REES RIDOUT SEARCY
Rees Ridout is a builder, but he’s not constructing in a traditional manner.
During a biosciences and engineering summer camp last year, Ridout created a 3-D-printed prosthetic hand. He hopes he can assemble a more useful version as he gains more knowledge.
“I have always been an engineer at heart,” Ridout said. “Growing up I had a habit of taking things apart and putting them back together, which did not always make my mother very happy.
“You look at a clock, and you think it’s a simple piece of machinery, but you open up the inside and its much more complex. I would look at the gears and motors and try to discover how they worked and if I can make them work better. Sometimes I could and a lot of times I couldn’t.”
This fall, Ridout will enter Duke University in Durham, N.C., and will major in biomedical engineering.
“The thing I’m most proud of is getting accepted to Duke,” Ridout said. “That’s been one of my goals for a long time. It’s tough. Only 9 percent of the students that applied this year got in.”
Ridout also built a reputation as a good tennis player for Searcy High School. Rees and his partner, Luke Wolfe, set a school record for the most victories
(28) by a doubles team. Ridout and Wolfe finished runners-up in the Class 6A tournament and advanced as far as the Overall quarterfinals.
“We weren’t expected to go that far,” Ridout said. “We really weren’t expecting to win our state semifinal match but on that day we were really on top of things. And when we won, it was awesome.”
Ridout already has gained valuable knowledge from respected engineers. At a symposium at Space-X headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., he was given advice on engineering education by procession and propulsion engineers.
At Duke, Ridout will join his older brother. Rivers Ridout is a junior high jumper on the Blue Devils’ track team.
“He’s more of an athlete than I am,” Rees Ridout said.