Profiles / Rising S.T.E.M. Stars

Anthony Ragler

VP of the Black Organization of Student Strength in Brooklyn Technical High School.

Q. What was your motivation and who influenced you to go to Brooklyn Technical H.S.?
A. My mother was my main influence in my decision to go to Brooklyn Technical High School. Since I was little, she verbalized how important it was for me to get into Brooklyn Tech. So when it came time for me to apply to high schools, she did everything in her power to convince me to put this school as my top choice. She put me into as many prep courses as she could for the Specialized High School Admissions test and inevitably it paid off because I was accepted into Brooklyn Tech.

Q. Can you share a little about your parents / familial support and the values you were raised with?
A. I have always been extremely close with my mothers’ side of the family and I am one of very few boys on that side. So one of their core values they instilled in me from a young age was to show respect for others – to be a trustworthy, honest and noble man. Even though they couldn’t show me first-hand how to be a man, they lay the foundation for me to grow and mature while allowing me to still experience the growing pangs of adolescence.

Q. What is your favorite S.T.E.M.-related book? And who is the author?
A. The Art of Construction: Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers & Architects by Mario George Salvadori

Q. What is one in-school challenge that you overcame that other teenagers can relate to?
A. The biggest challenge for me, and for most teenagers in high school, is time management. Learning how to balance everything – schoolwork, projects, chores and other obligations – is a daunting task for anyone. Especially since there are so many other things going on for teenagers and we desire to be social and relevant in our lifestyles.

Q. Have you decided to pursue a degree in a S.T.E.M. field?What impact do you plan to make in society?
A. Yes, I have decided on becoming a civil engineer and while I’m not sure what specific realm of civil I’ll be going into, I intend to develop myself as one of the innovators and visionaries in the future of engineering.

Q. Are you working on any projects or hobbies that use Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?
A. Currently in my Civil Engineering class, I am working on a senior design project in which we create the plans for a pedestrian bridge from Atlantic Terminal in downtown Brooklyn, NY to the new New Jersey Nets arena slated for use in 2012. While we’re not actually pitching this project to the city council, we are taking all the steps of an actual engineering firm as if we were attempting to go forth and build this bridge.

Q. If you could invent one new thing, what would it be?
A. I would want to invent a device that allows for people to detect and monitor potential cardiovascular malfunctions before doctor visits. Due to the fact that I was born with a heart murmur and lost my Godmother to the same disease, I’ve always had serious interest in the workings of the heart and of new methods that allow for the prevention of malfunctions and the procedures that tend to these malfunctions before they become fatal.

Q. Do you have any advice that you want to share with other teens?
A. My main advice for other teens is that we all have many trials that we go though in our lives. These trials test us and help us develop the willpower to make it through the many obstacles we will face as adults. Persevere through and keep your faith in whatever you believe in. Stay hardworking, dedicated and ambitious and everything else will fall into place.

Q. Do you have a mentor and why?
A. Currently I am working closely with Brian Gill, a P.E. for the New York City Department of Transportation for the senior design project previously stated. He’s our mentor for the project and he’s walking us through the process of making this project as if we were actually to design it and create it for the city.