Impact on STEAM Box: John Eunis joined STEAM Box as a 10th grader at the MET. His Adviser was worried that his community distractions would lead him to drop out of high school. John immediately had strong participation with STEAM Box, working on our maker projects like Solar powered chargers, and chemical engineering designs. By the time John reached his senior year, he was a model student at the MET High School. He had also become a leader of our STEAM Box programming.
John partnered STEAM Box with the Seagrave Observatory where he had been a member. Leading into the visit, John led a program with our youth where they each made their own personal telescopes (He recalls this as one of his favorite memories at STEAM Box). John had previously amazed us by creating a fully functioning radio out of a tissue box and TP rolls. Continuing with the space themes though, John worked hard to lead a STEAM Box group to create a device they would try to send to space.
John and co. tested equipment at Brown University, consulted with our local weather-woman from NBC, cleared the project with US Air Force General Marcus Jannitto, and earned the attention of famous clothing designer, Mark Ecko. Mark Ecko outfitted the group with $1200 worth of clothes for the big launch day. The day came for John to launch the device. The launch was successful as the device went straight up to space.
Unfortunately, the GPS onboard malfunctioned. These students had lost their year long project somewhere above the Earth’s orbit. John and his team would not be denied. They approached STEAM Box with a map detailing exactly where they expected the device to land… 3 states away. The next day, through the mud and woods, the youth had found the device high up in a tree using only math and weather models. They had earned an incredible victory with their project reaching space! When John was asked about his best moment with STEAM Box, he answered “Hunting down the capsule in the woods!”
Graduation and Beyond: John graduated in 2013. He opted for Worcester Polytechnical Institute with a nice scholarship.He currently serves on the management team of a rock crushing company, JR Vinagro. He is an active member of the STEAM Box community as he comes back to facilitate engineering lessons like last fall when we designed digital watches together from scratch.