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Petri puts “His Love for Education” to work for the STEAM project

By Sarah Slavik

October 3, 2006

Eric PetriATHENS, Ohio — Ever since he was a young boy, Eric Petri has been multitasking. Eric, now 21, grew up in Bellbrook, Ohio learning valuable life lessons as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout of America. Years of preparation, leadership and team work led to Petri’s achievement of the rank of Eagle Scout the summer before he left for Ohio University.

Simultaneously, Eric was exploring his fascination with computers. He received his first computer at the age of 10, after months of begging. Over the next few years, Petri dissected his computer in order to “understand the inner workings of the system.” At 14, he began programming and in his senior year of high school, a Computer Science class confirmed that he would declare Computer Science as his major in college.

Financial ServicesCurrently, Eric not only attends school full time, but he also holds down two jobs. During three years of working as Webmaster and Network Manager for Breckenridge Financial Supplies in West Carrollton, Ohio, he has become an expert in designing, building, and implementing complex web sites. Just last year, Petri assumed additionally responsibilities as a Computer Technician for Ohio University, gaining experience in computer installation, hardware repair, and network maintenance.

TrackstarNow, with his work at a STEAM fellow and a graduate student, Eric is truly multitasking. He is currently using his web site building skills in the classroom by using an off-the-shelf web page tracking engine called “Trackstar” to focus middle school student research into sites already approved for use by the teacher.

Eric says that a culmination of his life experiences have prepared him for his work on the STEAM project. It has not always been easy, but he embraces his difficulties and has emerged with a love for learning. He says, “I think that my struggles and triumphs can help the students because I had to work to do well in school through the years. Once I realized the value of a higher education, I wanted to share it with others who struggled through their early years of schooling.”