Sol and Emmanuel Are Students at SETA at Roosevelt in NEISD


We are proud to share this Student Stories guest blog post co-authored by Sol Angel and Emmanuel Garcia, two students at Space and Engineering Technologies Academy (SETA) at Theodore Roosevelt High School in North East ISD, sharing their experiences with STEM education at the NEISD magnet school.

What Do You Like About SETA?

SOL: I attend SETA at Roosevelt, and I love everything about the school, but especially the magnet program which has allowed me to explore engineering. I learned how to effectively use AutoCAD Inventor, leading to my certification in my first year of high school. Over the past three years, I’ve taken robotics courses where I engage in hands-on learning projects. Furthermore, I’ve had the privilege of taking advanced classes surrounded by highly knowledgeable peers.

EMMANUEL: What I like about SETA is the tight-knight community that is present on campus. Everyone knows each other (or of each other) and because of this, one is never truly alone in any class that we have. Other programs can be huge and don’t provide the type of teamwork and companionship that SETA provides.

How Does SETA Help You Reach Your Goals?

SOL: My goal has always been to make a significant impact in the world, whether through research, experimentation, or exploring new ideas. Being in SETA has provided me with the opportunity to glimpse my potential future through participation in the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program. This summer, Mission 18 will transport experiments to the International Space Station (ISS). My group and I were selected to be one of those teams after designing research that tests how microgravity affects the growth of chia seeds. This rare opportunity entails conducting a control experiment here on Earth, while astronauts on the ISS will test the effects in outer space. Our experiment was chosen by judges after reviewing numerous submissions. This is just one of the many fantastic opportunities I’ve had in the SETA magnet program, which is enabling me to explore and address questions that could shape the future of space exploration for astronauts.

How Did You Choose SETA?

SOL: When deciding which school to attend, I began by considering my true aspirations. I have always been drawn to mathematics and science. Since elementary school, I have been involved in robotics, and during middle school, I participated in KSAT (now SETA at Krueger—Ed.), where I learned to engineer rockets. I attended the high school sessions of the available magnet programs, and I immediately found my perfect match with SETA, an engineering program. SETA has designed its courses to relate to aerospace engineering, advanced manufacturing, robotics, and more.

What’s Your Advice for Middle Schoolers Choosing a High School?

EMMANUEL: My advice to students who are looking for a school to attend is to not be afraid to follow a different path from one’s friends, and don’t be afraid of trying something new. I came to SETA expecting to become something along the lines of a programmer but I soon learned that it was not for me and at the same time I would spend hours listening to psychology and philosophy videos and lectures. Had I not gone to SETA, I would probably still be trying to be a programmer and not have the awakening that I needed a different path until college when thousands of dollars are already spent.

When I was researching high schools, one of the factors I was looking at was the ability to get engaged at the school. There are many good schools, but are so competitive that it is virtually impossible to be anything more than just a number.

Do You Participate in Extracurricular Activities?

EMMANUEL: During high school, I have been involved in the varsity swim team, cross country, track, and soccer. Besides athletics, I’m president of the Christian club at school, the vice president of National Honor Society (NHS), a member of the Science National Honor society, and a part of the high school orchestra. Outside of school, I am the principal violist of the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio (YOSA) Philharmonic, and I have earned over 600 service hours.

When you’re involved in so many activities, you get to learn many subjects and tricks of the trade. However, one of the most important parts of getting involved is getting to know oneself. For example, I have gotten to learn what makes me frustrated. I find where my strengths and weaknesses are across activities and within activities, and that consequently leads to me striving to be a better brother, friend, and citizen. SETA provides the ability to interact with the Roosevelt opportunities on campus and excel at them, and then excel in the classroom.

How Has SETA Prepared You for Life After High School?

SOL: SETA has helped me decide what I want to do after high school by challenging me to strive for success. I’ve learned and been given so many opportunities that I could have only received through SETA. The passion to answer numerous questions and being given the opportunity to explore some of those questions, such as being chosen to send my group’s experiment into space to test microgravity, has encouraged me to pursue further research. This is why I will be studying global health at Duke Kunshan University in China, which requires extensive research skills. Thanks to SETA, I have acquired the background necessary for conducting research and the engineering design process, which will be invaluable as I embark on my journey to study abroad.

Charter Moms Chats

Watch Sol Angel and Emmanuel Garcia, students at SETA at Roosevelt, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on May 14, 2024 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.

Sol Angel is a junior at SETA at Roosevelt who will be graduating early and attending Duke Kunshan University in China in the fall. In addition to studying mechanical engineering in high school, Sol Angel is part of a campus team that designed research selected to be conducted on the International Space Station this summer.

Emmanuel Garcia is a senior at SETA at Roosevelt who will be attending Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Emmanuel is an athlete, club president, member of several organizations, and one of two students at SETA this year who was awarded the prestigious Gates Scholarship

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