With only a couple of oral presentations and other tasks left to do, our project is nearing its end (don’t worry, posts will continue on another website but more on that at a later date!!!). My time as a technical writer so far has been educational, inspiring, and fulfilling. Not many people know this, but before I considered a career in mechanical engineering, I was laying the foundation to be a journalist. I was heavily involved in my middle school and high school newspaper programs and even earned an award for my work. You can even find me in at least three Cal Poly Pomona Poly Post issues!
When Team UV decided to create a website where we could inspire interest in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) I couldn’t help but feel that same passion. Writing for a STEM related blog takes planning and plenty of consideration for various demographics that may visit our site. We have to balance the use of heavy scientific and technical jargon with the ease of describing complex scientific and technical topics. Shifting to one side or the other could easily “cut out” a group of readers if we are not careful. Take the presentations on flow characteristics or materials for example, our team could easily approach the topics in a text book fashion but those without the prerequisite knowledge of physics and engineering will become lost. If we approach it too simply, we dilute the experience of understanding exciting scientific phenomena and may even belittle the many years of work gone into such topics.
The greatest moment of my technical blogging experience is when we met a TeamUV.org visitor at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research this past April in Washington. I still remember the look on his face when we brought up our website during the presentation and the excitement in his voice when he approached us afterwards. Meeting just that one person made the whole experience of driving over 3,000 miles and through blinding dust storms worth it.
I will continue to find opportunities to blog long after this project is over and I was surprised to find many exciting career paths in technical writing. It only makes sense that scientific websites and magazines have engineers on staff to write about various technical fields. Who else would make a better candidate to write a machine’s user manual?
Please continue to share our website and look out for a post about its future soon!
Until next time…