03.29.2024

High School Learner Spotlight: Jonas B.

Jonas B. iLEAD Exploration high school spotlight April 2024

Hi! My name is Jonas Beadle, and I’m a junior with iLEAD Exploration. I love all things science. I am grateful for my time with iLEAD since 8th grade, as it has allowed me the opportunity to choose courses that fit my interests as well as the flexibility to take part in my many extracurricular activities.

From before I could walk, I have been fascinated with astronomy. My first word was not “momma” or “dadda”; it was “moon.” I loved looking at the night sky and still do to this day.

As a lifelong learner, I’ve immersed myself in every astronomy book imaginable, observed and photographed many celestial events through my telescope, and would never miss the opportunity to see a total solar eclipse. I traveled to Oregon in 2017 to see the Great American (Total) Solar Eclipse, and I’m headed to Mazatlan over spring break for the April 8 Total Solar Eclipse. Total solar eclipses are one of the most fascinating and rare events, not only because they occur only once every couple years and almost never in the same location, but also because of the precise lineup of the sun and moon in the sky. When these two objects perfectly align, the sun, which is 400 times larger than the moon, is also 400 times farther out, making both objects look like they are the same size. This lineup casts a perfect dark shadow on Earth, and for just a few minutes, day seems like night.

My love of science does not stop at astronomy. Living next to a nature preserve and the ocean, most of my free time is spent outside interacting with my local natural environment. Over the years, I have discovered many groups within my community that align with my interests. These include being a member of the Palos Verdes Peninsula 4-H, Palos Verdes Land Conservancy, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Docent Program, and president of iLEAD’s high school Astronomy and Nature Club. Through the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy, I have completed both a six-month cactus wren monitoring program and a six-month wildlife tracking program, which included training, surveying, and submitting my data electronically to the conservancy.

I have also spent the past three years in 4-H learning how to keep bees, conduct safe electrical projects including rewiring residential systems, making extension cords from scratch, and making a lamp with USB ports and a dimming switch. My learning of electrical systems has extended beyond 4-H, and I now have an unofficial repair shop, fixing others’ broken electrical items and rewiring household lights and outlets. I have also completed two docent training programs with the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and volunteer at their various events throughout the year.

This year, I wanted to find like-minded friends to share these interests with, so I started and am president of the iLEAD High School Astronomy and Nature Club. Members and I have enjoyed science discussions, welcomed guest speakers, and even met in person for a planetarium event at El Camino College. Our club welcomes new members throughout the year. So if you’re curious about the world around you, I encourage you to join! Our next meeting is April 10 at 2:15 PM, and we have another amazing guest speaker from Cabrillo Marine Aquarium sharing about whale biology, behavior, and the role they play in maintaining the health of marine ecosystems.

Lastly, I enjoy being a member of iLEAD’s National Honor Society and appreciate the awesome leadership and connection with other high schoolers. I have much gratitude for the support and flexibility I have been given during my time with iLEAD. I look forward to what’s ahead!

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