Save Money. Live Better. Airstream. – Julie Tapia, Dream Designers

Goal: Redesign the Airstream and take care of our planet at the same time.

Goal: Redesign the Airstream and take care of our planet at the same time.

My name is Julie Tapia and I’m a 10th grader at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. Out of the 3 pathways (media tech, biomedical, engineering) offered at my school, I chose engineering. In the first year, I was introduced to engineering and design. My classmates and I learned the basics of engineering, such as the design process and how to properly structure an engineer’s notebook. Now, in the second year, I will be learning the principles of engineering. My classmates and I will use our knowledge from last year and participate in an actual engineering project called VENTURA (Vintage Eco Neo Trailer Utilizing Renewable energy for Adventure). Basically, we will be redesigning a 1977 Airstream trailer and converting it into a teacher commons area. Our goal is to complete this project without causing any harm to the environment.

1977 Airstream

1977 Airstream

Gaby Ponce and Faith Vanderburg are my team members and together we are the Dream Designers. Gaby and Faith are both creative and neat individuals who will enjoy making the project presentation board or researching. I’m creative but, unfortunately, I’m not so neat. I will enjoy doing the 3D modeling on Google Sketch Up. We all have our unique strengths and weaknesses that will go hand in hand. I am a bit worried about managing my time and getting my work done by the set deadlines. Overall, I’m pretty excited about working with my group and seeing the outcome of Project VENTURA. Besides being a little dirty inside, the 1977 Airstream is beautiful. What I’m most looking forward to is cleaning the trailer and getting to the actual building. I’ve made miniature cars out of wood before, but I’ve never built something huge. I hope I get to build one of the Airstream’s tables or other furniture.

One of my 3D models made using AutoCAD.

One of my 3D models made using AutoCAD.

The engineering field I’m most interested in is industrial engineering because it involves designing and building those designs. I was introduced to this field of engineering through a school trip that all the engineering students went on last year. We met a group of industrial engineers who showed us their work space and amazing designs. Although the biomedical and media tech pathways are interesting and I wish I could try them out, I don’t regret taking the engineering pathway. I always choose to work independently, but my engineering class forces me to work with a group, and this is highly beneficial to me. Through my engineering class, I’ve also established love-hate relationships with the computer programs AutoCAD and Google Sketch Up. I love to use these programs but, I’ll admit, they have aggravated me numerous times. I remember one time I had gotten a lot of work done on a 3D model when AutoCAD decided to crash and lose all my work. This taught me an important lesson: constantly (maybe every 5 minutes) save your work when using computer programs like AutoCAD. I was told that knowing how to use AutoCAD or other computer programs can get you a job. If becoming an industrial engineer fails, I can specialize in the  operation of AutoCAD.

Project VENTURA will be challenging, but I’m ready to take on this challenge.


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