I’m Gabby Gilmer, the Director of Curriculum Support. I attended Hoover High School and participated in the Engineering Academy (EA) in addition to playing competitive soccer. Catapult Engineering Academy is based on the EA from Hoover, so the courses I took are almost identical to what Catapult offers. When I first went to Hoover, I was interested in being a veterinarian, but my mom convinced me to join EA and I’m so glad she did. I just finished my freshman year in Chemical Engineering at Auburn, and I already see so many benefits of EA.
Most colleges require students to take an Introduction to Computing course in one of their first semesters. At Auburn, the computing course uses MATLAB. I had many classmates who struggled through the course, but since I had already seen the material, the class turned into an easy A for me. Engineering is not an easy major to take on. The pacing and grading of EA has made my transition from high school to college much simpler. I am used to the pace that my professors set, and I don’t fall behind. My EA instructors gave feedback to students as if they were taking a real college course. At the time, I hated it because I had to really work for my grades. Now, I am so thankful for my teachers’ toughness. Before I attended my first college class, I knew what was expected in the classroom setting and the quality of work I had to turn in to get an A.
EA also helped me find my career path. I signed to play soccer at Emory during my senior year, but after tearing my ACL for the third time, the doctor told me my soccer career was coming to a devastating end. I still struggle with my knee, and I aim to redesign ACL reconstruction and educate others on prevention. EA exposed me early on to methods to confront any problem, make evaluations and come up with viable solutions.