New to AHS, sophomore Yohanes Getnet has expressed his love and passion for engineering. Originally from Northern Ethiopia. In this part of Africa, Yohanes had developed an interest in 11th century engineering and architecture present in his home city. Yohanes was selected to attend Engineering Day at the University of Virginia where he learned about new engineering processes and competed in contests as well.
Q: Describe your interest in engineering.
A: Ever since I was little, I wanted to know how things were made. I was
born and raised in a small town called Lasta, Lalibela in northern Ethiopia.
In this part of Africa, most engineering work was done in the 11th
century. Lalibela has eleven distinctive rock-hewn churches called
African Second Jerusalem. During the Sabbath, I would go to each
subterranean monolithic church to try and understand the architecture
and engineering behind the rock-hewn churches carved by Ethiopian Saint king Lalibela.
I came to the U.S. two years ago, where I can’t help
but admire the works of engineering all around me. Whether they
be physical, like bridges and railroad tracks, or software, like GPS
technology, America is so advanced. I’d like to bring the engineering
knowledge I learn here to Africa in the future.
Q: Explain the process of getting selected to go visit UVA for their
A: First of all I would like to thank all the FCPS, SOL teachers
who helped me using great teaching strategies.
Secondly I would like to thank the best W4 teacher, Ms. Robin Highberg, who
explained the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) high
school visitation program to me.
I found out about the program two days before we left. Many students
received the papers to apply, but I was the only one who applied and
was accepted. All my SOL teachers were proud that I went and represented
AHS as a winner.
Q: What was the Engineering Day at UVA like? What are some things that
A: I loved the Engineering Day! There were lots of career talks, where
engineers such as Professor Catherine Hunt spoke and gave us useful
career advice. There were many different engineering students who
explained all the different fields in engineering, like Aerospace,
Mechanical, Computer Science, Electrical, Computer, Systems, Civil,
Architect, and Biomedical. This really helped me decide which I was
most interested in pursuing.
Q: What was your favorite part of participating in the Engineering Events?
A: I personally loved seeing the robots. I had so many questions about
how they worked, like their vision systems, how they flew, how they
avoided obstacles, their facial recognition software, etc. The Grounds
tour, which is UVA’s campus, was beautiful. There was a lot of nature
in the city. I found the University so wonderful, and I would love to
see myself there in a few years. I especially loved the Rotunda
building, which was behind the Thomas Jefferson statue. It was special
because he designed it himself.
There was a project we did with the 30 high school students to make a
sample of a Piezo Buzzer circuit. I was on a team with two other high
school students, and we won for the fastest time! We got a special
shirt as a prize. I am happy that I was one of the members because I
make out Annandale high school is best.
Q: What future do you hope to have with engineering and University?
A: I hope to one day be an engineer that builds remarkable,
unusual and unbelievable buildings, houses, and churches. I would also
make them the safest environments in the world. In two years I’ll be
enrolled in University, and my dream school based on my experiences so
far is the University of Virginia. I think the engineering department
there is strong, and UVA has a lot of extracurricular
activities for me to join.
For more about the UVA Engineering Day program click here.