Wright put engineering skills to the test

Student achiever

November 05, 2003

The student: Pierre Wright, 17

School: Howard High

Special achievement: He was on a team of students representing the National Society of Black Engineers at the national Trimathalon. The competition was held in California in the spring. The team of Wilde Lake and Howard High students took first place at a state meet to qualify for nationals. The students are evaluated individually on a group project and in a group competition.

What is the competition like? On the individual test, "the level of math is probably freshman year of college," Pierre said. The team portion of the Trimathalon involves group problems in physics and engineering. "It was a good experience," he said. "It was a whole convention, people from all over the country. The mathalon was just one part of it."

What he likes about math and engineering: "Once you get the formula, you get it. It's no opinion, it's a hard fact, that's what it is," Pierre said. He has studied mechanical drawing and hopes to major in mechanical engineering in college.

Other activities: He plays varsity basketball and is involved with his school's MESA (Math, Engineering and Science Achievement) program. The student team built an air pump from Legos and a balsa wood glider. "We have to mold and shape the balsa wood for optimal performance and know how to use the rubber band" that launches the glider, he said.

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