Student- Jayden Sansom

Chatham School of Science & Engineering

School Role:

Student- Senior

Jayden Kelly Sansom is a Pittsboro, NC resident who is currently a senior at the Chatham School of Science & Engineering where she takes classes with NCSSM through their IVC program.

At what age did you realize you were interested in STEM? Tell us about that defining moment.

I was always interested in the STEM field for as long as I can remember, however, I only fell in love with computer science in my sophomore year. This was thanks to the Introduction to Computer Science class I took with Mrs.Dungan where I finally found my passion for solving those tough problems through computers and working through puzzles to get to a solution!

What has been your favorite class to take in HS thus far?

I am definitely a math and science person but of all of the classes I took, I would have to say that Research in Computer Science was my favorite. I was able to complete a research project about Artificial Intelligence that gave me such a wonderful experience and I had so much fun writing programs, testing, and presenting my project!

What types of TV shows/movies interest you?

As odd as it is for a nerdy person such as myself, I am someone who loves period pieces. In fact, I collect antique hand-painted teacups and other odd things when I have the time to look for them and I cannot emphasize it enough but I love fashion history. Watching a movie or show that presents historically accurate clothing makes me so happy to see to the point where I couldn’t care less about the actual story, although most of the time it is still very captivating.

In a similar vein, what are you currently binging?

Sadly, school has diminished my binging efforts, however, if it counts as binging, I constantly watch esports and people playing League of Legends! It makes me feel happy to watch people who are good at the game because I suck at it myself.

Are you currently reading anything?

I enjoy the classics, so I am currently reading/re-reading “Pride and Prejudice” (my favorite movie), “Count of Monte Cristo” (my favorite book), and “Anne of Green Gables” (one of my favorite shows)!

Why do you think STEM education is important?

A STEM education paves the way for a new generation of innovators, critical thinkers, and generally allows us as people to continue making advancements. Even though the liberal arts and humanities are very important, without teaching those who wish to become doctors, scientists, mathematicians, and more, the world would not continue to progress and improve!

What is your favorite part about being a student at NCSSM?

My favorite part has been having the opportunity to take classes I would have never been able to take in my usual high school experience! Additionally, I have been able to meet Mrs.Dungan who has been an incredible mentor and I would not be where I am without her!

What are your current career goals?

I am heading to NC State in the fall where I am majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in Game Design! I plan to enter the very competitive video game design field, although I do not have a specific company I am shooting for! I love game design because I am a person who shares a combination of the left and right brain, loving programming and math as well as art and design. I play many video games myself and it makes my friends and I so happy when we can all share that love and play such wonderful games! I want to be able to help provide that experience to others and make wonderful games that people will fall in love with!

What achievement has been the highlight of your academic career thus far?

It would have to be a toss up for being the first IVC student from NCSSM to present a project at the CED Venture Connect Summit and winning the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing National Winner Award!