Featured Image

AMT Tech Trends: Girl Scout Cookie Sales(wo)menship

Episode 113: The team discusses what works and what doesn’t with the sales of Girl Scout Cookies. Ramia shares her excitement as the team’s new studio is coming together! Elissa talks about how women could get burnt out in STEM.
Feb 26, 2024

Looking For More?

Produced by Ramia Lloyd

Ramia Lloyd:

Welcome to the TechTrends podcast where we discuss the latest manufacturing, technology, research, and news. Today's episode is sponsored by the MFG Conference. I'm Ramia Lloyd, and I'm here with-

Elissa Davis:

I'm Elissa Davis.

Stephen LaMarca:

Stephen LaMarca.

Benjamin Moses:

Benjamin Moses. How are you guys doing?

Stephen LaMarca:

Awesome.

Elissa Davis:

Good.

Ramia Lloyd:

Fantastic.

Benjamin Moses:

It's a great day. Speaking of being awesome, I heard it's Girl Scout season.

Elissa Davis:

Yes.

Benjamin Moses:

We've been talking about outdated ways of buying stuff. We've got some in real life... Oh man, I screwed that up, IRL examples. [inaudible 00:00:44] for your younger audience. [inaudible 00:00:48]

Stephen LaMarca:

Respect.

Benjamin Moses:

Tell me about buying Girl Scout cookies nowadays.

Elissa Davis:

Well, there's still the old school way, which is Girl Scout troops outside of Walmart, and I saw them at the Mosaic District in the Target lobby and they were selling Girl Scout cookies there. You can also do it online, which is how I do it, because it feels weird to go up to this group of little girls and their moms and be like, "Can I get six boxes of cookies?"

Ramia Lloyd:

In shame.

Elissa Davis:

Yes. I'm by myself.

Stephen LaMarca:

Give me all your Thin Mints and your Adderall.

Elissa Davis:

Yeah. I'm like, yeah, let me buy them online. I'm still supporting the Girl Scouts, but I'm like, I don't need people to know that I bought two boxes of Thin Mints and one box of every other cookie.

Benjamin Moses:

It's interesting because there's a lot of layers to that, because one is, I don't think the kids are judging you, but the moms judge you so hard with their looks. It's so rough.

Ramia Lloyd:

Oh, my gosh. It's crazy.

Stephen LaMarca:

It's so wrong that they do. It's like, shouldn't you be happy that your child is getting this sale?

Elissa Davis:

Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:

What is your problem?

Elissa Davis:

When I was growing up the big things was the big prize for Girl Scout cookies was those inflatable chairs. Do you guys know what I'm talking about?

Ramia Lloyd:

Yes. They're like, bubble chairs. Yeah, I remember.

Elissa Davis:

I never sold enough Girl Scout cookies to get one of those.

Ramia Lloyd:

The same.

Elissa Davis:

In retrospect, that's probably a good thing, but I now prefer the way of just buying them online because I don't want to be shamed for buying multiple boxes of Girl Scouts cookies. They're supposed to last me the whole season, right?

I still like going up because the little girls get so excited when you go up and you're like, "I'll have a box of these and a box of these," and they're counting the money. I'm like, "Aw." It's also odd to me that they're still little girls who go door to door to sell Girl Scout cookies.

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah, yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:

It's 2024.

Elissa Davis:

Yeah.

Ramia Lloyd:

The other day I had gotten home, was taking off my bag and stuff, getting ready for work. As soon as I turned my living room light on, I swear there was a girl and she came knock, knock, knock. I was like, "Hey, what can I do for you?" She's like, "Do you want to buy some Girl Scout cookies?" Her and her mom and her little sister. It was a family event.

I was like, this is fun. She's like, "Do you want to buy some Girl Scout cookies?" I'm like, "Sure, let me get a couple boxes." I was like, "Oh, I don't have cash." I know you do the order and then you come back. I'm assuming it's going to take months, something like that. She came back 40 minutes later with the boxes and was like, here are your cookies. I was like, "I, um."

Elissa Davis:

Here's your cookies. Where's my cash?

Ramia Lloyd:

I still don't have cash. I don't know what changed in the last 40 minutes for you, but for me, I didn't go anywhere.

Stephen LaMarca:

Can you imagine if she got smart with you, so, "You had 40 minutes to go to the bank."

Benjamin Moses:

Where's my money?

Ramia Lloyd:

I tried to relate to her. I was like, "Oh, my God. I remember when I was a Girl Scout, they took weeks." I swear she looked at me like, "Okay, grandma." I was like, "I'll get your cash next time. I'm sorry. We'll try again tomorrow. Please don't beat me up."

Benjamin Moses:

Do you take Venmo?

