Can anybody offer advice on my essay?
Topic: The Admissions Committee would like to learn why you are a good fit for your undergraduate school choice (College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing, The Wharton School, or Penn Engineering). Please tell us about specific academic, service, and/or research opportunities at the University of Pennsylvania that resonate with your background, interests, and goals.
Paper and glue are all it takes to construct a unique work of art . During middle school, I stumbled across images of 3D origami. I was utterly astounded by the diverse and intricate creations; each was uniquely designed and built solely by layering small, folded pieces of paper. I immediately researched tutorials on how to create 3D origami and from then on, I began designing and assembling my first project: a sailor penguin. It was a tedious process: folding more than 600 pieces of paper, creating a design, and placing each piece in its exact position so the design wouldn't be ruined. However, the process of building and adding each piece was exhilarating. Layer after layer, my design came to life. Finishing the product after hours of labor gave me the utmost satisfaction. These paper creations sparked my interest in mechanics and engineering.
I joined the robotics team during my junior year of high school and was instantly captivated. The first robotics competition I attended was brimming with diverse robots. They were all designed and manufactured differently, yet were all capable of performing the same task given. The competition's objective required my team to build an autonomous robot that could pick a ball up, and shoot it into the desired goal. Extra points were awarded if the robot could shoot the ball over a truss. My job was to brainstorm efficient and simplistic ideas that would satisfy the requirements for the robot and construct prototypes. After months of building, the robot was finally finished and ready for competition. My team was placed first seed and reached the semi-finals for the first year ever. Before I knew it, robotics inspired me to become a mechanical engineer.
While participating in the Penn's Summer Science Initiative program during the summer, I visited the GRASP laboratory and I had the opportunity to see the X-RHex Hexapedal Robot in action. The design was simplistic and was modeled after a cockroach, yet was practical and functional. I then realized that Penn could provide the tools and resources for me to eventually develop my own machines in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. I will be able to participate in the MEAM program (Penn's Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics). The program will not only educate me, it will also provide hands on experience in designing and manufacturing mechanical systems (MEAM 101 and MEAM 201). The flexibility of the MEAM program also grants specialization in multiple areas, allowing me to continue my passion for robotics. From paper origami to mechanical engineering, I believe SEAS will provide me the components to build up my future, one layer at a time.
Despite being thoroughly involved in robotics, I was also engrossed in sports and languages. I joined field hockey, lacrosse, and Students Run Philly Style, a long distance running club. Seeing my hard work pay off as my team won two consecutive public league championships and as I completed two marathons was invigorating. After viewing the Sunkaraku tea house in the Philadelphia Art Museum, I was intrigued by Japanese language and culture. I also excelled in my Spanish classes, which further inspired me to pursue foreign languages. Not only was I interested in engineering and robotics, I was now also interested in pursuing foreign languages and sports. I knew with these diverse interests, only select colleges would permit me to pursue all of them.