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2012 National Education Program winners

November 07, 2012 | Alliant Credit Union

Nearly 100 students submitted entries in Alliant’s 2012 National Education Program. The young scholars harnessed their imaginations – as well as a variety of media – to respond to the questions “What Do I Want to be When I Grow Up?” and “How Can a Computer Enrich My Education?”

These young Alliant members in three age groups – 5-9, 10-13 and 14-17 – competed for $5,250 in gift cards redeemable for computers and related items.

Meet this year’s winners

$1,000 Gift Card "Golden Apple Award" winners

Keith D Photo Age Category: 5-9 years old

Keith D., 9, from Jamestown, IN, loves robots and says, “I want a job making robots all day long!” He’s already a pro at creating robots out of LEGO®. “I use microcomputers to tell these robots what to do,” he says. Recently, he bought materials for his robots with the money h earned from doing a lot of extra chores and getting great grades on his report card. One result: what Keith calls a “BristleBot,” a self-propelling floor cleaner he fashioned out of a floor scrubber and the motor from an electric toothbrush. He says he looks forward to creating other helpful robots: one that vacuums, one that cleans toilets and one that will give his mother a break in the kitchen – by cooking pizza.

Aaron M PhotoAge Category: 10-13 years old

Aaron M., 12, San Antonio, TX, sent in a video of himself playing the piano and singing his composition, “The computer of my dreams.” He sang woefully about how “my old computer sits on the ground and causes me to frown” because it is too slow. A new computer, he continues, “will help me expand my knowledge everyday” and “bring enjoyment.” Ultimately, he plans to use a computer to help pave the way to his vocational dream: becoming “a successful U.S. Air Force pilot.”

Jeremiah R PhotoAge Category: 14-17 years old

Jeremiah R., 15, of San Mateo, CA, says he wants to develop professional apps “when I grow up or even before.” Guess what? He’s not waiting until he grows up. There’s proof: a video Jeremiah produced, in which he stars as an animated caricature of himself. The animated Jeremiah demonstrates how he develops a computer game. He brainstorms ideas, and designs and animates characters. Then he creates a game for his characters to live in. Along the way, Jeremiah says, he may “need to waste hundreds of hours writing code and testing it.” But, when all his hard work is over, he experiences the joy of playing the games he invented.

$500 Gift Card "Silver Key Award" winners

Matthew C PhotoAge Category: 5-9 years old

Matthew C., 5, from New York, NY loves airplanes, draws airplanes and dreams of designing airplanes. So it was no surprise that he shared a video he made during a visit to the Evergreen Aviation Museum, near Portland, OR. Using a connect-the-dots drawing lesson and viewing various angles of a Lufthansa A380 on a computer, he sketched planes on a drawing board. Meanwhile, he thinks it’s time that the aviation industry went back to the proverbial drawing board. “The planes here have only two levels,” he says. “I want to design a plane with four levels so it will carry more passengers.” With a computer, he says, he’ll be able to draw such planes and “not have to erase so much.”

Olivia A PhotoAge Category: 10-13 years old

Olivia A., 12, of Minnetonka, MN, has a flair for fashion design and has already named the company she plans to form: RosiePosie Fashion. By paging through the photo scrapbook she sent in, you can watch how she designed a pattern and then cut and sewed fabric to make that pattern into a delightful summer dress for herself. In the future, Olivia wants to commission people in under-privileged villages to produce beautiful fabric for her. She’ll use a computer, she says, to find buttons and zippers made from recycled material, and to create patterns she can easily adjust to fit all sizes.

Kylie D PhotoAge Category: 14-17 years old

Kylie D., 14, from Jamestown, IN, is always fascinated by the wind turbines she sees when her family drives along I-65 to Chicago. “I love their mystique,” she says. “How they capture energy, almost like bottling magic.” Watching such green energy in action inspired her career ambition: to become a renewable energy engineer. And she’s well on the way. Following instructional guidelines from a website, she took two solar panels out of a garden light and skillfully wired them up to create a solar LED flashlight, which shines brightly out of a can that used to hold Altoids®. “It’s an energy-efficient device,” she notes. “Plus, it’s cute.”

$250 "Brass Bell Award" winners

Noah S PhotoAge Category: 5-9 years old

Noah S., 9, from Corona, CA, thinks Albert Einstein is “the BOMB, someone I would consider being my mentor.” Two of Noah’s favorite Einstein quotes are “imagination is more important than knowledge” and “your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” What are Noah’s “coming attractions?” To be a scientist, he says. “I want to invent things. I want to find cures for cancer and heartburn. To find serums for better shots so people can feel much better in a matter of minutes! But, most of all, I want to build rockets for NASA!”

Elena N PhotoAge Category: 10-13 years old

Elena N., 12, from Arvada, CO, took her first piano lesson when she was five years old. And that was it! “Immediately, I knew that playing the piano and writing music would be my passion and joy,” she says. “Piano playing is more than notes on a page. It’s the joy it brings to whoever hears it.” Elena sent a video of herself playing one of her own compositions. She has performed several of her own compositions at recitals. She plans to become a music teacher and artist, and to use a computer to publicize her performances and manage her business.

Connor S PhotoAge Category: 14-17 years old

Connor VS., 14, of Carlsbad, CA, , is keeping his career options open. Meanwhile, he sent in a video that he wrote, directed, starred in – and “edited on a borrowed computer.” In the video, he goes from an airport runway to a construction site to a TV newsroom to report how “computers can open the door” to professional work lives in all those places. He concludes by emphasizing how a computer “will help me open the door to my future.”

© 2012 Alliant Credit Union. All Rights Reserved.

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