Ramia Lloyd:

No. I was like, Cash App, Apple Pay, I could do that. She was like, "We'll come back tomorrow."

Benjamin Moses:

Bet.

Ramia Lloyd:

Bet. I'm afraid of you. I turned all my lights off, and went and hide in my bed. I was like, she's going to get me.

Elissa Davis:

In the '50s, right, when Girl Scouts would go door to door and selling cookies, that was relatively normal. Granted in the late '90s, early aughts, my parents did not let me go door to door even with them. They were very uncomfortable with that. They were like, "We're not letting you go door to door to sell cookies to strangers." I have a very big family, so we would just sell to all my family members. I'd be like, you want Girls Scout cookies? And they would just order them from us and that's how we would sell our cookies. That's why we never won the prizes. Because we didn't go door to door.

Stephen LaMarca:

Did you guys ever send away for stuff on the cereal boxes?

Benjamin Moses:

Oh yeah.

Elissa Davis:

Yeah.

Ramia Lloyd:

Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:

I loved doing that. Man, I know, I was just talking to smack about the old way in the last episode, but hey, at least buying something, like sending away for something in a cereal box, you're still not talking to a human.

Elissa Davis:

Well, I think-

Ramia Lloyd:

Moral of the story.

Elissa Davis:

I don't know. For me, that's part of what gets me. As an adult who lives in my own home now. It's like I still get excited when I get mail, especially packages.

Benjamin Moses:

Oh yeah, definitely.

Stephen LaMarca:

I used to get excited when I got mail. Now it gives me anxiety.

Elissa Davis:

Really.

Stephen LaMarca:

I don't know how many bills there are going to be.

Elissa Davis:

Oh.

Ramia Lloyd:

It's all bills.

Stephen LaMarca:

It's all bills.

Ramia Lloyd:

But I don't get any mail.

Elissa Davis:

But when I get packages.

Stephen LaMarca:

Colleges have the audacity to reach out to you for donations. It's been a decade. Calm down [inaudible 00:05:05].

Ramia Lloyd:

That and volunteer.

Elissa Davis:

There's a great John Mulaney bit about that.

Benjamin Moses:

So we should definitely ask the audience what's the best way they should buy Girl Scout cookies.

Elissa Davis:

Yes.

Benjamin Moses:

And what's the worst way that they've bought Girl Scout cookies this season.

Ramia Lloyd:

And their favorite Girl Scout cookies. Because if you say Samoa's, you're getting blocked. Comment deleted.

Stephen LaMarca:

This is so good. But I also learned the hack in college because we had a Dollar General near our campus. Dollar Generals got knockoff Girl Scout cookies.

Benjamin Moses:

Yes they did.

Ramia Lloyd:

Walmart sells them.

Stephen LaMarca:

And they're fine.

Elissa Davis:

There's a great way you can make your own thin mints. And the way that you do that is you take Ritz crackers and mint chocolate chips and you melt down the mint chocolate chips. You dip the Ritz crackers in them, stick them in your freezer. You got homemade thin mints.

Stephen LaMarca:

That's amazing. Okay, last question before, let's move on. Thin mints. Store them in the freezer or in the pantry?

Elissa Davis:

Freezer. That's why I get two boxes. One of each.

Benjamin Moses:

Oh, man.

Ramia Lloyd:

Oh, genius.

Benjamin Moses:

That's a plot twist.

Ramia Lloyd:

Genius.

Benjamin Moses:

Wow.

Elissa Davis:

Just raising the bar.

Stephen LaMarca:

You know the cookies.

Ramia Lloyd:

Raising the bar.

Elissa Davis:

I was a girl scout. Okay. I love thin mints. They're not my favorite. Actually. My favorite is the classic trefoil. Great shortbread. It's a perfect shortbread.

Ramia Lloyd:

Okay.

Stephen LaMarca:

That's like the weakest one.

Elissa Davis:

It's basic, but it's the original, right? It's the Girl Scout logo.

Stephen LaMarca:

It's got the logo.

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah.

Elissa Davis:

And they used to have this one. It was like an animal cracker that was half dipped in chocolate. That was my favorite. They don't, don't make that anymore.

Ramia Lloyd:

I remember that. That was also a girl scout.

Stephen LaMarca:

My beef with the Samoas, because I genuinely do like them. I don't think they're my favorite, but they're up there. Okay. My beef with them though, you only get 15 to a box. I'm trying to make my money work.

Ramia Lloyd:

Especially because they're expensive now. Peanut butter patty all the way. Sometimes they're called Tagalongs. When I was a girl scout, they're called peanut butter patties. Now they are Tagalongs.

Elissa Davis:

I am in the minority in that. I'm a major peanut butter hater.

Benjamin Moses:

Oh no.

