CA Alum Challenges Students to Ponder What’s Possible

Isaac Spear is a senior studying biomedical and electrical engineering at Kansas State University. He grew up in Littleton, Colorado and attended CA starting in Kindergarten. As a college sophomore at Kansas State, he won the federal government’s Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge by the first-ever unanimous decision on the part of 16 federal agencies.

Now he spends much of his time researching and analyzing the neurosystem and developing prosthetics that will natively interact with the human brain. Spear shared the story of one man who had lost both arms in an electrical accident, and for more than 20 years had not been able 
to feed himself, write his name, or perform everyday tasks. When outfitted with his robotic arms, Spear said the man just sat down and cried. That, he said, was rewarding work.

isaac-spearSpear has had internships with Dell, Molecular Deposition Technologies, and Caterpillar. Isaac hopes to start a career advancing medical technologies in cancer research and active 
prosthetics. Spear 
recently spoke to seventh 
grade students at CA 
who are part of the Out
side the Box course—a 
year-long creativity and
 critical thinking course. 
He encouraged the
 seventh graders to ponder the possibilities of what’s possible with innovation and technology. He shared with students his work on prosthetics, as well as a robot named “Andrew,” that could be used in natural disasters or on battlefields to recover injured victims.

When we last interviewed Spear, he was headed to an undisclosed location in Texas to demonstrate for the U.S. Government different-sized prototypes of an Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (AUAV) platform, a drone mounted on a trailer that could have applications for detecting land mines. When asked about how that demonstration went, he smiled and said that a task that last time took more than seven hours, his drone completed in just over 50 seconds. “It went well,” he said. P.S. Spear is not just a science buff. He is a musician and plays the bagpipes, and is a National High School Rodeo Champion, including a title as Colorado’s Bareback State Champion.