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Kyle E. Bloecker:
2008 Winner
FDNY Engine 307

Kyle E. Bloecker

Winning Essay

This 2008 presidential election comes at a time when our country is considerably divided in the political opinions and ideology of the public. The decisions and actions of our next President will have significant effects on the future of our country.

Although there are many issues pertinent to the current state of America, there are a few that require immediate attention. Three issues that our next President must address immediately are nation security, education, and the economy. As Commander-in-Chief, our President’s responsibility first and foremost is to protect the American people from threats from abroad as well as at home. It involves increasing efforts on countering terrorism worldwide. The President has a responsibility not only to protect American citizens but also, together with our allies, to assist and give hope to oppressed people of other nations who wish to be free. While this does not give America the right to police the world, intervention is justifiable when innocent people are being victimized with violence without the capability to defend themselves.

Education should also be a top priority of our next President. A strong educational system breeds a successful nation. It is what allows America to continue to be the great nation that it is. It is where young people are encouraged to be curious and independent thinkers. Our next President should make efforts to ensure all young Americans have an equal opportunity to get a high-quality balanced education. Making efforts to improve the educational system now, ensures the success of America for posterity because an educated public is capable of making informed decisions and taking the actions necessary to continue to uphold the ideals and values of America. The current conditions of many public schools throughout America, but especially in lower class urban neighborhoods, are unacceptably poor. We live in a country that stands by the belief in equal opportunity for all. However, it is impossible to say that all children are afforded an equal opportunity for an education when many public schools cannot even afford enough books for all the students. By distributing more funds to poor school districts throughout America, and monitoring their spending, more children will be afforded the opportunity for a quality education regardless of location or socioeconomic background.

A third issue pertinent to the immediate concerns of America is the economy. The economy must always be monitored closely because it is constantly changing. Efforts must be made to reduce budget deficit. This can be accomplished via decreased government spending, especially on projects that don’t serve to benefit the majority of the public. Increasing private competition will not only help reduce the budget deficit, but will also promote lower costs for health care. If people are allowed to choose their health insurance provider and plan from a wide spectrum of organizations (federal, state, private companies) they will be able to select a plan that most suits their family’s needs and budget.

Aside from these issues that necessitate immediate action from our next President, there is a multitude of important issues that should be addressed to plan for the future of America. The current situation involving the search for alternative sources of energy has become a global issue. There must be increased effort on developing efficient alternative sources of energy that can realistically reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and lower emissions that adversely effect our environment.

There are millions of people living illegally in the United States. Our next President should take steps to address the border control problems, and help decrease the number of immigrants illegally entering the country. But at the same time, steps must also be taken to provide a path to legalization for those already living here. Otherwise there will continue to be millions people receiving the benefits of public services without paying taxes.

The United States was once the undisputed world leader in innovation regarding science and technology. However, recently the United States has begun to fall behind many European countries as well as Japan in certain scientific areas. There needs to be more government concentration on scientific and medical research. This includes embryonic stem cell research, as well as the physical sciences.

All of these things are issues that require attention from our next President. Should these issues not be addressed, our country could fall behind. However, the great thing about or country is that all the candidates running for president wish to make America the best nation it can be, and they all respect the core principles and the Constitution on which our country was founded; the things that define America. The public can trust that whichever party wins the election, will not radically change the American way of life, or neglect clearly important issues. The differences lie in varying beliefs on what is the best way to uphold these American principles we all share. The public can be confident that whatever the outcome of the election is, our next President will do his/her best to address all of these issues.


We would like to wish Kyle E. Bloecker the best of luck moving on to University of Delaware. Congratulations!

My name is Kyle Bloecker. My father is a member of the FDNY and Captain of Engine-307. I grew up in Old Bethpage, NY with my parents and three younger brothers, and graduated from Plainview Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School. In high school I was a member of the National Honor Society, president of my school’s chapter of the New York State Science Honor Society, and captain of the Science Olympiad team. I played viola in the orchestra and played guitar in a band. I played Varsity Baseball and travel Soccer outside of school. My other interests include surfing and snowboarding.

Throughout my experience in high school I was always interested in science, engineering, and research. I did research independently in each year throughout my high school career. In ninth grade, I participated in a program called Science Buddies, in which I was paired with an expert in a field of science of my choice, Physics Professor Richard Blish, and a high school student research mentor, to help me develop and complete a research project. I developed an investigation on the factors of terminal velocity underwater, and how different materials could benefit SCUBA diving equipment. 

During the summers before tenth and eleventh grade, I devoted my time to doing research at a mechanical and electrical engineering firm called Lizardos Engineering Associates, where I worked under the guidance of Mr. Evans Lizardos and Mr. Dimitri Dumerlin to develop a system for retrofitting the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems of existing buildings to safeguard against biological terrorist attack through the use of ultraviolet microbial irradiation units, and to develop a software program that can adjust duct sizes in an HVAC system in order to save energy required to operate the fan without wasting excess energy.

During eleventh and twelfth grade I did research at Stony Brook University under the guidance of particle physics Professor Chang-Kee Jung. I joined the Nucleon Decay and Neutrino Physics research group, where I attended weekly meetings and frequently gave presentations regarding updates in my research. This gave me experience in how real research is done at the collegiate and graduate level. I am now in my freshman year at the University of Delaware with a major in physics, where I will continue to pursue my interests in scientific research, and engineering. I hope to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics, and go on to pursue a career in research or physics education.

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