Two Students Earn STEAM Scholarships

April 7, 2022

Madigan Rios '22 and Mikael Coenen '25 each received a $2500 Board of Directors STEAM Scholarship.

The Board of Directors STEAM Scholarship was created to support students who show an affinity for STEAM and have an interest in pursuing STEAM beyond high school. A $2,500.00 award is credited to the recipient's tuition at Cretin-Derham Hall.

This year's recipients are Madigan Rios '22 and Mikael Coenen '25, two students who have shown a passion for STEAM.

Madigan Rios '22

How has STEAM instruction prepared you for your future?

I joined the Robotics team as a sophomore and, along with a few other rookies, was tasked with building the midsection of the robot. Our robot functioned perfectly at competition, but for me, I was more satisfied with the process than the actual product. We did not succeed because we were experts, we succeeded because we persisted, which couldn’t have been done without the support from teammates and mentors.

That year I learned that the point of robotics, and STEAM in general, is not to know everything and do everything flawlessly the first time; failure is an inevitable part of STEAM, what matters is trying again. Now, as a senior preparing to study computer science in college, I use scientific inquiry and a growth mindset to approach every challenge that I face. STEAM has always been difficult for me, and it always will be, but I know as long as I persevere, I can accomplish anything.

From a teacher: 

"With her observant, analytical, and curious mind, Madigan likes to carefully dissect a given problem and either crack it on her own (which she often does quickly) or attack again and again until she has exhausted her own knowledge before seeking help. I was really impressed this year when she wasn’t able to fit AP Computer Science into her schedule at the scheduled time, so she requested to take it as an independent study. She has been laser-focused on the content and has done a great job of working on her own to learn with occasional guidance. This motivation and dedication to learning computer science to continually achieve new heights makes me proud to have been with her on these early steps of her journey. She will go far." - Computer Science teacher David Sobolewski

Mikael Coenen '25

What do you love about STEAM?

I love STEAM because it provides me with opportunities to achieve as well as grow. STEAM introduces vital skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking. Also, STEAM allows you to invent and innovate creative ideas and these are powerful tools to have. It's truly so cool how STEAM enables you to work on the cutting edge of technology and be on the frontiers of discovery. Finally, STEAM has taught me teamwork as well as communication skills which are essential in group projects. Overall STEAM has fueled my passion to learn and strive for accomplishment.

What are your post-high-school plans?

My post-high-school plans include something in STEAM, preferably computer science. I am very interested in machine learning and AI, and would like to continue studying these areas in college. I am also interested in neural networks and quantum computing, which I would like to stay engaged in, perhaps in my spare time. A long-term goal of mine is to put these skills to use for the betterment of humankind, perhaps working for NASA, which would be a dream come true.

From a teacher:

"Mickey is highly intelligent, hard-working, and observant in his classroom efforts, while also maintaining the utmost respect for his teachers and fellow students. I quickly realized his passion for STEM subjects through our discussions in Introduction to Programming, and have directed his interest toward additional opportunities here at CDH, such as Robotics. Mickey will be taking AP Computer Science with me during his junior year, and has already started pondering additional projects he could work on during a possible independent study." - Computer Science teacher David Sobolewski.

 Congratulations to both these Raiders on the well-deserved recognition!


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