From the flux capacitator to passive solar solutions: An engineer in the making

Kyle '19 is finding ways to grow his passion for science and engineering.

Doc Brown and Marty McFly are my two favorite characters from my favorite movie, Back to the Future.  An eccentric scientist and a teenager who team up to save the future. These characters kind of sum up my personality.  You could say that the  "Flux Capacitor” with its use of plutonium and eventually garbage to fuel the Delorean inspired my interest in science and engineering!

I have been fortunate to have real people in my life who inspire me too. Mr. Roche, my middle school biology teacher is one of those people. He is the real life Doc Brown.  Mr. Roche encouraged me to expand a heliothermal design project we completed in class.  He guided me through the process, helping me get the necessary equipment to complete the project and enter my work in the science fair in 7th grade.  He also challenged me to expanded my thinking.  

At Peddie, my Chemistry Honors teacher, Mr. Jason Park, teaches by taking everyday examples and makes connections to science.  He makes science look cool!

Over spring break I participated in a regional science and engineering fair with a project on passive solar solutions.  My work expanded on my thesis of the need for sustainable sources of energy to cut down on our use of fossil fuels. The project was honored in the Senior Engineering Category reviewed by 39 judges, and won three awards!

 My awards included:

  • US Air Force Laboratory Award-Outstanding Engineering Project
  • Arizona State University’s (ASU) Walton Sustainability Solutions Award & ASM International Foundation Award
  • 2nd Place in the Senior Division in the field of Engineering Mechanics
As part of the Arizona State University award, I was nominated to receive the Rob & Melani Walton Sustainability Solution Initiative. The program is part of the ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, and encourages, rewards and celebrates inventors, social entrepreneurs, innovative designers and creative thinkers who develop solutions to sustainability challenges.

The winner travels to Arizona for the 2017 Sustainability Solutions Festival!

I am looking for an opportunity this summer to develop my science and engineering interests but have found that it is difficult for a fifteen-year-old to get laboratory experience. I will keep trying!