Marlene Escobedo, 17, recalls being curious forever.
After receiving a Teck Trek Scholarship to attend a girls’ summer science camp in the 5th grade, her dream of becoming an aerospace engineer was born and has been with her ever since. She realized you don’t have to be a whiz at everything — you just have to be willing to try hard, sometimes really hard, to achieve what seems impossible.
Scott Robertson, 27, a virtual prototyping engineer for Lockheed Martin, mentored Escobedo during her Lockheed internship.
“Scott can really break things down and is a great teacher, so I wanted to show other kids that you can learn computer programing and gaming, or pretty much anything, if you give it a try,” explained Escobedo. She approached her principal, Chris Grado, with the idea to hold a free Introduction to Unity class at Highland High School and, a few weeks later, a classroom was full of eager students.
Robertson is teaching students of all levels, including a 4th grader, the basic principles of programming with Unity.
“My goal is to encourage a more engaged and passionate workforce that will want to influence and develop their communities,” said Robertson, who was raised in the Antelope Valley. “I like inspiring creativity, engaging logical thought and providing real experiences that translate to real careers.”
Escobedo has interned with Cal Poly, Lockheed Martin and NASA. She started the group to let kids know you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to join STEM activities.
“Sometimes you don’t know what you know or how fast you can learn unless you try. Some kids, a lot of kids, lack confidence,” said Escobedo.
“They don’t think they can enter a STEM field, but they can. They just have to show up and see what happens.” Escobedo said she has faced many challenges but won’t allow hard times to get in her way. “My dad has been my greatest inspiration, he never gives up.”
When Escobedo was 12, she asked her father how the car he was trying to fix worked — and he showed her. From then on she said she was curious about how other things worked, which sparked her passion for engineering.
For more information about classes, contact Scott Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org.