Goddard High School sophomore and honor student Chase Loomis, 15. (Vanessa Kahin Photo)
With several recognitions for his academic success, opportunities to travel and network and a motivation to succeed, a local teenager may someday create practical, yet functional, artificial body parts.
But today, Chase Loomis, 15, is a sophomore at Goddard High who has recently returned from a trip to Massachusetts, where he competed in several robotics competitions for a LeadAmerica conference at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Boston.
LeadAmerica is a program that gives high school and middle school students the opportunity to explore their desired career in a college setting. Students are immersed in a college setting, and get to try their hand at activities related to their possible future careers.
Loomis participated in several robotics competitions during LeadAmerica. He won first place for building and programming a robot that could turn in a circle and push another robot. He also won two second places — one for building a car made from a mousetrap and the other for a robot that could climb uneven surfaces.
While in Boston, Loomis took the opportunity to visit what he hopes will be his college alma mater — the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
Here at home, Loomis enjoys steady academic success in the fields of math, engineering, and science.
The quiet teen admits that subjects such as math and science have “always come easily” to him, and that he just likes doing them. For the past two years, he has been actively involved in Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement, a program in which he has been able to focus on designing and programming robots. Loomis has traveled to Albuquerque to compete with robots he designed with MESA.
Loomis is also an honor student who has been a member of Honor Society since he was in the seventh grade.
Past awards include the Recognition of Achievement, which was awarded to Loomis last year because he received straight A’s for an entire academic year. However, Loomis did not have awards on his mind when working hard to get straight A’s.
“I was kind of surprised that I got (the Recognition of Achievement),” he said. “I didn’t know about it.”
Loomis is quick to mention his family — mother Sandi and father Aric — as his role models. He also said teachers are his role models, in particular, Robert Heider, who was his honors physical science teacher last year.
Heider nominated Loomis for the LeadAmerica conference this year. Heider said LeadAmerica not only nurtures scientific curiosity, but it also helps develop the skills of young, potential leaders.
“Chase is a great … young man,” Heider said. “He’s certainly developed some qualities that I think (will make) the sky the limit.”
Loomis already knows what he would like to study once he gets to MIT. He said he would like to major in biomedical engineering with a minor in business mechanics.
“I plan to help the human race … live better by combining machines with medicine to enable better living,” Loomis said. He said he finds the making of prosthetic body parts and organs “the best way … to give back to society.”