but I haven't decided whether I want to go into the tech or research side of things.”
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