Elissa Davis:

So that eliminates Do-si-dos and Tagalongs for me.

Stephen LaMarca:

That makes sense you're a cat person, not a dog person.

Elissa Davis:

Yeah, well, I'm a cat and a dog person, but I have cat. Yes.

Ramia Lloyd:

That makes sense.

Elissa Davis:

No, I've never, it was really funny because growing up I hated peanut butter. My older sister hated jelly. So we two sides of the same coin.

Benjamin Moses:

Let's transition to a little technology. So one idea that we've been talking about is how do areas or countries help foster adoption? And then we've identified the European style for adoption. Technology is a little bit different because it plays into some of the rules. And we've been talking about car equipment. One thing we've observed is in European cars, they allow for cameras on the side view, rear view side mirrors. So you get rid of the mirrors, but you can put a little camera there. And then you guys also highlighted the adoption of headlights.

Stephen LaMarca:

Listen, I want to talk about headlights.

Benjamin Moses:

Let's talk about headlights.

Elissa Davis:

I have blue eyes. They're very sensitive. And so when the lifted pickup behind me has their white LED headlights on at night, I can't see, literally I can adjust my rear view mirror-

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah. Flip the little thing, the whole toggle thing on the mirror.

Elissa Davis:

Even when that's done, it's still reflecting in my eyes. And then sometimes the side mirror catches it and it's still blinding me. So Europe and Asia have more regulations for headlights in terms of, so they don't burn your corneas and I don't know.

Stephen LaMarca:

So they have, it's weird to say that they have more regulations is you're not wrong. But we have in the US have a 100-year-old law on headlights saying that in the United States, all cars manufactured to be sold in the United States have to have basic headlights with only two moats, your low beams and your high beams. And when your high beams are activated, no other forward facing light can be activated too. That's from the factory. The pain you're explaining is the American aftermarket automotive market. So those jerks with their lifted pickups, you're already starting with a lifted pickup. Right?

Elissa Davis:

You're already on the losing end. Yeah. No offense. People with lift [inaudible 00:09:33].

Stephen LaMarca:

I used to get back before I rode motorcycles get and my friends used to get upset by being, when fee had a motorcycle behind us, they'd blind you. But because their headlight is much higher up, it's like in line with where you are headed in the car. Also, a lot of motorcyclists, not myself, but a lot of motorcyclists that I know always ride around even in the day with the high beams on, the high beams are always on and the purpose is being more visible. But the big problem in the US is the fact that you're only allowed to have two headlight modes. Something must have changed recently in legislation for the DRLs. Daytime-

Elissa Davis:

Running lights.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah, Daytime Running Lights. And that's just for added visibility. And my problem with daytime running lights is you see a lot of people driving around at night in an area like this with only their DLS on, which means no headlights on the DLS are on automatically. And I get it. They're not trying to go stealth mode on purpose. They forgot. And number one, in an area like this in Tyson's Corner where we never see the stars at night, in the middle of the night, the sky is red because of the light pollution from dc. You don't need headlights in this area. You really don't. Up in Vermont, you want those headlights.

But, when I... Last year when I was in Frankfurt for form next I got to experience the automated headlights because all the cars have them there and they're bright. When they're bright, they're bright, but they don't always, like if the cars, the front bumper is dirty on the cars, the sensors that detect if there's humans or animals in front of them, they don't work the best. So there were in my four nights there, I did experience getting blinded twice because those headlights are way more intense than the high beams we have here. But when they get you, they have a big purple [inaudible 00:11:46] in the middle of your vision and you can't see anything. But-

Benjamin Moses:

I call that a normal day.

Elissa Davis:

I have one more story before we move on. So my sister got married in Charlottesville in 2022 and she got married at a winery and it was kind of out there. The winery out in Charlottesville are a little bit far away. And after the wedding we were going to an Airbnb that they had rented and we were going to go meet up with the rest of the bridal party. And it was me and my sister and her new husband who were riding in this car. And the Uber comes and picks us up and it is a lifted pickup truck. It's a big car. Sorry, big car.

And we get in, I'm like, oh, my sister just got married. He's like, oh, congratulations. She's still in her wedding dress and all that stuff. And we're driving along these roads and he has his high beams on and then he's got this massive light kit on top of his car.

Benjamin Moses:

Oh yeah, the light beam.

Elissa Davis:

That he flips on as he's driving. And let me tell you, it was like stadium lighting. I could see for four miles. I was like, this cannot be legal. This feels like it should not be legal. And when cars would come up, he'd turn it off, but usually not fast enough. And so I'm like, this seems very dangerous.

Stephen LaMarca:

That stuff's only supposed to be used. It is illegal. You're only-

Benjamin Moses:

It's supposed to be be off-road.

