Thank You The Mars Generation, What an honor!!!
Aja Capel, Age 15, United States
Founder / Engineer / Mentor
Nothing in Capel’s house was safe when she was around–she would take everything apart from a young age. Her parents took a hint and enrolled her in robotics at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum at age 4 so she would take other people’s stuff apart for a change. And it worked. Capel has been building robots ever since. She is dyslexic, dysgraphic, ADHD, CAPD, a different thinker, and an out-of-the-box problem solver. At just 15, Capel has started four robotics teams and has amassed hundreds of hours as Lead Robotics Instructor at the same museum where she first began. But for Capel, it’s not just about the robots. She uses her interests as a catalyst to provide STEM experience and exposure to kids and minorities. Over time, she saw the power of visibility and exposure–you cannot be what you do not see. So she centralized her efforts by creating her own organization, See Me in STEM (seemeinstem.org), which provides opportunities to other underrepresented youth facing their own unique challenges. Through her See Me organization, Capel is also creating STEM programming for eight different community organizations and has also been asked to consider a partnership to bring her outreach to girls in Africa. What does the future hold for Capel? She plans to attend a 4-year university majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in robotics, and she sees herself as CEO of her own technology company someday.