In my freshman year at Arrowhead Union High School, I had only a general idea of what I wanted to do as a career or go to college for. I knew that I liked science and math, and had a decent motivation to continue down that path, but I was starting to have doubts if I was cut out to succeed in that field of study. But sophomore year, I took Engineering and Mechanics, a physics and engineering class that used math and science to analyze and solve engineering problems and to use this knowledge to teach us how engineers use math in their jobs.
The following year, I signed up for physics thinking it would be a good middle ground between my two best skills of science and math, but I also wasn’t sure if I’d actually end up liking it or not. But when Mr. Zuercher started teaching, his enthusiasm, energy, and encouragement of curiosity made it easy to want to learn, and easy to understand. He showed how much knowledge can be unlocked with the knowledge of physics, as well as how it ties into everything we do in every aspect of our lives. It was with this in-awe type of learning that made me sure that I wanted to pursue an Mechanical Engineering degree, which uses the application of science and math to solve all types of problems that engineers encounter.
Then, in my junior year of high school, I had Engineering Design and Development. EDD is a class that taught me how to take an idea to the drawing board, to a prototype, to however many versions of the prototype are needed, to a finished design that would fulfill its design criteria and be a potentially sellable product that many people would benefit from. Mr. Zuercher taught that class as well, and he inspired me to use all of the knowledge I’ve acquired to find something that needs a solution, such as foggy glasses when wearing masks in covid times, for which my group came up with a mask sealer that didn’t allow hot air to come out the top of the mask and fog the user’s glasses. But this wouldn’t have been possible without the encouragement of Mr. Zuercher.
Mr. Z has taught me not only about physics, or design principles, but he has taught me about how many things there are to be explored, and how interesting each one of those things are. He also taught me that nobody is telling you what you can and can’t learn about, so if I find something interesting that I want to learn about I should go out and do it for myself, so that I learn something new every time that I can. For that Mr. Z, thank you for making me appreciate the universe that we live in, and encouraging me to explore and learn as much as I can.