Stephen LaMarca:

Supposed to use that stuff off-road.

Elissa Davis:

Yeah. We were not off-road. We were definitely on road. So yeah, that's one of the things I always think of that when I think of people with their high beams, I'm like, I think of that guy and I'm like, you're part of the problem.

Benjamin Moses:

So that's a good takeaway. You talked about the technology in countries, but the aftermarket and pushing past the regulations. That's fair.

Stephen LaMarca:

We have a much stronger and more free and unregulated aftermarket here in the US.

Elissa Davis:

That's true.

Stephen LaMarca:

We do in Germany where I got blinded by their laser headlights, that's what they're called. They're white laser headlights. The headlights have an array in them that just, it's a very narrow beam, but there's multiple beams to cover the spread of a conventional headlight. And then they have radars to detect whether or not there's a face that could potentially be blinded by it. And if that radar, that sensor is dirty, you will get blinded.

Benjamin Moses:

And I do think you'd hit on a good point also about sensor robustness. There are more sensors in vehicles and that cascades everything that we're doing. But my can was dirty all the time. Do you expect me to clean that thing? I barely have time to get in the car and get here on time.

Stephen LaMarca:

And the last thing about the Germany, they're the most strict about aftermarket parts. The most basic thing that people do that gear heads do in the US change your wheels. Germany, the Germans are very, you need to go through so much paperwork to put on aftermarket wheels. It's nuts.

Benjamin Moses:

Awesome. Can you tell us about today's sponsor?

Ramia Lloyd:

Yes, I can. I was getting caught in my wires. Manufacturing continues to grow at a rapid rate. Stay ahead of the curve at the MFG meeting this April. The MFG meeting is the ultimate gathering of manufacturing technology minds, bringing together a community of solutions and solvers. Learn how to keep pace with growing demand, make lifelong connections and see why opportunities lie on the horizons. Go to amtonline.org/events to register.

Benjamin Moses:

Thanks Ramia.

Ramia Lloyd:

Anytime.

Benjamin Moses:

Stephen?

Stephen LaMarca:

Yes.

Benjamin Moses:

I hear things happened on the test bed.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah, so I think I mentioned last time that we've got multiple people working on the test bed now. There was multiple people being myself and Chloe, fellow tech analyst, and we have our contractor, Russ, who used to work at AMT and now he's his own boss contracted for AMT, but he offered to help do some project management for the test bed. And it's been really helpful and he's doing a great job at helping us stay honest and keep in line with everything. But our most recent updates, Chloe is working on programming her first raspberry pi and while she's done stuff in the past, programming, what's the other one that's not an [inaudible 00:15:52] Arduinos.

Benjamin Moses:

Arduinos.

Stephen LaMarca:

Before. This is her first foray into the world of Linux. So there's a lot of broken things.

Benjamin Moses:

And it's been down for a while. She's starting from scratch.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah. And she's doing a great job. Her spirits are high, which is awesome. She wants to get back to the pocket NC and stop fiddling with the digital side, which I don't care. I'll say it. It's boring, don't get me wrong. I understand the value of data and how it's so necessary to have advanced technologies like the digital twin has to come from a reliable data stream. But man, getting that stuff set up, it is a headache, it's a hair puller, it's proctalgia, pain in the butt.

Benjamin Moses:

Okay.

Stephen LaMarca:

But yeah, it's not fun. So we're looking forward to getting back. But I got the robot moving and that kind of, so I've experienced the new robot software and the new robot is very capable and the software is very much, it's more like that of industrial software as opposed to the X arm by U factory was way more consumer friendly. It was like, this is not for... The software was made for people who don't know anything about, I wouldn't say not know anything about robots, but it's made to be easier to use. As for the IJIST robot software is definitely industrial. It's like learning solid works all over again, something like that. But it's working well. The robot's great. And to segue into my article about robotics, my hands are claiming, so the fingerprint's not registering. Singularities this from TechCrunch. Singularities are a pain in the neck for arms. Jacobi Robotics is trying to solve them. So singularities-

Benjamin Moses:

Tell me more.

Stephen LaMarca:

Not like black holes in space.

Benjamin Moses:

Oh man.

Stephen LaMarca:

Not space singularities.

Benjamin Moses:

I'm done then.

Stephen LaMarca:

Robotic singularities are very interesting. To put it as lay as possible, or at least to how I understand it. It's when your robot or the robot stops moving for whatever reason, it comes to a complete stop in the middle of a process because it doesn't think it can do. It has self-doubt really weird. And it's weird. Instead of going through the whole motion with moving the robot that we have, for example, and even the last robot we had experienced some issues with singularities. You'll guide it through, if you use the teach pendant or the teach function, you can manipulate the robot to go in a certain way. And sometimes when you tell it to go to do the same thing again, it'll come to a complete stop. Whether it thinks it ran into something, whether the collision detection stopped it or it thinks it's at the limit of its axes, it will stop moving.

