HARROD — Andrew Cochensparger, 18, a recently graduated senior from Allen East High School, has his eyes set on the stars.
Cochensparger, who was wearing an Occupy Mars shirt when we spoke with him last, is headed to Ohio Northern University in the fall and will study mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace engineering.
“I knew I really wanted to do something with aerospace,” said Cochensparger. “I’m looking forward to building rockets and I know that ONU just provides the best opportunity for me to be able to do that with their new engineering building.”
As you might guess, Cochensparger is inspired by billionaire tycoon Elon Musk.
“He’s the founder of SpaceX. He built PayPal and The Boring Company, many, many other things. But he’s really innovating and the fact that NASA had their last mission was in 1974 when they sent someone to the moon and since then there’s been nothing. Well, he is seeking to make it as cheap as possible by building reusable rockets. So by working on that we can get to the point where we can make a rocket that we reuse 100% that’s going be the same as getting on an airplane because every time you fly somewhere on an airplane they don’t trash the airplane,” Cochensparger said.
Cochensparger has also attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest in the Boy Scouts.
“That was something I have been working towards ever since I joined scouting,” Cochensparger said.
His Eagle Scout project involved giving back to Lafayette First United Methodist Church, the church where they hold their meetings.
“They have three main entrances. They have their nice front door, they have a side door for handicap accessibility and they have one that leaves their basement. The handicap door and the main front entrance had overhangs on it to keep water out. Those had completely rotted and were just bad so they were letting water inside the building. I ended up taking all those down, replacing all of the boards and cutting some nice ones and we ended up installing a new overhang for both those doors,” Cochensparger said.
While at Allen East, Cochensparger ran track and cross country and played in the marching and symphonic bands.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.