Robotics Club influenced grad to pursue engineering

After joining Robotics Club at Destrehan High, it quickly became a group activity graduating senior Ian Winchell, 18, developed a passion for. The skill sets he learned there appear to have made a lasting impression. Winchell will soon be leaving St. Charles Parish for the University of Notre Dame in the fall to study for his new career path – mechanical engineering – with a “heavy focus on robotics and automotive,” he added.

“Robotics Club helped a lot with hands-on skills, and a lot of soft skills as well,” he mentioned regarding his time with the club. “I work better with a team now, and I gained a lot of fabrication experience; I did 3-D modeling and computer aided machining.”

His time in Robotics Club also led him to numerous opportunities for leadership roles.

“In robotics last year, I was one of the design leads for a robot,” Winchell said of his time in Destrehan’s Robotics Club. “This year, I was the lead fabricator and lead designer.”

Winchell graduated with an approximate 4.2 Grade Point Average and was able to accumulate at least three Advanced Placement class credits, along with one Dual Enrollment class credit, all of which will come in handy when he attends college in the fall.

Outside of Robotics Club, Winchell was involved heavily in the Destrehan High Band, along with the National Honor Society and the National English Honor Society. During the summers Winchell cooled off with competitive swimming at the local Hill Heights Country Club, which he participated in recreationally.

In band Winchell was both equipment manager one year, and later promoted to trumpet section leader for two years. The performance aspect of band was something Winchell said he always enjoyed, throughout his time in high school.

“I just really like performing, and showing people what I can do,” Winchell said regarding his trumpet playing skills. “And I really enjoy playing music, as well…I like how music flows, and how the notes work together.”

Winchell’s plans for the summer include working at his summer restaurant job, where he aims to earn enough funds to cover any additional school expenses he may encounter in his first semester at the University of Notre Dame. His tuition expenses have been covered, as he was recently granted the Posse Foundation Scholarship, a full tuition scholarship.

After completing college, Winchell’s career aspirations include working his way up into a leadership position at an established engineering firm, or possibly running his own engineering firm.

His advice to incoming Destrehan High freshmen headed to high school in the fall was practical.

“Don’t fall behind on your work; try to do it as it’s assigned to you,” Winchell advised. “And don’t let it all fly by.”

Reflecting on his time at Destrehan High School, Winchell said his high school academic career has become the highlight of his young life thus far, despite being cut short by the pandemic and natural disaster.

“I really only had two normal years,” Winchell said of his high school experience, indirectly referring to the two challenging school years brought on by COVID and Hurricane Ida. “I still think it was one of the best times of my life so far; I really enjoyed it.”


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply