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Profiles of a CCISD Graduate: Aiden Nguyen

Aiden Nguyen’s inquisitive mind and ability to problem solve have already led him to great success in his four years at Clear Horizons Early College High School.

“I really enjoy learning about the world and how things work,” he said.

He first started exploring these attributes within the robotics program in intermediate and high school.

“I thought it was pretty cool to see these students building these robots and was very interested from the start,” Aiden said. “On the Robonauts team, you can use whatever you wanted, within certain parameters, to build out your robot which allowed for a lot more possibilities and approaches.”

This led Aiden to think outside of the box while working on projects for the programming sector of the team on how best to approach certain challenges while competing.

“I built what was basically a line sensor panel that would allow us to use the markings on the ground in the field to accurately align the robot to shoot across the field and reduce the amount of error that the user has when performing these high-speed maneuvers,” he said.

Aiden worked alongside his mentor to conceptualize and create this panel and then pitched it to his team for their final robot design.

“Through trial and error, we ultimately decided not to implement it onto the final robot because there wasn’t enough space on it, but I thought it was a very valuable learning experience,” he said.

Scorecard

The ability to have an idea and build on it through resources and experimenting is what propelled Aiden into his next project. In 2021, he entered his newest idea into the San Jacinto College Venture Pitch competition, which closely resembles the show “Shark Tank.”

“I had my idea of an electronic tennis scorecard and had to pitch it to the investors,” said Aiden. “You had to have everything prepared, such as cost of labor and materials, as well as a belief in the product.”

After doing some research and reaching out to family friends who played tennis regularly, he realized there was a need for an easier way to keep score throughout the matches. He ended up winning second place in the competition with this idea, which just pushed him to want to continue to build upon it.

“What makes my product different from any competitor is the ability to remotely enter in the score on a smart watch or phone,” he said. “Currently, I am trying to get a patent for it and then use that patent to either make a small business or to sell it off to a larger distribution company in order to help fund my college expenses.”

He added that going through each step of this process is very important for future employers to see that he has built, managed and sold a product on his own.

“I have to thank my teacher and the independent study mentorship program (ISM) because it allowed me to get mentors in the engineering field to help bring my product to life,” he said. “Chris, a lead engineer, helped me design the model and gave me tips on how to resource and find materials effectively, which was a great learning experience.”

Aiden also completed another internship through Project ECHO at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

“During COVID, I decided I wanted to reach out to this program to see how I could help them,” he said. “I was responsible for leading discussions during zoom meetings and contacting nursing homes and getting them into cohorts so they had their own representatives for information and how to implement best practices for the pandemic.”

His biggest takeaway from the experience was something he will carry with him in his future career in the engineering or medical fields.

“There is an important human aspect to medicine and research that cannot be overlooked,” he said. “You not only need to know how to treat people, but you also need to make sure people are doing well mentally.”

When asked where his drive came from to push himself to explore and branch out to new opportunities, he said this motivation came from his parents.

“I understood at a very young age that when you get to the job market, it is going to be very competitive with people across the world,” he said. “You want to be better than them in a way where you can show potential employers what you could bring to the table based on your past experiences.”

After graduating this week with both his high school diploma and associate degree from San Jacinto College, Aiden will attend Texas A&M University with hopes of becoming a biomedical engineer or a doctor.

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