This month Play Like a Girl’s STEM Academy, a program specially designed for fifth through ninth grade female students in Nashville, Murfreesboro, and surrounding areas to engage in hands-on STEM activities and meet positive female role models, visited the LaVergne Truck, Bus and Retread Plant. Mechatronics engineering is on the cutting edge of a fast-growing industry at the LaVergne Plant, and participants learned about jobs that are available for young women engineers to design and enhance robotics and automated systems. The design process of mechatronics combines mechanical, computer, and electrical engineering along with systems integration and technical project management.
The participants and their chaperones took a tour of the LaVergne Plant, focusing on the advanced manufacturing features of robotics and automation. Two of LaVergne’s female engineers, Lindsey Huff, Engineer V, and Stephanie Steren-Ruta, Electrical Engineer II, shared why they chose engineering as a field of study in college and decided to pursue a career in engineering. Each participant had lunch with a Bridgestone engineer. In addition to Lindsey and Stephanie, Kay Kigar, Senior Quality Engineer, and Marlene Garcia, Mechanical Engineer I, provided an opportunity for a one-on-one discussion with these students.