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Local Limelight: Keatin Hertz

The future is bright for this young scientist, a teen with an inventive, inquisitive, and intellectual nature. 

Article by Stephanie Hower

Photography by Oluanai Photography

Originally published in Billings Lifestyle

Freshmen Keatin Hertz harbors a love for science which has fueled his academic and personal pursuits, leading him to remarkable accomplishments. From Eagle Scout to honors student, Keatin is a young man with big ambitions and a big heart.

An aspiring pilot, he knows his future career path will require an understanding of physics, one of his favorite subjects (the other is math).

“I love experimenting because I am a very hands on learner,” Keatin explains. “I make an effort to talk to as many pilots and airline workers in as many fields as possible to ensure this is the field I want to work.” In addition to discussions with airline professionals, he has attended aviation camps, controlled and flown airplanes, and completed an online course through Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University during the pandemic quarantine last spring. 

Yet, an online course isn’t the only way Keatin occupied his time during the nationwide quarantine. 

“During the pandemic, I made masks because I like helping people,” he says. “In 5th grade I was in a STEM club that made prosthetic, 3D printed hands…I loved it and wanted to do it again. This year I had the same teacher that I had in 5th grade. She started 3D printing masks and gave them to me to assemble and distribute. I ended up putting together just over 100 masks.” He also delivered lunches to students unable to reach food sites during the COVID-19 crisis and delivered Easter baskets to his neighbors. 

Keatin is often finding ways to give back. As a STEM student officer through STEM Yellowstone he volunteers at community events, and he volunteered with “Reading Rocks” this summer. 

“I also love playing and singing music,” he adds. “Music is a science. I created a robotics guitar during the pandemic that I am able to play. I am in a rock band as lead singer and guitarist, but have also played the upright bass, percussion, electric bass, keyboard, and I have sang on stage since I was two.” His other interests include skiing, backpacking, traveling, flying, and playing Xbox. At the National History Day Competition he won state and will be participating in the national competition. 

Keatin attends Billings Senior High School.

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