And it's really strange. But what's really bothered me is I've gotten the warning light come on and it comes to a complete stop and I've actually moved the joint that I want to keep moving, but it thinks it's at the limit. And I will manually from the software tell it plus plus, plus plus keep rotating and it keeps rotating. And they're like, see, you made it past this little hurdle. We can keep going now. And then you hit go and it will go for another centimeter and then come to a complete stop again. And it'll be like, so I'm very excited that this is not me. I didn't know that there was a term for this. And that's what robot singularities are and there's a company working to solve them.

Benjamin Moses:

That is interesting. The robot poses is fairly interesting. We've talked about that a lot past couple of years about the efficiency of robotic arm and does it always make sense to have a robotic arm or other piece of automation arm? Everyone's happy to adopt quickly, but if you're doing two degrees of motion, is a six joint robotic arm the best thing? Or do you go to something different, right?

Stephen LaMarca:

Right. Do you go for a specialized solution, like a tailored solution instead of a robot, which can do everything? But there's a lot more programming to be done to make it do everything. And one of those things is singularities or robot self-doubt.

Benjamin Moses:

Or do you look at a scare robot or something that has less [inaudible 00:20:32] emotion but more robust. We've talking about the force capability and things like that and getting a robotic arm stuck in a pose. That's what it's trying to prevent. And I do find that very interesting that they have a company very focused on solving a problem that has probably been existing for day one for robots. So that's an interesting take. Thanks Steve.

Stephen LaMarca:

You're welcome.

Benjamin Moses:

I've got one on government, some 3D from 3D print.

Stephen LaMarca:

The Government management.

Benjamin Moses:

US government Boost advanced manufacturing with three new developments. And it talks about funding and where the government's headed because the government is actually a consumer of advanced manufacturing equipment, but also process the resulting of those. I feel like they're investing a little bit more to drive innovation. So one thing that has come up quite a bit is heat pumps.

I don't know if you guys hear about heat pumps being a thing.

Stephen LaMarca:

Oh, heat pump. Yeah.

Benjamin Moses:

Like in houses. But there's some new advancements about efficiency of heat pumps where it's a big thing to drive homes and using heat pumps as opposed to conventional HVAC systems. And that cascades into manufacturing a little bit differently because there's some new designs coming out. But heat exchangers in general have been a prime opportunity for additive manufacturing process, especially when you look at space applications, but also aerospace where they want to get the most out of this structure and at the lowest weight.

Stephen LaMarca:

If you ask Stephanie Hendrickson and Pete Zelinsky who do the cool parts show for Gardner Business Media, they say that the most views, the most comments, they're hottest videos are always 3D printed heat exchangers.

Benjamin Moses:

And they're super complex. And it's a couple of years ago at one of our joint committee meetings, we actually had Ansys walk through a closed loop design where they looked at the design, the analysis printing process and then testing and then driving that back into the initial design. So they had several iterations of this process to refine through CFD through structural analysis, and they're actually printing the part and running the part itself both dimensionally and the characteristics of it. So it was very interesting to look at heat exchangers and heat pumps. The other one, it's kind of a broad section. So there's a list of critical emerging technologies that the government's looking at. I think this might play into some of the stuff that Steve and I have been looking at on export control. So kind of keep an eye on where they're headed on their emerging technology list and also how they actually support it.

I had a conversation with one of our new members about where the gap is on reshoring efforts. So there's a huge demand in the marketplace, but our manufacturing capability and production volume is still catching up a little bit. How do we foster an environment to de-risk new companies for getting into that? His background's a little more software related, but if you start looking at the risk of a hardware based startup, the risk goes from several to million dollars to tens of million dollars very, very quickly. As a nation do we want to foster those risks. And then the last one, a strategy to forge resilient and healthy defense communities. So they're looking at a couple of tiers within the defense and with our CTO going on to Blue Forge to looking at the growth of the industrial base for defense, they outlined some really interesting things that I think are applicable to technologies at most small to medium-sized companies.

One is adopting human-centric requirements for manufacturing equipment and processes, optimizing department's footprint. So where Department of Defense has a footprint and visibility into the manufacturing place, but one thing that affects everyone is transforming portfolio management. So how do they manage? So at their level, how do they manage the F-35 suite of aircraft that cascades down to the different products and parallel we're talking about European companies. Porsche actually does this really, really well. The ability to customize, you can buy the most basic Porsche or you can buy the most basic Porsche, which every single option that you could ever imagine. And you're not stuck with a single platform that you have to choose from. So-

Stephen LaMarca:

You and I joke that Australia and Poland will buy anything. That our defense industry cooks up. But when was the last time... Have you ever looked up the F-16 on Wikipedia?

