During our weekly meeting Monday, 2/3/2020, we honored, Luke Schuknecht our Florida Atlantic University High School 2019-20 Rotary Scholar for February.  The FAU HS Rotary Scholar of the Month is selected by the FAU HS staff in recognition of character, ethics, morality, community service, and academic achievement. 
 
Luke told us he is working towards a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science (expected in spring 2021) while achieving High School graduation (expected in spring 2020).  He was accompanied by his proud parents Susan, FAU Administrative Support, and Mark Schuknecht, Nova Southeastern Multimedia Producer.  Luke is the second of their sons to earn this recognition, in October 2014 we honored Mattison for his achievements serving our community while studying English Literature.
 
Representing FAU HS Staff, our Honorary Member and Interact Advisor Robin Barkes, FAU HS Science, and Allan Phipps, FAU HS District Science Coordinator provided support for our Rotary Scholar Chair Sam Khazem as he identified selection qualities and introduced Luke.  Luke thanked Rotary Boca Raton Sunset members for the honor and expressed appreciation for the wonderful opportunities he has had attending A. D. Henderson University School and FAU HS. 
 
Continuing, he recalled his experience in the A. D. Henderson University Tech Garage Summer Camp that ultimately helped him identify his preferred area of study and led him to later serve as teacher and mentor for the younger Middle School students.
 
During his FAU HS years, Luke also participated in SeaPerch and FIRST Tech Challenge.  Telling us about the SeaPerch underwater robotics program, Luke said "SeaPerch has been a major motivator in my life for me to keep pushing myself and furthering my education. In different years, I led multiple teams to compete at the highest level: the national championships."  After leading his team to 1st place in his second national championship competition, he wanted to share his experience by providing similar opportunities for others, so he spent time mentoring and helping the new middle school SeaPerch teams.
 
Luke continued by telling us about First Tech Challenge, a terrestrial robot competition in which he competed at the regional championships and helped six new teams learn skills to build their own robots. He said, "FTC also gave me the opportunity to aid teams outside of my school. On multiple accounts, other teams at the competition came up to my team to ask for assistance with the robots,"  and he obliged with enthusiasm.
 
Currently, Luke is planning a new solar cruiser project at FAU High with Allan Phipps guidance, pictured here with current student solar project. Luke says "We plan on being the first Florida-based team to build a four-seater solar car."  This project will give him opportunity to participate in a project that is "grounded in reality and has a chance to impact our daily life. With this project, I have the opportunity to do research and get published in FAU's undergraduate research journal and I have even received a research grant from FAU's Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry. Since this is the largest project I've ever worked on, it is testing my leadership skills. Our team consists of 20-25 members."
 
The Rotary Boca Raton Sunset FAU HS Rotary Scholar project provides continuing encouragement for high achieving students who realized and demonstrate the value of service to community through sharing skills, knowledge and experience.  Congratulations Luke!