October 5, 2020

Meet the Students Who Built a Server

The Server Project

Several of the most successful tech entrepreneurs share a common childhood experience. When they were in school, they got their hands on some new technology and, because they had the opportunity to play with it, developed the skills they eventually used to transform the world.

The goal of the Server Project is to create that kind of space for Wheaton Academy students by giving them the space and equipment to build and maintain a server.

From Minecraft to Web Hosting

In 2019, the Server Project kicked off when a small group of students approached Mr. Regan with their idea to build a server. What began with a passion for Minecraft, has grown into an ambitious technological undertaking. Today, the server is a conglomeration of enterprise-level hardware very similar to the type used in Amazon and Google data centers. This massive computing power provides students with opportunities to run large-scale projects, such as website hosting, email hosting, and various artificial intelligence (AI) programs. Students even donate space on the server to various clients, such as the Folding At Home network which equips scientists in their in drug development for the novel Covid-19.

Michael Heredia
Robert Dieter

Stepping Stones to the Future

When asked about what he learned through working on the project, Peter Sorenson ‘21 shared, “Managing a project with hundreds of moving pieces is an incredible challenge that is both difficult and extremely rewarding. The Server Project has allowed me to learn about computer technology in a way that is usually reserved for hard-to-get internships at large cloud providers, and will surely provide a stepping stone for my future.

Not only do students gain valuable tech experience on the Server Project, they also learn about networking with companies who are interested in contributing equipment.

Robert Dieter ’21 is the primary consumer relations representative on the team. He shares, “This role allows me to connect with numerous high-level employees at international companies and has greatly strengthened my communication skills.

As a result of the team’s persistence in networking, the Server Project has received tens of thousands of dollars worth of donations from physical hardware to professional level software. Robert shares, “It makes my day whenever I hear back from a company that we requested a donation from. They have no obligation to make a donation, yet they often value the work we do and donate materials anyways!”

Josh Brunner
Peter Sorenson

Thinking forward, Josh, Peter, Michael, and Robert are excited to welcome more students to join their team. Josh Brunner ’21 shares, “It is so rewarding to grow this project to incorporate other students who are also passionate about tech.

Our Commitment to Innovation

Wheaton Academy is committed to continuing to equip our students with the tools, resources, and connections that they need to tackle ambitious, innovative projects like this one. Luke Regan, our Science Department Head and advisor for the Server Team reflects, “Redemption happens when students who have the mind of Christ rush to the world’s hardest and most difficult problems. At Wheaton Academy, we are equipping students to make a difference in STEM, and we want them to start now.

Michael works on the server project

Learn about the MASTER Program

MASTER stands for Mathematics, Applied Science, Technology, Engineering, and Research. In addition to the core math and science classes, the MASTER program also provides students with cutting edge opportunities in robotics, technology, engineering, and laboratory research.