Benjamin Moses:

Ages ago. Like the block.

Stephen LaMarca:

You should see how many variants that there are and we don't even get them.

Benjamin Moses:

No.

Stephen LaMarca:

Therefore, other countries. It is the tuner Honda Civic of fighter jets. Everybody loves that thing.

Benjamin Moses:

Wait until they put in VTech and then it takes off.

Stephen LaMarca:

Dude, the Japanese have the best one. The F-2.

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:

F-2, fire.

Benjamin Moses:

So I thought it was very interesting. That's a very interesting look of where they're heading kind of cascades to a lot of parallels that both our members and end users could potentially look at.

Elissa Davis:

Well, I know I shared the article recently that it's the additive is saving the Coast Guard a ton of money.

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:

I saw you post it. That was incredible.

Elissa Davis:

Yeah, and I think we had talked about, I think talked about that specifically on the podcast. At one point the Coast Guard starting to use more additive manufacturing and apparently it's saving them a lot of money to use it. So...

Stephen LaMarca:

I know I've run the podcast mentioned the LeBron lathe and how during World War 2, all naval vessels had a machine shop on it. And in that machine there were at least 10 LeBron Lathes. And now today, people who have them, these World War 2 military mill spec manual lathes can't give them away. I can't wait to see what the LeBron lathe equivalent of a 3D printer will be. We won't be around for it.

Benjamin Moses:

But that's a good takeaway.

Stephen LaMarca:

I'm really pumped.

Benjamin Moses:

That's a good takeaway, Elissa. Because I feel like as an industry, as a nation, we're starting to understand how to use 3D printing and additive manufacturing. There's still a long way to go because if you look at what processes are actually valuable, it's still a very disparate bunch of use cases versus what is actually useful.

Stephen LaMarca:

Do you think it's going to be an Optimec or a speed 3D?

Benjamin Moses:

Elissa, tell me about STEM.

Elissa Davis:

Stem. Yes. So the article that I am sharing today is it's an article from the Yale Daily News and it's an op-ed called Death of the Woman in stem.

Benjamin Moses:

Interesting.

Elissa Davis:

Yes. And it is written by a woman who was in STEM.

Benjamin Moses:

Okay.

Elissa Davis:

And it's her talking about, so the narrative that we frame around women in STEM, which is basically women in STEM are doing something amazing, which they are, but we kind of put them on this pedestal and we make them

Stephen LaMarca:

And we expect them to do something amazing.

Elissa Davis:

Exactly. Sorry, is that helping or hurting the narrative around women in STEM? Because she talks about how when she went into STEM, when she started going into it, no one talks about how you're the only woman in the room, but it's very obvious that you're the only woman in the room and you're not allowed to say anything about it. You feel like you can't really ask for help because you don't want to feel like you're getting special treatment because then that's a whole other set of issues. And eventually she ended up leaving her job or leaving stem, and she doesn't know if it's because she stopped enjoying, she didn't want to be an engineering anymore or if it was just burnout from being a woman in STEM. She said she never actually faced any discrimination directly, but it was just this heavy weight that she was carrying around being in this position. And I guess that's something that we don't really think about because she says that, let me see. Hold on. I was going to read this one article.

Stephen LaMarca:

While you're looking for that, I do want to say, I know I mentioned this before we started recording, but it's often forgotten that the most granular general purpose of civil rights is so everybody can just feel like an ordinary person. Everybody wants to be a gray man.

Benjamin Moses:

Just blend in.

Stephen LaMarca:

[inaudible 00:29:01] with the crowd and not be anything, not look like anything special.

Benjamin Moses:

Right. And that is interesting. I mean, you bring up some of the key elements I was writing down, and I could definitely relate to some of the stuff on the backend, but artificially setting the high expectations. We definitely have seen employees in the past role where we've hired someone and right off the bat, we're hiring someone right out of college where all of a sudden we expect them to be a high performer or except to be delivering right away, it's like why did that change from anyone else? Why is that different than the five other people that we hired? Exactly the same boat. What indicators, how did you interview and get to that conclusion? And it partly was because they had this perception of the gender that they hired for this role. I was like, where did that come from? We're setting false expectations there.

Elissa Davis:

And it's one of those things where you also have to think about, so if you're interviewing a guy for that same position, would you have those same Expectations?

Benjamin Moses:

Exactly.

Elissa Davis:

But in the article, she says, "Once you're immersed in the world, constant messaging promotes STEM to girls as difficult, practical, and praiseworthy. So when you're a woman in STEM, you become a trailblazer, a glass ceiling breaker, and an advocate and a role model for kids who have follow in your footsteps." And I mean-

Benjamin Moses:

Some people don't want that.

