Piqua schools recognize STEM diploma candidate


By Eamon Baird

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PIQUA — Richard Price, a senior at Piqua High School, gave a special presentation as a candidate for the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Honors Diploma at the Piqua Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Dec. 14.

To be considered for a STEM Diploma, students must meet eight specific criteria, including a 3.5 or above GPA, an ACT score of 27 or higher, and an SAT score of 1280 or higher. In addition, this diploma requires students to fulfill minimum field experience and produce a work-based portfolio.

“It’s a really high demand of what he has to go through, and he is going to talk to you about what he has done,” Dwayne Thompson, superintendent of Piqua City Schools said during the meeting.

Price, who is interested in a career in mechanical engineering, said Kate Schultze, advisor at Piqua High School, helped him reach out to businesses to get real-life experience requirements.

“Richard is a very driven student with high academic standards, which makes him a great candidate for this honor,” Schulze said.

Schulze said Scott Bloom, the curriculum director for Piqua schools, helped facilitate a meeting with Hartzell Propeller Inc. in Piqua.

“So, we started reaching out to different businesses to see where I could get my field experience from, and Hartzell responded pretty quickly and welcomed me in,” Price said during the meeting.

Price added that he worked at Hartzell in a ten-week field experience program where he went for two to two and half hours daily. There, he got to experience the design process, in addition to sitting through meetings and the company’s management side.

“I got to see a little bit of everything, and it allowed me to more easily choose where I wanted to go with my career future,” Price said. “So I’m thankful for them for letting me come in and experience that.”

Price also designed two model propellers that he showed during the meeting.

“The main focus of what they do in the test lab with propellers and seeing how durable they can be and how long they can last,” Price said.

Price was grateful for the real-life experience from this experience.

“You hear what a field is, and this allows you to see the inside,” Price said.

Thompson is proud of what Price has accomplished and the future that lies ahead for him.

“Richard is a very humble yet high-achieving and hard-working young man. He has accomplished much with his education up to this point, and I think he will soar when he graduates,” Thompson said.

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