Future Gator and Innovator Robert Weckel


Andres Rodriguez

Anticipating his departure for Santa Fe College, senior Robert Weckel (left) shows his swagger for the University of Florida, where he plans to transfer his sophomore year.

Andres Rodriguez, Sports Editor

It is only natural for teenagers to ponder about their futures, especially when it comes to selecting a college major. Roaming the halls of G.W. Carver Middle School, senior Robert Weckel began tracking his potential interest for technology long ago. This upcoming fall, he will attend Santa Fe College in Alachua County, Fla, a collaboration college with the University of Florida’s computer engineering program, where he expects to transfer after three semesters. 

Posting good grades and a Scholastic Aptitude Test score of 1320, Weckel never considered an out of state school because of the costly tuition and distance from home. After qualifying for the Bright Futures scholarship, the Cavalier set his eyes on “the Swamp”.

“I didn’t really see any reason to go out of state. From the beginning, UF was my dream school,” senior Robert Weckel said. 

For three consecutive semesters, Weckel will be required to take prerequisite math courses like Calculus before transferring to UF. Santa Fe’s engineering program consists of 32 credits that can be fulfilled as early as Weckel’s sophomore year. In addition, he must maintain a 2.5 grade point average throughout his tenure.  

Robert is really smart. He can look at a problem and think about it analytically. I think he is going to make it really far as an engineer. I am excited that he is pursuing a career in STEM, because he is definitely very good at math,

— Ms. Zuniga

Weckel’s passion for engineering stems from his aunts and uncles, most of whom graduated college with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math related degrees. Despite some incentive to follow in their footsteps, he was internally motivated to explore new avenues through his education. In 2019, Weckel volunteered with STEM Camp Miami, a summer workshop that assists eight graders with their science fair projects, demonstrating his interest in that field.  

“Well, my family has a history of math-related professions. I’ve seen my family of engineers. They are all successful engineers and I look up to them, but that didn’t necessarily determine what I liked,” senior Weckel said.

Making his way through courses like International Baccalaureate Biology and English, Weckel identified certain subjects that did not interest him, thus gearing him towards a STEM career. However, mathematics was always in the back of his mind; by junior year, Weckel demonstrated his sharp ability for deducing equations and solving for “x”. 

“High schoolers don’t seem to realize how important math is. Anything you buy in the grocery store or online has been designed with a lot of math to determine that dimension’s volume. It is extremely useful,” senior Robert Weckel said.

Engineers work in numerous settings, but Weckel plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree and specialize in computer engineering. Whether his job involves software in automobiles or testing microchips, the Cavalier enjoys the idea of testing the most advanced products. 

“Technology is cool. I really think that the basis of technology, which is a transistor, pretty much runs all electronics. It controls the flow of electricity, right? So pretty much everything that has on or off switches uses work,” senior Weckel said. 

Although his path remains largely undecided, Weckel has chosen to remain patient for his next chapter. For now, he looks forward to encountering new colleagues with a similar passion for engineering. 

“I want to become a better person, more knowledgeable and successful in the field that helps society as a whole. And to just be happy, that is my main goal,” senior Robert Weckel said.