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Volume 11, Issue 10
October 2013


Tar-papering the shed roof are Troop 618 members Bobby Hagerup of Cedar Mill and Ed Herinckx, standing on scaffold. Logan Keith (in window) accepts wood clamps from Matthias Guenther. His father, Mark Guentherm is at right. On the ladder is Glenn Miller. Atop the roof, facing away, is Assistant Scoutmaster Eric Delaney of Cedar Mill.

Student leads the way in volunteer work, academics

Matthias Guenther, a 17-year-old senior at Beaverton’s School of Science and Technology (SST), was named a National Merit Semi-Finalist in September.

National merit semi-finalists score in about the top one percentile nationally on the PSAT, a standardized test taken in 11th grade.

A week later, he received the AP Scholar Award for having taken advanced-placement courses in high school and demonstrated college-level mastery on national tests.

In late August, he completed an Eagle service project at his high school. He is a member of Beaverton’s Boy Scout Troop 618. He lives in the Bonny Slope neighborhood north of Cedar Mill.

Matthias plans to study engineering in college. He favors a major in computer/electrical or chemical engineering but also wants to learn about biotech and nanotech/materials science. He will apply to Oregon State, among other universities. Several schools have sent him priority applications requiring no application fee or long essay. He’s carefully weighing the various offers. “I’m weighing each school’s reputation and program as an engineering school, costs, and, to some extent, proximity to home.”

Matthias directs construction of a shed at Merlo Station High School. Attaching shed walls are Troop 618 members Dan Falck; his son, Science and Tech student Thomas Falck; and Declan Bartel. Matthias is completing final requirements for Eagle rank.

Starting in October, he plans to re-join the Science Bowl team.

For his science-research project, he is refining and testing an ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) plant that he built during sophomore year, for which he and his partner won an Air Force engineering award at the Beaverton Hillsboro Science Exposition and competed statewide at the Intel Northwest Science Expo.
An OTEC plant generates electricity by taking advantage of temperature differences between deep, cold water and warm surface water to expand and contract a “working fluid” and spin a turbine.

He is heading for an engineering career because, he says, “I like pure sciences as well, but the hands-on aspect of engineering lets me feel like I’m accomplishing something.”

Serious Scouting

Matthias is assistant senior patrol leader of Boy Scout Troop 618 in Beaverton. In August, Matthias completed his Eagle service project: building an 8-by-10-foot shed on his school campus at the request of his Merlo Station High School principal Mary Jean Katz. The School of Science and Technology is one of three option high schools located on the Merlo Station campus. The shed will contain emergency earthquake supplies for the campus, Katz said.

Eagle projects are exercises in project management. Matthias budgeted, earned money, sought donations, ordered supplies, created a schedule, recruited workers and led construction.

Volunteer Spirit

Earlier this summer, Matthias served as a staff-in-training at BSA Camp Meriwether on the Oregon coast. He taught cooking, nature, and pioneering. He assisted the blacksmith at the on-site, log replica of Lewis and Clark’s historic Fort Clatsop. He plans to return to work as a paid staff member at Meriwether next summer.

Matthias also volunteers at Oregon Food Bank and is available to SST students who seek help with school work. “Volunteering gives me an opportunity to feel helpful as I go about doing things I enjoy,” he says.
Scouting has been a great experience that has made him a better person, Matthias said. He approves of Boy Scouts of America’s vote last spring to offer membership to gay youth.


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Published monthly by Pioneer Marketing & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291
© 2013