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Rochester student recognizes scientist for Educator of Distinction award

One of Century high school’s newest graduates is heading to college with a boost. He’s making a positive impact in the community and around the world, as a result, he was named a 2018 Coca-Cola Scholar. 

Austin McCoy is making his mark as an engineer and an entrepreneur founding a non-profit and a cybersecurity software company before graduating high school.

His non-profit, Equal Access Biotechnologies, aims to design low-cost and low-energy lab technology for classrooms and developing countries. McCoy works closely with the Rochester chapter of Integrated Science Education Outreach also known as InSciEd Out, an organization that promotes a hands-on approach to science education.

As the only Minnesota student selected from roughly 180, 000 applicants, he was also awarded a $20,000 college scholarship. As a recipient, he had to designate one educator who inspired him to recieve the Joseph B. Whitehead Educators of Distinction award. McCoy selected Dr. Chris Pierret, a Mayo Clinic scientist who directs InSciEd Out in Rochester. 

"Not only did he touch me as an individual, giving me so many different opportunities and just taking me in and matching my curiosity with opportunities that I can pursue. But, I think it’s just overall he always pursues stuff in life with passion and he tries to help as many people as possible," said McCoy. "The biggest lesson I’ve learned from him is humility. Because with science, you can talk in a language that’s inaccessible to everyone, so treating everyone as equal to you and with humility."

"To know that he recognizes me as an educator in his life, to know that he recognizes me as part of that journey is really touching," said Dr. Pierret.

McCoy plans to pursue his passion for technology at California Institute of Technology this fall where he will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering or computer science.


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