Senior Spotlight: CJ graduate co-creates instrument sculpture at Levitt Pavilion

Grace Schaefer, a recent graduate of Chaminade Julienne, co-created “Soar with Music Chimes," a musical instrument project ,with another CJ student, Sam Downing. Eileen McClory / Staff

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Grace Schaefer, a recent graduate of Chaminade Julienne, co-created “Soar with Music Chimes," a musical instrument project ,with another CJ student, Sam Downing. Eileen McClory / Staff

As part of her senior project for her Project Lead the Way Engineering Design and Development course, Kettering resident Grace Schaefer co-created a musical instrument for the community at Levitt Pavilion with her partner for the project, Sam Downing.

The project, “Soar with Music Chimes,” includes a series of chimes with a mallet for kids and adults to play music. It looks like a cross between a xylophone and a harp.

Schaefer, a recent Chaminade Julienne High School graduate who has played the piano since she was little and picked up the violin this year, said the project combined her loves of engineering and music.

“I always used music more as a calming activity,” Shaefer said. “I always liked playing the music for myself.”

With two parents in engineering, Schaefer has long been exposed to Science Olympiad and other science-based engineering projects.

“I just kind of knew that I wanted to design and create things,” she said.

Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, said the project took three months and involved cross-coordination across multiple sectors.

“Grace kind of served as student project leader and primary communicator for the project, and demonstrated exemplary initiative, diligence, persistence, time management, attention to detail, and technical skills throughout the entire project that will serve her well as she pursues an engineering degree and career,” Draeger said.

Schaefer combined her leadership and STEM interests outside of school in her Girl Scout Gold Award project this year, teaching senior citizens how to use technology.

Schaefer is headed to the University of Notre Dame to study aerospace engineering in the fall. She’s interested in working in leadership positions, she said.

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