Meet your classmate: Jacob Oliveira

Meet your classmate: Jacob Oliveira

In an effort to learn more about students at DHS, the Spectrum will regularly select students at random to interview and feature in the student paper. This process is truly random; a calculator was used to generate random numbers, which we assigned to cafeteria seats in all three lunch shifts.

Sophomore Jacob Oliveira sits in the crowded cafeteria in first lunch with a carton of chocolate milk and a chicken patty on the tray in front of him.  He is a tall, slender 15-year-old with blond hair, glasses, and a quiet demeanor. On his wrist he sports a digital watch that connects to his phone and tells the time using the atomic numbers of elements.

“He is the smartest one in my household,” said Zachary Oliveira, Jacob’s older brother. “He is trustworthy and reliable, [and] as much as it pains me to say, he is taller than me.”

Jacob takes mostly honors classes and enjoys math especially. He hopes to pursue engineering in the future. Not only does he challenge himself in school, but he also challenges himself with a variety of extracurricular activities.

Jacob is a member of both the Engineering Club and a four-person team competing in SeaPerch, a nation-wide engineering program for middle school, high school, and college students. Using their knowledge of physics, Jacob and his teammates, Dan McCormack, Emily Chen, and Hunter Mello, assembled a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) about the size of a shoebox that performs a variety of underwater tasks.

In November the team competed against other schools in a regional competition at New Bedford High School. They took turns maneuvering the ROV through rings and controlling the submersible as it picked up weights from the bottom of a pool. The Dartmouth team took first place in the competition, and in mid-May they will travel to the University of Southern Mississippi for the 2014 National SeaPerch Challenge.

“[Jacob’s] done a good job in terms of taking what he’s learned from the classroom and applying that to the real world,” said physics teacher and engineering club adviser Robert Southerland. Mr. Southerland explained how Jacob has played a key role in helping lead the team.

“He’s a good kid, a hard worker, and is really dedicated to the engineering club,” said McCormack.

Music is another one of Jacob’s passions. He began playing the upright bass in fourth grade. “I saw Mrs. Monte play bass, and I thought it was so cool,” Jacob recalled. But he also wanted to learn to play a woodwind instrument and picked up the saxophone in fifth grade. Jacob joined the marching band in middle school and learned the tuba last year in response to the band’s lack of tuba players. Tuba has quickly become his favorite instrument, though he has only been playing for two years. “It was easier than I thought it would be.”

Jacob has also participated in spring and winter track since freshman year. “He’s a great kid to have on the team,” said senior track captain Hannah Cook. “He’s responsible and reliable.”

Jacob runs mid-distance, and his personal best in the 1,000 meter is 2 minutes 56 seconds. At this year’s freshman-sophomore meet, Jacob came in fourth place.

“I don’t want to sound cliché, but [Jacob] really is a hard worker,” said senior track captain Ethan Biron. “He surprised a lot of people by picking up points. Getting second and third place is a big deal.”

As a sophomore, Jacob has already made his mark on DHS.

“He’s a very bright student,” said senior Matt Jones. “He’s a lot smarter than people think. By the time he’s a senior he’ll be doing great things.”