McAuley girls spend summer break in different states, doing different things, but senior Danielle Michalik spent last summer at Explosives Camp. The camp took place at the University of Missouri Science & Technology , and there were students from all over the country. Michalik, however, was the only female at the camp and said, “It wasn’t bad because I have grown up with mostly men in my family.”
Michalik learned about the camp by receiving a letter in the mail about different camps and chose explosives camp because it sounded different compared to the other camps. “I wanted to explore the different types of engineering and this was the perfect chance.”
At the camp she learned about all different types types of explosives like C4, a plastic explosive, dynamite, filled with nitroglycerine, and TNT. At the camp she was able to create and shoot off her own firework show, and go 1000 feet down into a mine and rock quarry. Michalik describes a unique experience, “Because I was the only girl, I got to accompany the ‘bomber’ to set off a wall of explosives in the mine. I was very apprehensive because we only had three minutes to get a safe distance back. We made it out with twenty seconds to spare.”
Michalik said she learned to work with her hands and about future careers to pursue in the science fields. She learned how to work in a male dominated field and to see the reality of the work force. It helped her to realize that even though she is in W.I.S.E. (Women in Science and Engineering) and Engineering Club that there really are not that many women in these fields.
Michalik says she, “liked the hands on experience and being able to use explosives.” “I loved it, because we got to blow up things like watermelon, giant rock, and 20,000 tons of rock with 10,000 pounds of explosives.”
In the future Michalik hopes to bring some of the experience and knowledge she gained at the camp back to McAuley. She also hopes to promote women into more science based careers in the future.
This news article was written by senior Mary Romano, managing editor of the McAuley InScape Newspaper.