Seniors Kyler Akers and Logan Louquet, the teams flyers, celebrate after a successful run.
Seniors Kyler Akers and Logan Louquet, the team’s flyers, celebrate after a successful run.
Courtesy of Hornet Drones

Engineering Success

How STEM Classes Build a Student’s Future

Tucked away in the school’s dungeon, behind a heavy wooden door, is a room filled wall to wall with robotics and engineering gadgets. There’s equipment ranging from high-tech 3D Printers to thousand-dollar drones. This room, Coach Tyler Harrison’s class, has unlocked a new future for many students here at Azle High School.

Robotics, drone and engineering classes are useful tools for students interested in the field to better understand the intricacies of the profession and related careers. These classes allow students to not only gain knowledge to help their future professional lives but also allow them to concentrate on specific engineering niches.

Junior Lucas Maschmeier joined the drone team during his freshman year. He’s an aspiring electrical engineer.

“I grew up playing with legos and messing around with electronic boards,” he said, remarking on how he’s always felt drawn to the career. “My dad is also an engineer, and I always wanted to follow in his footsteps.”

The team has taught Maschmeier more than the technical aspects of the profession.

“I wanted to experience that team learning, that build management,” the junior said.

The robotics classes offered at the high school also offer similar benefits to students.

“Robotics is more [focused on] building, problem-solving, and doing it all from scratch,” junior Lucas Butler said. “I was interested in learning how it all worked and how you can make anything you wanted.”

The robotics team will compete at competitions throughout the year, namely, the VEX Robotics Competition, the largest of its kind. Students can win upwards of $50,000 scholarships through this event to further their education in engineering or STEM-related fields.

Alongside competing, Butler is also working on gaining a certification through his engineering class.

“I’m learning Fusion 360,” he said. “I’ll use it for jobs where I need to design a 3-D mechanism for something.”

While the drone and robotics classes certainly help students planning on pursuing STEM careers, there are unforeseen benefits for more artsy kids.

Senior Logan Louquet initially joined the drone team for his friends, but he discovered new possibilities through it.

“I would like to do engineering, but I don’t think I will,” Louquet said. “I have a really big passion for photography.”

Louquet was able to combine his drive for picture-taking with his love of flying drones high in the sky.

“I do drone photography,” he said. “I make constant trips to Alaska, Colorado, and New Mexico [to take photos].”

While not at all the students enrolled in engineering or STEM classes will ultimately pursue a career in the subject, it’s still important to invest in these students and their futures.

“If you put your all into the STEM classes we have,” Loquet said, “you’ll find they are incredibly sufficient.”

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Kristina Birkeland
I am a lavender-loving, rom-com-reading Swiftie with a deep love for Jane Austen and watercolor painting!

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