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As a high school senior, there are many days when it is hard to hold my attention. I am pretty focused on my graduation date, and sometimes that can affect how interested and involved I am with my classes. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy APEX classes so much! Waukee APEX classes are not like any other classes. APEX allows me to take steps into the real world and work on authentic projects for real companies.

Currently, I am in the Engineering Technology and Robotics class. The class is focused around advanced manufacturing and is all about critical thinking and decision making. The project that I am leading is for Blank Children’s Hospital. The point of the project is to make toys more user-friendly for children with disabilities.  The project is rather simple but has so much meaning. It is an honor to adapt a simple toy so that a child can use it just like other kids. The toy project entails soldering paddle switch adapters onto toys which requires the toy to be taken apart so wires can be soldered onto the circuit board inside. This allows for the toys to have a large paddle switch simply plugged into it. This is my typical day in the APEX program. Whether it is adapting a toy, or programming a robot for a manufacturing facility in Ankeny, I am providing value to our community. Most high school students across Iowa do not have opportunities like the Waukee APEX program, and I am thankful that Waukee has the program.

APEX has allowed me to explore what I do and do not want to do after high school. Before this class, I had no idea what I wanted to do in college or if I even wanted to go to college. Now I have a better answer to those questions. APEX is a lot more than a class, it is an opportunity that every high school student at Waukee should take advantage of. It is an experience like no other class.