By Josh Frankel, Counselor & Specialist
My dad says that when I first visited Georgia Tech I looked at him and said, “I found my people”. Two years later, nothing could have been truer. At GT, innovation is the fuel that makes the engine go. Our motto of “Progress and Service” is embodied in everything from the countless number of 3-D printers, to the creative research that professors and students are conducting. GT has state of the art facilities, incredible academics and very competitive sports teams. These are characteristics that I love about my school. But above all else, the people are who make Georgia Tech what it is; a home.
Sci-Tech West and Georgia Tech have an obvious similarity: both places are STEM-oriented; teaching programming, science, and math subjects. I could write a book about how skills and content that I learned in college are being taught to 10-year-old kids. The fact that these campers have the opportunity and intellect to learn astrophysics, several programming languages, and advanced math concepts (just to name a few), is remarkable. Sci-Tech and Georgia Tech both share the same rigor of topics. While these surface similarities are easy to see, there are deeper characteristics that connect Sci-Tech and GT.
One of those hidden similarities is the type of people both places attract. They both attract community builders. These are individuals who pride themselves on working hard. When I look around Sci-Tech, the vigor and attention to detail that I see the staff display is only matched by the passion that the campers show in workshop and chuggim (electives). This is the same mentality that I witness every day at school. At both places people love to learn and love to laugh. That is a rare combination that can lead to extraordinary outcomes. In a high pressure, or intensive, environments like GT or Sci-Tech, it is very easy to get stuck in the work. However, both places attract the type of people that want to be with friends and grow not just as an intellectuals, but as humans.
Another one of the similarities that is seen in both places is the spirit. My parents make fun of me for coming home with 15 Georgia Tech shirts after just two years. (What else are you supposed to do when you’re offered free shirts??) I am constantly talking to others about school or wearing a GT shirt or hat. I wanted a school that I was proud of, and I found it. The same is true about Sci-Tech. Every day I see at least 10 campers who are wearing their super cool light up camp sweatshirts. I see huge smiles break across campers’ and staff members’ faces when asked about camp; the same smile I give when asked about GT. For a first-time camp, that is something special.
It is easy for STEM-focused places to be robotic. Since being at Georgia Tech and Sci-Tech, I have seen that these two places are the opposite. There is so much heart and joy surrounding these communities that the only robotic part in them are the robotics competitions campers and students compete in. I can already hear campers saying to their parents after the session ends that they have found their people, too, at Sci-Tech West.
Josh is a rising Junior at Georgia Tech majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in IT Management and certificates in business analytics and organizational psychology, originally from New Jersey. Josh is a TA in our video game design working and teaches an investing chug (elective), sports chuggim, and many others.