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Western Center Academy student is accepted into MIT


Last updated 5/11/2018 at 12:14pm


Western Center Academy senior Tanner Packham will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2020 and will study engineering, following two years on the mission field with his church.

HEMET – Tanner Packham, a senior at Western Center Academy, was recently accepted at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Packham plans to study engineering. The institution only accepts 7.2 percent of its freshmen applicants.

Packham said the idea of how things work has always interested him. His parents told him that when he was a toddler, they would be waiting to be seated at a restaurant, and he would take apart sprinklers to inspect them. In fifth grade, he built a film projector, and over the years, he has been able to hone his skills and focus on more complex creations.

In eighth grade, Packham created his own YouTube channel called "Tanner Tech." His channel is filled with demonstration videos on things he has built, as well as various challenges he's faced throughout these projects. With over 10,000 subscribers and 1 million views, Packham has found new and creative ways to push himself and his creations.

"More than anything, I've learned about patience," Packham said. He remembers building an induction heater and recalls going through 15 transistors trying to find a way to get it to work. He said he has found that nothing works the first time, and it takes a lot of experimenting and researching to find a solution.

In addition to his demonstration videos, Packham said he is interested in inspiring younger students to get more involved in science and engineering classes. Recently, he and other students from Western Center Academy visited Hemet Elementary to speak to the students for their science night and introduce them to different projects they were working on. Packham was able to further engage students as he demonstrated his electronics and spoke to them about his experiences in building them.

Packham will not attend MIT until 2020. He deferred his acceptance to go on a mission for two years for his church.


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