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High School Senior Edgar Smit remembers being interested in the sciences since a young age, filling his time with reading about the subject. Over time, his love for the sciences hasn't changed, but his approach to it has. From a voracious reader of the way things work, Edgar is now an avid doer—applying theory to practice as any good scientist would do. This past summer, leading up to his senior year, Edgar completed an internship at UC Berkeley in the Materials Science and Engineering department working on nanoparticle assemblies using different instruments to study the structure of various polymers.
Meanwhile, Edgar relates his experience in the UC Berkeley lab to his work at International High School. Students in Grade 12 Art are asked to choose a theme for their work. Without surprise, Edgar chose the topic of nano materials and how to make them understandable. He is focusing on atomic force and imaged polymers for his first project. "One of my art projects [this year] involves creating a catapult as a tool to measure different mass by building it using the concept of a mass spectrometer—an instrument I used during my internship that can calculate the mass of a molecule," says Edgar. "This catapult can be used to shoot multiple materials covered in paint to esthetically illustrate the mass of an object based on the distance traveled."
For his Art projects, including this catapult, Edgar uses International High School's new Design Lab. When asked about it, he notes how project options have expanded with access to all the instruments and tools available in this new space. In his free time, he's also using the Design Lab to create a laser guitar using a 3D printer and plans to use one of the lab's laser cutters to shape the wood of his guitar.
Now in his final year of high school, pursuing the French Bac, this trilingual teen (rumor has it that he also speaks Dutch in addition to French and English) has narrowed down what he wants to pursue in years to come. "I love Engineering and the application of materials," says Edgar. "This is what I will pursue after graduation."