STEP Computer Build


1. I built a computer from scratch through researching the correct parts and learning how to undertake such a project. After acquiring the parts I took an afternoon and put it all together and built a working computer.

2. During this process I needed help to ensure I was going about it the correct way. To make sure this was the case I talked to my brothers for advice on whether the parts I had chosen were the correct options. This was a huge step and change for me as it brought me closer to my brothers and that is one of the best things I can get from life. I knew being close with them was important but I didn’t know how much until this project.

3. Interacting with my brothers over the years wasn’t always easy. With them being seven and ten years older than me I always wanted to hang out with them, whether or not they wanted me to or not. Working on this together strengthened the feeling that I belong. It was always important that they accepted me. We enjoyed our time together and working on this computer with them made it feel like we were younger again.

Another part that is important was my choices working out as well as I could ask for. My choices in parts were new for me and I had to research and learn what would work for the computer. Seeing I could find the parts I needed and the right ones to choose to be successful in this endeavor was a great boost for me. I was proud to see my investigations paid off and I could find the parts efficiently. The ability to find things on the internet is vital in the world today, and I am glad I have that capability.

The last part that helped in my change was working with our good friend, Nick. He has always been apart of our family due to being close with my brothers and being someone I could look up to. He was always helpful to me even when my brothers wouldn’t necessarily be. Working with him took me back to being a child and it was incredible to share this experience with him. He is practically a brother to us and it made my day getting to work with him.

4. This is huge for me as I love being able to come home and spend time with them. I love being with them, whether this is at our grandma’s, their house, or at a friends house. I love the time spent with them and the rest of my family. This connection is so significant to me and growing this relationship is huge in my growth as a person as well. Growing relationships is very influential for my future and this just continued to grow my skills and my ability to show what I can do.

Grace Brott – Growing with Ballroom Dancing

My STEP Project focused primarily on improving my skills of ballroom dancing. This was done by taking private lessons throughout the summer and fall semester and serving as a student mentor on DanceSport, the ballroom dancing club at Ohio State.

As this project took place, I soon realized just how little I actually knew about ballroom dancing going into the project. I ended up going back to much of the fundamental basics of the various ballroom dance styles. Learning the fundamentals in a way I had previously overlooked allowed me to understand more complex moves or technical aspects of dance I struggled with in the past. Furthermore, this allowed me to learn more complex moves that were beyond my prediction going into the STEP project. As I grew in skill level, I also found myself more equipped and able to teach others in a coherent way during mentoring sessions in which I helped incoming members to the team.

I now also feel much more confident dancing with others I may not know as well during classes or competitions because I have gained confidence in myself and a greater understanding of what is expected of me as a follow in a ballroom dancing partnership. Additionally to this I have learned how to practice efficiently in a way that retains and can be implemented into the next lesson or practice session. I also grew closer and more comfortable with my dance coach Jeff Goltiao who I also took lessons from, and found it easier to ask questions that were actually impactful for me to grow and learn from.

Throughout my time dancing before my STEP project, I rarely attended events held by the club or even classes if my close friends were not able to make it. Despite wanting to dance, my struggles with personal body image have also impacted my participation and attendance. This STEP project forced me to contact my coach, one of our team’s professional dancers, for a private lesson. My first lesson I was extremely nervous and unconfident with every step I took. Jeff was always supportive and willing to slow things down enough that I could understand, but always made sure to keep pushing the borders of my comfort zone. By the end of the project I looked forward to the lessons and learning new moves and styles of dance. I also felt much more comfortable with myself and being in the mindset of dancing and not worrying about my body while I danced. I also felt more encouraged to attend events outside of DanceSport sanctioned events on my own time to continue learning and dancing.


Growing as a dancer encouraged me to attend group dancing events out of my comfort zone, and not only has that strengthened my presence in the club, it has also showed me that I can be a capable mentor to others in the club! Through my STEP project I applied to be a student mentor to newcomers in the club. I primarily taught rhythm dances to others, but also taught smooth and standard dances as well. Serving as a student mentor was a cool experience because not only did it allow me to practice and better my skills through teaching, but I felt that it helped strengthen my relationship as an older club member and as Vice President with DanceSport with younger members. Creating relationships with older, experienced members with newer members has always been a topic of discussion for our executive board, so I feel that it is impactful that my STEP project could help bridge that gap between members. I also went to an event put on by Dance Edge Studio that connected Columbus high schoolers interested in dancing with college students. It was really impactful to interact with high schoolers and learn from their perspective while serving as a role model as well.


