Student Prepares for the Big Bang

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. Tulsa Tech’s STEM Academy focuses on these areas together, not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world.

Students in Tulsa Tech’s STEM Academy, make their own path as they design and build unique creations utilizing digital circuits, gaming software, model structures, remote control machines, and robots. Students work individually and in teams to solve unique engineering challenges, using engineering equipment and current software, as they prepare for careers in areas such as software design, chemical engineering, and physics.

Kaitlyn Ragosta, a second year STEM Academy student, has set her sights on a high energy career, as a theoretical high-energy particle physicist. “I always knew that I wanted to study a subject related to science,” Ragosta said. “Once I started reading about working with particle accelerators, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do.”

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Particle accelerators are devices that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles to high speeds, while containing them in well-defined beams, and are best known for their use in particle physics. Sometimes referred to as colliders, particle accelerators provide evidence of the structure of the subatomic world, and were commonly referred to as atom smashers in the 20th century. Today there are currently more than 30,000 accelerators in operation around the world.

“I want to work with particle accelerators to explore and explain phenomenon on the sub-atomic level,” Ragosta said. “My goal is to earn a doctorate in Physics, and although I’m looking at several universities, my first choice of schools is MIT, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).”

Mr. Teddy Wyatt, a Pre-Engineering instructor at Tulsa Tech’s STEM Academy, feels his former student has the ability to succeed in this exciting and challenging career field.

“Katy has an exceptional combination of insight and ingenuity,” Wyatt said. “She’s able to quickly grasp concepts and extend them to application faster than the typical student.”

The Jenks High School senior credits her school for her initial interest in science and engineering, along with her decision to pursue her academic goals at Tulsa Tech.

“Jenks High School was really good about advocating and making students aware of Intro to Engineering Design, and Principles of Engineering,” Ragosta said. “I was able to study those courses before continuing my studies at Tulsa Tech’s STEM Academy.”

Like other STEM faculty members, Ms. Carole Forsberg, a Pre-Engineering instructor, also believes her student has both the skills, and the character traits, necessary to succeed.

“Katy has the winning combination of ability and hard work,” Forsberg said. “She’s brought those traits to her senior design project, and she definitely has a promising future.”

If you’re looking for exciting classes for high school and adult students, award-winning business and industry training, or ready to engineer your next career, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call 918-828-5200 or visit us online at tulsatech.edu.

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