Elissa Davis:

Some people, it's like they know exactly what they're going to do when they get into stem, they know exactly what they're aiming for. But some people go into it just with a passion for something like engineering or physics or whatever it may be. And then they get into it. And that weight of being a woman in STEM and having to be a role model for these girls can be really, really heavy. And I mean, don't get me wrong, women in STEM is amazing and I think we do need more women in STEM, but I think maybe we need to rethink how we frame the narrative around it because obviously we don't want them to burn out and then leave because it's too much.

Benjamin Moses:

And that's one thing I kind of picked up on the tail end is that we're putting them, putting anyone in that situation into a scenario where nobody really asked them if they wanted that. Do they want to be a role model? Do you want to be a president? Maybe my case back when I was in need, I just want to say technical, I just want to solve problems. I don't want to coach, I don't want to do venturing. So one of the things that we're missing in this is the inclusive conversation of what is your career path? Where do you want to go?

Elissa Davis:

Right. Well, kind of a weird segue is that I'm big on romance novels and there's this one author named Allie Hazelwood, and she writes specifically STEM-based novels. Right? [inaudible 00:31:34]. They're about people in STEM.

Ramia Lloyd:

Oh my God. I read that.

Elissa Davis:

And they're great. And in one of her novellas, there's one character who is like, she's like, "I was really bad in school, but I just really loved Mars. And so I got super into Mars." And so people are like, "Oh, this is the dream. It's when your dream to work at NASA your entire life." And she's like, "Sure."

And she's like, "I just wanted to work on the Mars Rover." It wasn't like I got into this and was like, oh, I just want to be a role model and everything. It's just like I just want to learn about Mars. And when I was reading that article, that was kind of the correlation that I saw was like, Oh, no one really talks about, because some people, it's like their passion their entire life. And then some people, it's just like, this is really interesting to me and I want to pursue it. But there's just so much weight attached to it because in the book, the person who asks, they're like, "Oh, isn't this your dream come true?" Was the only other woman in the room.

Benjamin Moses:

Right.

Elissa Davis:

Right? And so it's just this weight of like, oh, is there a right answer to this?

Benjamin Moses:

Yeah, that's interesting.

Ramia Lloyd:

It also reminds me of the book we read for book club Lessons in Chemistry, which was an extreme, I would say point of view from that she kind of had the same thing where she always had this chip on her shoulder that she knew that it would be different for her.

Stephen LaMarca:

That's not Apple Tv.

Ramia Lloyd:

Instead of being able watch. Yes, it watched. Not an Apple TV show. No. But instead of just being able to come to work, she wakes up, put it in her pants, everyone else, she has this extra expectation set for her just because she's a woman in the same field dominated by-

Benjamin Moses:

That allowed one string of pearls in hidden Figures.

Ramia Lloyd:

Oh yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:

I know. Nobody asked me, but I got to say when I got into physics, sure, space is cool, but I didn't get into physics because I like space. I got into it because I have a really bad, I'm really bad at memorizing.

Elissa Davis:

Understandable.

Stephen LaMarca:

And physics was the one course that when I went into in high school, the professor, well the teacher was like, "All right, for our first exam, you can have one three by five note card and only equations on the front." I'm like, "We don't have to memorize these patients." It was like, yeah, you just have to know how to use them and which one to use. I was easy. And that's why it's the easiest course ever. There's no memorization required.

Elissa Davis:

I'm going to go a C in physics. I'd have to disagree, but-

Stephen LaMarca:

Well, you're also probably good at memorizing stuff.

Elissa Davis:

I am really good at memorizing stuff.

Stephen LaMarca:

Yeah. I can't memorize the lyrics of a song that I've listened to on repeat 20 times.

Elissa Davis:

That's fair.

Benjamin Moses:

I'm the worst at that music lyrics.

Elissa Davis:

Yeah. But-

Ramia Lloyd:

I just kind of make it my own.

Elissa Davis:

With your degree in physics, do you go into a room and think everyone expects you to be a role model?

Stephen LaMarca:

They expect me to be smart.

Elissa Davis:

That's fair. I mean, that's fair.

Stephen LaMarca:

They expect me to be smart.

Elissa Davis:

And maybe that's another thing where it's like, yes, people who are in STEM, we do consider them very smart, but just because someone's outside of STEM doesn't mean, I think it's one of those things where, I don't know, we definitely need more women in STEM because proportionally it's outrageous. But I think it's just the perception that we have culturally because it's always been this huge discrepancy between men and women that we're constantly trying to put so much pressure on the role and we highlight it with movies like Hidden Figures, which is a great movie and a great book and a great story, but it's like, okay, well now there's that additional pressure. So I think it's just making sure that we're reframing that narrative so these girls feel like they can go into STEM and not feel like they have a responsibility to anyone but themselves.

