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I have been in the Waukee school district all of my life, so when I heard about the APEX program I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I knew that I wanted to be in one of the engineering classes because engineering has always been my favorite subject of mine. Eventually I decided on the class I am currently taking, Engineering Technology and Robotics (ETR).

In ETR we work with with businesses such as Accumold, Ramco Innovations, and The Science Center of Iowa to add value to the organization through project work. How ETR works is we have our main team that includes everyone, but we also have our own project groups led by a project manager. I am currently working as the project manager for my team. We are working with Accumold to modify a SCARA manufacturing robot to perform a demo that is being brought to different conventions and events around Iowa such as the State Fair, Future Ready Iowa. Most recently my team took it to the DMACC STEM Festival to not only show the robot, but also practice and display the professional skills that are extensively in all APEX Programs. This was also an opportunity to promote the relationship between APEX and Accumold and show how APEX really is adding value to our partners.

Taking on a role as project manager has allowed me to greatly further my professional skills as project leader which includes being the link between our team and the business we are working with. This means sending professional emails, leading meetings, and delegating responsibilities, and setting project timelines.

During my time with APEX I have also developed a variety of technical skills such as wiring relays, programing, parametric 3D modeling, and designing for manufacturability. All of that combined with the professional skills I have gained has made APEX the most enjoyable and in depth learning experience I have had in high school.