With tens of thousands of kids and young adults back in school and college, no doubt many will sit in class and day dream of yet another summers fun gone by.
Carly Good, a sophomore at the University of Texas (UT), will remember the summer of 2015 as one she will never forget. A graduate from Weatherford High School in 2014, the 19-year-old aerospace engineering major, traveled to Europe for a special studies program.
She, along with a UT professor and 30 other engineering students, traveled to Austria as part of the IES Abroad program, formerly known as the Institute of European Studies.
There she and her fellow engineers took a special class, Engineering and Design Graphic, which took place in a palatial facility in Vienna. The first half of the day was spent designing and drawing, mostly free handed, and listening to lectures. The afternoon was spent utilizing a computer aided drafting program known as Solid Works for design work.
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“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do in high school,” Carly said. “I knew my strong points were in math and science so I chose engineering when I went to college and I love it! It doesn’t hurt any that the University of Texas is ranked in the top ten in the nation as one of the best in aerospace engineering programs either.”
She said that the trip overseas was her “first taste” of what engineering was really all about.
“Our first project was to design what ever we wanted so I created my idea of a space shuttle,” Carly said. They were then printed out in 3D.”
For almost a month Carly attended class, but she also had time to explore and experience Europe courtesy of three day weekends.
“Croatia, it turned out to be pretty expensive,” Carly said. “Apparently you not only have to buy a ticket when you’re riding the train, but also a reservation. We didn’t know that.”
She said as a result her entire class ended up sitting in a hallway on the trip that lasted about 10 hours.
“I hated that part,” Carly added. “But at the same time it was fun because we were all in that situation - together.”
Carly said sometimes the class broke up into smaller groups which was the case when she traveled to Budapest and Hungary.
“The food was great,” she said. “I think I had spaghetti twice in one day,” she said with laughter in her voice.
She said a lot of the people spoke English, so it wasn’t a “big deal,” but what did surprise her was having to purchase adapters for their electronic devices.
“The electrical outlets were different,” she said. “It would mess with the voltage...we had to get adapters.”
Carly said she also had to get uses to no air conditioning.
“I was surprised at how hot it got during the day,” she said. “The windows were always open, and we were constantly sweating, but at night it really cooled down so it was nice.”
But one of her most memorable moment came when the class toured the Hadron Collider just outside of Geneva, Switzerland. It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) between 1998 and 2008.
All Carly could call it was, “amazing.”
On the way back she had stops at Paris and Amsterdam before getting home.
“It was such an experience,” she said. “One I’ll never forget.”
Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, Ext. 102