Benjamin Moses:

That's a fair point. So I mean, to your point, Steve, the preconceived notion that applies to a lot of people, it's not only gender based, but if you say, I have a physics degree, that means like, oh, what atoms did you split? Where did that come from? I just did a five-year degree on physics. Right?

Stephen LaMarca:

You always splitting atom this morning in the bathroom.

Benjamin Moses:

And to be fair, I get that a lot, right when I enter the room like, "Oh, what server did you install? I'm not in it, bro. I'm not writing code. I'm designing stuff here." So I do see a shift in the preconceived notions generationally, my daughter's nine, and there's a big age difference between all the generations past us. I think I'm a Gen X and my wife is a millennial and there's a bunch of other generations and there's a shift on walking into the room. It's having a blank mind, just stop prejudging this room that you walk in, move forward. So yeah.

Stephen LaMarca:

I didn't realize it was a privilege to be comfortable with walking into the room and just loving the fact that I'm the dumbest person. That really is a privilege though.

Ramia Lloyd:

I do feel like that's also a larger conversation of women in general and just Yeah, that could be put on so many different things.

Elissa Davis:

Yeah. Agreed.

Ramia Lloyd:

In professional environments, especially.

Benjamin Moses:

Let's do some planning with Women's History Month coming up. Maybe we can have some special content.

Ramia Lloyd:

That would be awesome.

Stephen LaMarca:

And I got to say, we have to pat ourselves on the back, the manufacturing industry. I mean, not us or AMT, even though we're doing a lot with it, but I think over the years, and I mentioned this at IMTS 2022, when Ben and I were on the main stage, it was the most diverse manufacturing show, trade show that I had ever been to in 2022. It was that diverse because my first one was 2016 in 2018, and I promised Kat, there's a term that I won't use anymore. But it was all guys. It was all guys. In 2016, 2018, 2016, there were even Booth Babes. But now we've got to really stop laughing at me. I'm being Serious.

Elissa Davis:

No, I figured out what the phrase is.

Stephen LaMarca:

It's like beer Fest, but not beer. Yeah,

Ramia Lloyd:

Yeah. We get it. We get it. We got it. It's fine. It's in my head. I understand.

Stephen LaMarca:

And that's it.

Benjamin Moses:

Guys. We cover a lot of different things. Heck, thanks for the conversation today.

Elissa Davis:

Go team.

Benjamin Moses:

Ramia, where can they find more info about us?

Ramia Lloyd:

amtonline.org/resources like share, subscribe. Shameless plug will be on the main stage at IMTS 2024.

Stephen LaMarca:

Bird Up.

Benjamin Moses:

Tell us about cookies.

Ramia Lloyd:

Bye.

Stephen LaMarca:

Bing bong.

PicturePicture
Author
Benjamin Moses
Director, Technology
Recent technology News
Episode 116: The gang shares their love for amusement parks. Stephen is happy to announce that there are a lot of testbed updates. Elissa presents further evidence that Elon Musk is dumb. Ben closes with an allegedly new method of 3D printing.
Episode 115: The gang talks about dogs and other furry friends. Elissa reports that Japan’s about to land on the moon. Ben discusses stainless steel corrosion. Stephen closes with an “ICYMI” on everything we may have missed with the Boeing situation.
Episode 114: Steve talks about jarred tomato sauce and hardware store struggles. Elissa reports on Boeing’s purchase of Spirit AeroSystems (not to be confused with the airlines). Stephen found out what the next milsurp machine tool is.
Episode 112: The Tech Frends reintroduce themselves, the purpose of this podcast, and walk through each of their backgrounds laying out how they got where they are today.
Episode 111: Ramia shares her excitement as the team’s new studio is coming together! Steve notes that Modern Machine Shop has been on a roll releasing banger after banger articles. Ben closes with an attempt to redefine robotics programming.
Similar News
undefined
International
By Arun Mahajan | Apr 24, 2024

How high will India’s PMI go? Passenger vehicle sales hit an all-time high, and opportunities in defense, energy, construction, and other sectors grow as the country’s robust markets thrive. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.

5 min
undefined
Technology
By Benjamin Moses | Apr 19, 2024

Episode 116: The gang shares their love for amusement parks. Stephen is happy to announce that there are a lot of testbed updates. Elissa presents further evidence that Elon Musk is dumb. Ben closes with an allegedly new method of 3D printing.

29 min
undefined
Technology
By Stephen LaMarca | Apr 19, 2024

Stagnant talent dilemma. No retirement for Atlas. New tech for an old-people game. ABB found red October. Data irrigation.

6 min