By Journalism student Ella
Every year, an anonymous donor blesses a freshman or sophomore in December with a MacBook Pro. The student must be passionate about STEM and must have the potential to excel in STEM in the future. This year, the winner of this computer was freshman Grant Pilgrim
Grant says, “This year,” as he recalls what he has been doing this year in STEM, “I have been doing a lot of engineering and designing vehicles like World War II ships and famous supercars using LEGO bricks. I design a build, I order the parts to build it and then I redesign it to make it stronger, make it more accurate or give it more functions.”
The switch from 15% IP to IMPACT hour has been a positive change for most, and Grant agrees.
When asked what his thoughts were on the switch, he said, “I like that you get to be around the people who are interested in the same things you are. I do miss the bigger STEAM fair we used to have, because it gave you a chance to display your project better. However, I personally feel like IMPACT will offer a lot more opportunities for people than 15% IP did.”
Grant’s IMPACT project this year is to try to fuse a solar panel and a wind turbine together to make a more effective energy source. His hope is to get it to the STEM fair and be able to share it with the community. Grant says, “I was inspired to do this project because I have always been interested in ending global warming. I feel like God would want us to protect the planet rather than destroy it.”
Being a freshman, Grant’s science teacher is ninth and sixth grade science teacher Amber Rodriguez. Rodriguez says, “Grant is very hard working. He has a passion for science that goes beyond the classroom.”
A previous winner of the MacBook Pro is junior Brendan Collins. He won the computer for redesigning a section of the Tropical trail for the MN Zoo in a competition. It took a lot of time and effort to complete and it required skill in 3D modeling, architecture, and photo editing, so it’s obvious that it is not easy to win the computer.
Grant says, “I think I got nominated for the MacBook Pro because of my STEM project last year-I made a solar-powered phone charger. I think another reason is my motivation to learn. I have always been motivated to be able to do well in school and I think both my grades and my participation in the Knowledge Bowl this year contributed to my being nominated.”
Grant also wants to make STEM a part of his future career because of his passion for it. Grant says, “I have always wanted to be an engineer like my dad someday because I like building things on computer modeling software. I mainly like machines that have a lot of new solutions and innovations to make them work.”
As IMPACT hour continues to grow, Grant will grow in his passion for science. He plans to continue his involvement in STEM throughout high school. His hope is that as he gets older, he will be able to make better projects and learn new things that could help him with his projects.
He says, “I think I am always going to be into STEM and things that use my brain for the years to come. think in the next few years I will get better with my projects.”
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