GRANITE FALLS — Dansil Green, 17, is a senior with a passion for science, math and space exploration. She juggles advanced classes with music and volunteer activities.
Question: What classes are you taking here at the high school?
Answer: I’ve been taking a lot of advanced courses this year, like I usually do every year. I have AP Chemistry, then I have symphonic wind ensemble — I’m actually president of the band — and then I have AP Literature and I take an online government course-slash-northwest history course during fourth period. Fifth I have Spanish 2 and then I’m in Leadership sixth period. And the eco-car program is another class I take that’s after school but I get credit for it. We’re going to Detroit this year to compete.
Q: Do you have any favorite subjects?
A: I like STEM subjects, which are science, technology, engineering and math. That’s what I want to go into. I love math. It’s unfortunate I don’t have a math class this year because I kind of ran out of math.
Q: What was the last math class you took?
A: AP Calculus. I was hoping they’d have a stats class this year, but they weren’t able to have that. I’ve been two years ahead in math since middle school.
Q: Do you have a specific career you’re interested in?
A: Yeah. I want to be an astronautical engineer, so that’s working with spaceships or rovers or space habitats. I just sent in an application for an internship at Blue Origin, which is down in Kent.
Q: Do you know what school you want to go to yet?
A: I was accepted early admission to Purdue for their first year engineering program, and then I’m waiting to hear back from MIT and Cal Poly. MIT is my dream school. MIT and Purdue are my top two choices.
Q: What got you into astronautical engineering?
A: I’ve always had a deep interest in space exploration. I’ve been interested in STEM, as well, because when I was nine I started a robotics team with my father, and we did that for years and now I’m the mentor for our middle school team. Then I came to the high school and I did the eco-car program and I decided I want to be an engineer. So since I love space so much, I thought why not be an astronautical engineer?
Q: What volunteer activities do you do?
A: I’m a junior member of the American Legion, so I was on the committee planning the Veteran’s Day assembly and we did kind of a poppy theme. I’ve also handed out poppies with the American Legion and done service projects for the military. My church does a lot of service projects, too, that I’m involved in. I’m also in National Honor Society, which does campus clean-ups. And TECO, that’s my big one. It’s now a business, but TECO started as a nonprofit I made with my father. It was a center for STEM that we held in the old (school) district office. We ran different STEM programs out of it, like robotics classes and science classes and STEM camps. We weren’t able to get funding to have it this year, so now it’s a business that we run that does outreach activities with the Boys and Girls Club and other schools.
Q: Which church do you go to?
A: LDS, the Latter-day Saints Mormon church. It’s right across the street. I go to early seminary in the morning, so I have basically eight classes a day.
Q: The eighth is eco-car in the afternoon?
A: Yeah. With the eco-teams, I’m the manager and I’ve been the driver for the past two years. I think I’m the only senior in the program this year. Last year we built brand new cars. This year we’re modifying the bottom of our car. We’re going to make a carbon-fiber rounded bottom that’s integrated with the seat. The goal is to win our category and win the safety award for the fifth time. We’ve won the safety award four years out of five.
Q: Are there other extracurriculars you’re involved in?
A: I’m band president and I’ve been in jazz band. There’s also an afterschool orchestra and I’m a first violin in it. I play violin, piano, saxophone and flute. And in middle school I was really shy, so to help me going into high school I started doing speech competitions, but I wasn’t able to do any of those this year. Over the summer I get jobs here and there. I’m a leadership intern at Camp Invention, which is another STEM camp.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.