I chose to participate in Level Testing on our DanceSport team to check for improvement throughout the duration of my STEP Project. Before my STEP project, I had attempted to test into the Bronze class level three times and was not successful each time. However, this time during my STEP project I was successful and tested into the Bronze level! I feel like this moment was impactful in my transformative experience because up until that point I did not feel like it would be possible for me to successfully test into Bronze classes. However, the amount of practice over the summer and into the fall semester showed and was demonstrated through this successful testing experience. Moving forward past my project, I now feel inspired to keep working and eventually test into silver classes and continue to grow as a dancer.


Practicing Rumba in Lesson

I feel that my STEP project will impact me down the road because the entire project was not anything I would have considered to attempt on my own, but has taught me several lessons on healthy independence, confidence, and how hard work and practice pays off to grow with a skillset. Learning how to practice a little at a time over the course of a period of time through repetition has reflected in the way I do classwork or prepare for examinations or other noteworthy events. My STEP Project has instilled healthy habits that has impacted much of my daily life. Additionally, my STEP project has given me independence and confidence to learn things or attend events because I am interested in the material, not necessarily if my close friends are attending. I also would like to note that my STEP project has helped better my body image with myself because I discovered that my body type isn’t necessarily what was previously preventing me from growing as a dancer, it was more the way I was practicing and how I was learning. I believe that my STEP project has allowed me to grow more confident of a person and more determined to put in the work to grow better in whatever I hope to do, and to continue growing to be a better person along the way.

The videos posted below are my first and last lessons that show my progress over the course of the project.

Building a computer

1.) My STEP project entailed the research, purchasing, and execution of building a desktop computer. I researched what type of parts I should buy and what types of parts were compatible together using online and local resources. I then put the parts together using the knowledge I had gained.


2.)  The most important transformation that happened during this project was gaining a realization that a computer’s hardware and complex concepts in general can be understood given the time and effort to do so. I believe that we put limitations on ourselves by thinking thoughts like “that’s too complicated for me” or “I could never figure that out”. Before I researched this project, I had little idea of how a computer’s hardware worked and had some doubt as to whether I would figure out how to do it. However, as I put together the parts of the CPU, motherboard, power supply, etc together I realized it was feasible to learn and not nearly as difficult as I had imagined it to be. This has given me confidence going into new projects that I know little about that I will have the ability to learn as I go.


3.) As parts that I ordered came in one by one, they formed a daunting pile of  various sized boxes at my house. When the time came to finally start to begin the process of piecing them together, I was questioning whether or not I had done my research right. After double checking the compatibility of my parts online, I was ready to begin the process.

The first step that I attempted to complete was inserting the CPU into the motherboard. This task is as simple as dropping the square-shaped CPU into a motherboard slot and dropping a lever down onto it. As simple as this task was, I was very nervous to mess it up. After all, these parts were expensive and sensitive. After I finally dropped the lever down and heard a satisfying click, I started to relax. This was the point when I realized that I was able to go into the rest of the process with a peace of mind that the tasks would not be impossibly difficult.

This idea helped me when I ran into my first couple of problems. The greatest problem I had was that when I was finished with the build and nothing happened when I turned the switched the power on. Instead of panicking and giving up, I started researching for answers online. After a while, I realized I only had loose cables and was eventually able to get my first power up. These problems and solutions only reaffirmed that I should and could be more confident in my ability to problem solve.


4.) This transformation will help in me in all aspects of my life in the future. It taught me that I shouldn’t fear subjects I don’t know whether that be in my career or personal life. In my career, that may mean broadening my perspective by taking on tasks that I don’t know much about in order to increase my abilities. It has given me confidence that the unknown is not as terrifying or dangerous that I imagine it to be. Overall, this project has taught me both about inside of a computer and the limitations that we put on ourselves.