Meet Natalie

Grade 12

Robotics wizard.
Empowering inventor.
Selfless self-starter.

She invents her own solutions.

Natalie’s interests run the gamut, from writing for the Ellisian Journal to planting trees with the Environmental Club to saving goals on the lacrosse team. But when it comes to her true motivating force, all roads lead to robotics.

A subsystem lead for her community robotics team Girls of Steel, Natalie strategizes how she can create, code, and compute her way to victory. Beyond the competitions, Natalie lends her powers of innovation to her team’s passion project: inventing an arm band designed to allow people with autism spectrum disorders to exercise without sensory overload.

Natalie problem-solves with compassion and confidence, and in doing so, she’s engineering a more empathetic world.

How Ellis boosts Natalie’s ambition

List of 6 items.

  • A robotics role model:

    "Robotics is one of the things that drives me to work in my community. I used to be someone who was a little bit scared of trying to make a difference, but once I found my passion I was able to really go out there and implement changes. At school, I help mentor Ellis’ First Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics team. It’s a really great experience to use my knowledge to work with and support them.”
  • On trying something totally new:

    "I joined lacrosse my freshman year, and it was the first time that I’d ever picked up a lacrosse stick. The team needed a goalie, so I just went for it! It was definitely an interesting progression because I went in there with no experience, but everyone on the team was very supportive. I’ve been the goalie for three years now, and it’s been great fun!”
  • Her new student experience:

    "I joined Ellis at the beginning of ninth grade. I was really excited about the chance to explore new things. I kind of felt boxed in at my old school, like I could only do literature or STEM and I had to choose one or the other. So I was excited about Ellis providing more interdisciplinary opportunities. I was also worried at first that I would come in and people would have already made friends, but everyone was extremely welcoming and provided space for new friendships to form.”
  • On being a changemaker:

    "Ellis has taught me that I can go out and solve real-world problems. I’ve been working on the Buzz Band with my Girls of Steel team; it’s a therapeutic device we invented to help people with autism [when they] exercise. It’s been going strong! We won a $10k grant from InvenTeams, and we’ve also filed for a utility patent. I’ve been able to take that drive to go out and do something when I see something and really implement it.” 
  • On Ellis’ all-girls environment:

    "When I’m looking at colleges and see something like only 15% of their mechanical engineering students are female, it’s a bit of a shock. But because I’ve been in an all-girls environment, I have these confidence skills and a sound belief in my knowledge; I don’t have to second guess myself. I can go into any environment and use those skills to make it an environment that’s more supportive for me. That’s something that I think is really hard to teach, but Ellis provides a community that builds it automatically.”
  • Her favorite subjects:

    "I’m a math person. I take AP Calculus. It’s difficult, but my teachers have been there every step of the way. It’s really empowering to have that support to keep pushing. I also really enjoy art history. It’s thought-provoking; there are no set answers. A painting could mean 20 different things to 20 different people.”

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