TGR Learning Lab student completes all summer classes, reflects on experience
A longtime TGR Learning Lab (TGRLL) student, 15-year old Nathan Zet is a familiar face at our flagship facility in Anaheim, Ca. Despite the recent shift from in-person classes to virtual learning due to COVID-19, Nathan has remained an equally dedicated student. A sophomore at John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma, Nathan is the only student who participated in every TGRLL virtual summer class offered including Space Science, Photography: Visual Storytelling, Healthy Habits at Home and What’s “App”ening in Computer Science, in addition to taking virtual golf lessons. In an interview with TGR Foundation, Nathan reflects on his favorite classes, hobbies and his dream job.
TGR Foundation: What are four words that best describe you?
Nathan Zet: Perseverant, confident, exuberant and caring
TGRF: When did you start attending classes at the TGR Learning Lab?
NZ: In the 5th grade, I had taken a week-long field trip to the TGR Learning Lab and had an opportunity to explore the marine science and golf classes. A year later, when I was in the 6th grade, I started attending Saturday Player Development Program (PDP) golf classes.
TGRF: Thinking back to life before COVID-19, what have been some of your favorite in-person TGR Learning Lab classes and why?
NZ: My favorite in-person class is Video Game Design. Being a gamer, it was nice to dip a toe into the inner workings of a video game. Another favorite of mine are the golf classes because I get to meet new people and catch up with old friends while practicing my golf skills.
TGRF: Of our summer virtual classes, which class(es) did you enjoy the most, and what did you like about the class(es)?
NZ: My favorite class was Space Science because it made me feel like I was actually in the classroom. Every day was something new from travel brochures to mini planetariums. Sometimes, we got to split into groups.
TGRF: Share something interesting or new you learned from any of our summer classes.
NZ: In the Photography: Digital Storytelling class, I learned that dead center isn’t the best place for an object in a picture. Split the photo into even ninths and put the object at one of the four intersections.
TGRF: Even though the classes were virtual, were they interactive and engaging?
NZ: Yes, the classes made me feel like I was at the Learning Lab. Whether we did a scavenger hunt with GooseChase or got to know each other better through Padlet, I felt like I was interacting with my fellow students and teachers.
TGRF: How have you been adjusting to school and life during COVID-19?
NZ: Since school is virtual, I have been using Schoology as the main hub for all of my work. Most of my days are spent playing video games, playing my trombone and reading.
TGRF: Why do you like being a TGR Learning Lab student?
NZ: The classes are really immersive and teach me some new things. Also, each and every teacher does an incredible job and makes me feel as comfortable as I am at home.
TGRF: Is there a particular Learning Lab teacher that has inspired or mentored you?
NZ: The entire golf staff at the TGRLL has mentored me in one way or another. At every class, competition or run-in, they motivate me to do better. It’s thanks to them that I decided to take on golf “full-time.”
TGRF: Have any of our Learning Lab classes introduced you to new careers?
NZ: I used to watch the show “Bones” with my mom, and that got me interested in forensic science. When I took the Forensic Files class at the TGR Learning Lab, I got to solve a crime using forensic techniques like fingerprinting and pH analysis. I really enjoyed learning about this career.
TGRF: What is your dream job?
NZ: My dream job is to be a paleontologist. Ever since I was in elementary school, I have been interested in dinosaurs and other ancient creatures.
TGRF: Would you recommend the virtual TGR Learning Lab classes to other students? If so, why?
NZ: I absolutely would! Whether in person or virtual, the classes are very hands-on and fun. You might even learn a new skill that turns into a career.
The TGR Learning Lab offers unique interdisciplinary learning experiences and helps students discover, develop and pursue their passions. The virtual summer classes were open to 7-11th graders on a first-come, first-served basis. During the launch of virtual classes during the 2020 pandemic, the Learning Lab expanded to seven new regions bringing its reach to 11 states across the country.
Redefining what it means to be a champion.
TGR Learning Lab courses are supported by Bank of America, the Anaheim Community Foundation, LA84 Foundation, Niagara Cares Foundation, Joan and Clyde Hampton Foundation, Rite Aid Foundation, Western Digital, Hearst Foundations, Beckman Coulter, Wells Fargo Foundation, Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and The Boeing Company. For more information click here or visit TGRFoundation.org.