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Alcorn engineering a future in machinery

While most of his fellow seniors at North Clayton High School are still picking which college they will go to, Devon Alcorn is already trying to decide which defense contractor he wants to work for after college.

He's got it narrowed down to either General Dynamics or Lockheed Martin. His first choice is Lockheed Martin, though, and what he'll study in college will depend on what the company is looking for right now.

"I'm either going to major in industrial engineering or mechanical engineering," Alcorn said. "I'm going to call them and ask which one they need more right now. Whatever they say is what I'll major in."

Alcorn, 17, is one of North Clayton's two STAR Students for the 2009-2010 school year. He has a 3.65 grade-point average, and is a part of the International Baccalaureate program at North Clayton. He is also a pitcher and first baseman for the school's baseball team.

But Alcorn has spent most of his school days since August 2008 in the dual-enrollment program at Clayton State University, where is a member of that school's Math Club. He has earned a 3.4 GPA just for the classes he's taken at Clayton State.

As for where he will go to school after he graduates from North Clayton, there is only one school he was interested in applying to — Georgia Tech, because of its engineering program.

"I'm waiting to hear if I got accepted there," Alcorn said.

When asked where his interests lie, Alcorn pointed to math and engineering. He said he likes math because "as you get deeper into it ... it becomes more challenging."

But at the end of the day, it's machines that capture and hold onto Alcorn's attention most. "I want to go into engineering," he said. "I have an affinity for machines. I really love robots and tanks ... I just like things that go ‘BOOM.'"

Alcorn said he has chosen North Clayton Literature Teacher Lana Lockhart as his STAR Teacher because of the lessons she taught him about being a good writer.

"She made me understand the importance of writing skills," he said. "That's really coming in handy in the classes I'm taking at Clayton State."