Sophie Whittlinger, a freshman at Early College High School, is the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Student of the Week.

Sophie is a standout student in the Principles of Applied Engineering program at ECHS. According to her math teacher, Jesus Aguilar-Landaverde, Sophie has set a high bar for students coming into the program through her engineering documentation practices, construction skills and ability to work with a team.

“In the four teams Sophie has worked with in the engineering classroom, I have seen her actively engaged in concept generation strategies that require reflecting on others’ ideas in addition to her own,” Aguilar-Landaverde said. “She is not quick to pass judgment on ideas until reviewing their merits, and I believe this may help explain why her team’s products are among the most unique in design.”

One project that Sophie worked on was the construction of a portable pinhole camera over seven weeks.  This involved designing the camera, testing it, learning to develop film, and applying new math skills to calculate accurate standing distances and exposure times. Sophie maintained a detailed engineering notebook, meticulously documenting her team’s progress. Her team was one of the few that successfully captured an image on film.

Aguilar-Landaverde attributes this to Sophie’s diligence and ability to internalize major ideas and concepts.

“Her written reflections exceeded expectations not only in length but in depth of thought,” he said. “Moving forward I can use the accomplishments of Sophie and her team to remind students of what is possible when the design process is realized diligently and methodically.”

Despite the fact that she is studying math on-level in Algebra I, Aguilar-Landaverde said that the quality and accuracy of Sophie’s calculations often exceed those of her peers in Algebra II Advanced.

Sophie’s success is not limited to her accomplishments in the engineering program. She has received high praise from her teachers across subjects, for both her academic success and ability to work with peers.

Sophie’s English language arts teacher, Marguerite Swilling, said that is a delight in class, and that her artistic abilities often add to the depth of thought she exhibits on a daily basis. Her history teacher, George Solano, said that she is a quiet, but deliberate, scholar. 

“Sophie absorbs knowledge voraciously and then demonstrates her mastery of the material with precision and enthusiasm,” Solano said. “She has a strong sense of purpose in her actions that makes her a positive role model for her peers and teachers alike.”

Victor Hicks, Sophie’s world geography teacher, described her as a “remarkable young scholar.” 

“Sophie is a passionate learner and gracious to her peers,” he said. “She always shines with a positive attitude and a smile. She is self-disciplined and diligent in her studies. Sophie is courteous and confident and a great peer role model for her fellow students at ECHS.”

Sophie’s tremendous discipline and dedication to her work will undoubtedly continue to inspire her peers and teachers during her coming years at ECHS.