Breaking News
More () »

Distinguished Scholars: Marc Aaron Armena - STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

CITGO's Distinguished Scholars program provides up to 40 scholarships annually to deserving students in the Coastal Bend.
Credit: KIII

"I had never seen anyone so enthused by the fact that pi can be approximated by dropping sticks on a grid of vertical lines."

We were discussing integral geometry with my math instructor. I discovered a calculus meme extolling the disparate ways one could approximate pi. This was typically how IB Higher-Level Math class initiated, branching off from the wild yet genuine propositions we spontaneously encountered. In many ways, this was emblematic of how I approached learning: self-guided and eternally questioning.

This mindset guided me throughout my education, driving a lifelong passion in STEM. An early interest in origami fostered mathematical enthusiasm and scientific curiosities. Art classes became exercises in visual literacy and intentional design galvanized by creativity. From these analytically-oriented interests, engineering naturally followed suit. The creative fulfillment from utilizing scientific principles—which govern the workings of the world—to design and develop inspired this inclination towards the discipline.

Apart from being the sole student to enroll in the "undergrad triad" of STEM courses (IB Higher-Level Math along with Standard-Level Physics and Chemistry), I participate in UIL Academics, especially in science and math—earning several distinctions in those categories at the district level. I spearheaded the Science Bowl team, serving as a team captain this year and leading the club that would attain second place at region. I directed Ray's college-tests tutoring club, RSAT, as president. In these pursuits, I drive others to participate, recognizing STEM education's importance for success in a modern environment driven by technology, globalization, and a knowledge-based economy.