Earlier this month, we were proud to unveil the 2016 STEM Premier Top 100 students.
Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of STEM talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!
Austen is next up in the spotlight. A physics, math, and poetry enthusiast from the Lonestar State, this high school senior has his college plans settled and will be heading to the University of Texas at Dallas in the fall to pursue his undergraduate studies.
Get to know Austen in his own words below!
High School: Round Rock High School (TX)
Class year: Senior
Something you wouldn’t know about me is... how much I read. Aside from textbooks for school, I love to read. Bestselling fiction series and Lord of the Rings-esque novels that I can share and talk about with friends, or poetry that I can nerd-out over with a teacher or friend. I’ve grown up around books and I couldn’t imagine not having one on my mind or in my hand.
For fun, I like to... go out with friends and enjoy a bit of down-time. “The Guys” and I will go bowling on weekends or swimming in the summers. Sometimes we just go out and see the latest blockbuster and laugh over dumb inside jokes over dinner.
If I could meet anyone in the world, I would want to meet...either Carl Sagan or Neil Degrasse Tyson. They’re both experts in their field, but what I’ve always found amazing and inspiring about them both is their capability of breaking up such large and crazy concepts so that it can be explained to nearly anyone. I appreciate the complex world that physics, math, and other STEM subjects embody. Furthermore, I appreciate their complexities, and I feel that being able to explain the inner workings of the world to anyone is an incredibly useful skill.
The best Teacher I’ve ever had was...Mr.Smith, who’s been my English teacher for two years. He taught me to see the world in such a broad and open-minded sense, and has been a mentor not only in school, but in the ‘real-world’ that my fellow classmates and I will be finding ourselves in next year.
The last app I downloaded on my phone was... Snapchat. I’ve never been one to use social media, but a few friends finally convinced me to try it out. I have to say it is fun, and makes me keep an eye out for something cool to take a picture of and send to the people I know will also appreciate it.
After high school my next step is to... go to college. Right now I plan on pursuing a degree in Physics and Mathematics at the University of Texas at Dallas. I hope to take what I learn there to get into a research position and learn even more about both those subjects.
In ten years I see myself... out in the world. I hope to have completed a doctorate by then, and getting an opportunity to research and work with other people in my field. I don’t expect to change the world with any grand discovery in ten years, but I’d like to see a path to get me closer there within a decade or so.
My greatest dream is... to change the world. Maybe with some battery that allows our society to store energy more effectively, or perhaps with a new type of travel that makes space-exploration and expansion more feasible. The possibilities of the scientific world truly are endless, and I hope that whatever I end up working on is just as boundless in application.
The thing I like about the STEM Premier most is... the connection it gives me (or any individual using it for that matter) with the STEM industry. After all, it is an industry known for designing and defining the future of the world; it’s nice to be able to get a glance at the future this early on.
Good luck Austen. Thanks for being a STEM Premier user and congratulations on being chosen as a 2016 Top 100 student. We wouldn’t be surprised if you do get to meet Neil DeGrasse Tyson in the future!