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TIF Student Spotlight!

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

An interview with incoming 9th Grade Student - Koki

1. What are your interests and passions?

Right now I’m interested in coding and making 3D animations with Blender. I also want to get into using Arduinos (microcontrollers) and Raspberry Pi (single-board computers) to make robots. I'm really interested in robotics and engineering, and I find the projects that companies like Boston Dynamics are working on to be incredible.

I've been building things since I was a child. It started out with me trying to make airplanes with motors using Lego blocks, but these never worked because the materials were too heavy. With my projects, I want to create something interesting, something innovative, something that no one has ever done before. I want to make things that can be helpful to other people or just really interesting.

Blender and engineering and robotics are all similar because they are all about me making something. And when I finish creating something, the feeling of accomplishment is amazing!

2. What is the coolest project you are currently working on?

I recently built my own computer! I was really happy when I finished making it because it took me about four months to complete.

First, I used a software code called PC Building Simulator, where I would plan out my computer, and make sure that all the parts were compatible. With the wattage for example, if you want a stronger GPU, you need a stronger PSU, which is the power supply unit.

About a year ago, I had no idea what a computer’s parts were or how they functioned. But as I was building the computer, I began to learn how everything works and what each component does. I realized that the more you learn about something, the more it’s like a root of a tree: the more you find, the further it keeps going. I would research something for hours and never get bored because I really enjoy doing that.

I feel so proud of myself for building a computer. I feel like I accomplished something big, especially since I can actually use what I made. I’ve always had a passion for making things, but building my own computer is something I will never forget.

3. Why are you excited to join The Innovation Fellowship (TIF)?

I see a lot of potential opportunities at this school and I feel like I can achieve everything I've ever wanted to do. It's just so different from any other school that I've seen. I know it sounds a little cliché, but it's so different and that’s what makes it so interesting to me. I also want to start my own company while at the school and I feel learning from someone that's already experienced that before could be really helpful. It's just one of those times when you feel like, 'oh, this is what I need, this is the one school that I should go to, like the perfect one'.

4. What are your dreams for the future?

I want to become an entrepreneur and start my own business. But I don't want to just make one business and finish. I want to continue making new things because that's what I enjoy and am most passionate about. I also want to make something related to space because I know space travel is going to become more of a reality in the next couple of decades, with Elon Musk's SpaceX missions, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, and all of these kinds of projects.

I want to make rockets with ion thrusters. It's a really interesting concept where electrons are either added or removed to create ions that then become a ship’s propellant. This idea has been used by NASA a couple of times, but it has not become widely used yet. Other people have ideas of using the sun like a ship uses a sail to move, but with ion thrusters you don't need the sun to keep going. Ion thrusters are also efficient for long-distance space travel because they provide a constant thrust, unlike traditional fuel tanks which can only hold a limited amount. So, I want to work on space travel and projects like this.

I 100% want to make the world a better place, especially with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I learned about SDGs when I was in the third grade and ever since then they have been on my mind. That’s something I will think about when I'm making something new. Whatever project I work on in the future, I definitely want to make the world a better place and create something that will be helpful to others.

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