Grace Yu ’23

School & Program
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Aeronautical Engineering   

Meadowridge Student Since
Grade 8

Tell us about your time at Meadowridge and the connections you’ve made.

I came from a STEM-focused school in Texas and started at Meadowridge in Grade 8. Coming from a tight-knit school, it was a good integration to a new place because similarly, Meadowridge’s community was small and close. I forged many strong friendships along the way. In Grade 8, I attended my first WWOW trip to RockRidge and that’s when most of my friendships began. These are the same friends in my core group today. Then, I also have interest-based or project-based friendships I forged through similar interests like Robotics Club.  

What do you want to be remembered for as a Meadowridge student? 

It’s not quite up to me, but I think people will definitely remember me for being the “robotics fanatic,” considering I pretty much lived in the robotics room whenever I was at school.   

What will you always remember?

It’s a really funny thing that I’ll never forget. During a Robotics event in Grade 9, our team was driving one of our robots on the gaming field and it suddenly crashed and caught its arm on a bar and flipped over. Then, our team’s other robot had a loose wire which got caught on the first robot and then it stopped working. Within 10 seconds of the match, we had two robots down. We all burst out laughing because it was so funny watching it all happen. In the end, we even managed to score some points, but it was by fluke.  

How did you make your decision on your program at Rensselaer? We heard it was very methodical, tell us about your process.     

When I was living in Texas, I had a tight group of STEM friends from school. In our free time, we conducted wild experiments in a friend’s garage. Our neighbors sometimes thought we were making illegal drugs, but we were just running our own chemical experiments for fun. My love for STEM grew from these experiences and I continued these interests during school through robotics, research, and science projects, and by working as an apprentice at a mechanic shop fixing and building cars. I knew I loved working with aerodynamics and when I started looking for programs, I had very specific criteria that a school had to meet so that I could continue working with my hands, building and creating things.

The school had to have a MakerSpace (a workshop for building things) and it had to have a competitive STEM team (it could be related to robotics or engineering). Because I love sports, the school I went to also had to be in a city with a good-ranking sports team so I could go to stadiums to watch games. Lastly, the school I chose had to have an ‘supersonic wind tunnel,’ to use for my research interests. I know. This is very niche criteria, but it helped me choose the best place.    

What are you looking forward to in the years ahead? Any goals? 

I want to work as a researcher, not at an institute but rather for a small car company within R&D. There are new engineering grads who go from prestigious schools to working for places like Mercedes and spend their first few years on the job only designing seatbelts. I want to be more hands-on, creative, and build things, so, a smaller company would give me the flexibility and opportunity to learn by doing different things. 

My biggest personal goal or dream would be to compete in Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb with a group of my STEM friends from Texas. It’s an annual racecar competition in Colorado that has no regulations and is open to anyone. It’s about building the best car and finishing with the fastest time, and we would compete with companies like Porsche, Bentley, and more.  

Any parting words of wisdom for our Meadowridge Community? 

Þetta Reddast! It’s Iceland’s national motto that essentially translates in English to “It will all work out okay.” I tend to be a perfectionist and sometimes get too into things and get overwhelmed, and when this happens, I tell myself “It will all work out okay.”   

Congratulations to our 2023 Graduates

The Class of 2023 is graduating from one of the most rigorous academic programs in the world. Throughout the past year, and throughout their journey with us at Meadowridge, they have exhibited grace, courage, intelligence, and kindness.

They are all going on to prestigious schools nationally and internationally, to join rigorous programs in a variety of disciplines, and, most importantly, to make a positive impact in our world. We are proud of what they have achieved, and despite knowing change is the only certainty, we are confident that these young people are prepared to not only meet the future, but also to create it.

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