Three Peas in The POD

The making of "three peas in the pod"

The making of "three peas in the pod"

"Students entering as first-year engineering students come to Duke with a wide range of technical skills. In First-Year Design, students do a lot of hands-on work with tools ranging from hand tools to power tools, along with prototyping equipment like 3D printers and laser cutters.  Using these tools for the first time can be intimidating, especially to students with little or no experience working with them.  We were excited to create video tutorials for students to help them get started and to show them some unexpected products they can make with prototyping tools.

These three students worked through the summer to create these videos. They became comfortable with each tool and then chose projects that could be made to highlight each tool.  The students scripted, storyboarded, and then filmed these videos with the help of Duke’s video professionals. The videos are intended to help everyone! We hope you enjoy them!"

- Dr. Sophia Santillan, FYD Instructor




Explore more of the "Two (or Three) Peas in The POD" playlist on our YouTube channel.

What does it mean to be one of the "Three Peas in the POD"?

"I was fortunate enough to walk into my first year design engineering course on the first day of classes to two impressive, yet welcoming, female professors. I didn’t initially realize how much these women would impact my experience as a female Pratt student. I entered this school not thinking twice about my path as an engineer. Almost instantly after stepping on campus, I had multiple mentors to not only guide me, but give me a visual representation of what I could be. I never thought to question my place as an engineer, because I could see myself as these incredible and successful women. To me, thats the most important part of Three Peas in the Pod. I came into this school and immediately had role models that I could actually relate to. I want to be that for all of the first years. I think its so important to have us girls showing the class how to use these tools and big machines, in order to show that it's normal, despite the fact that most lab managers around campus are men. I am so thankful to First Year Design for not only giving me the confidence to pursue my passion as an engineer, but for giving me the opportunity to do that for all the female engineers to come."

- Ashley Lanzas, FYD Fall '17, Pratt '21

"I will never forget walking into my first day of math class here at Duke. My entire life, math has been my favorite subject and before coming to college, I never felt like my gender made that unique. However, when I walked into multivariable calculus on the first day of classes, that all changed. I was one of three girls in a class of almost thirty people. While people warned me about the gender discrepancy in engineering programs before coming, I was shocked to find that it truly is a problem.

I am so grateful to have been able to had the opportunity to take the first-year design course taught by Dr. Santillan and Dr. Saterbak, two extremely knowledgable female engineers, during my first semester. Having them as role models from the start made me confident in my ability to succeed as a female in a male-dominated industry.

Creating the ‘Three Peas in the Pod’ video series was such a special experience. As three young female engineers, we loved being able to use our knowledge of tools and machines to make engineering labs seem like a less intimidating space to first-year engineering students and also show that girls are fully capable of using those big, scary machines too."

- Alexa Tannebaum, FYD Fall '17, Pratt '21

"When I took the FYD course as a first-year, before the course was required, I was one of four female students in the whole class. Our presence and contributions were important, but I was always aware of our small representation. Although female engineering students make up far less than half of the Pratt student body, there is an extremely strong and supportive community that I know I can always turn to. 

Three Peas in the POD has not only given me confidence in some of my technical skills, but also gave me the opportunity to contribute to other Pratt student’s instruction. While I have been lucky enough to have some phenomenal female engineering professors, the majority of my professors are men. This means that more often than not, I am learning machining, CAD, circuitry, physics, etc. from male professors. Especially as a first-year student, I would have loved to see three of my female Pratt peers teaching me how to use the laser cutter or jig saw. Creating Three Pease in the POD has been an empowering experience for me and I hope our videos will serve as a helpful tool for our peers."

- Rebecca Leggett, FYD Fall '17, Pratt '21