, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 14, 2014

Next stop NASA for science student


Meet David Keck

AGE: 24.

HOMETOWN: Muskogee.

CAREER: Computer science, software developer.

EDUCATION: Hilldale High School, 2008. To graduate from Northeastern State University in May.

FAMILY: Parents, Joe and Donna Keck; brother Alan; sisters, Mary and Rachel.

HOBBIES: Playing guitar, camping, running.

A future


Somewhere in his family’s home, David Keck has two lab coats.

He got his first when he was moving from homeschool to Hilldale.

“My mom and my dad wanted to make sure my interest in science flourished,” he said. “My mom subscribed to this thing called Mad Scientist Monthly, and it had all sorts of experiments. My mom’s friend Sondra Pippin heard about this and she got me a junior-sized lab coat that had my name embroidered in it. It said ‘David Keck’ in cursive with ‘Scientist’ underneath. I’d wear it around the house.”

Hilldale science teacher Richard Martin gave Keck his second lab coat as a high school graduation present.

“It was great,” he said. “He gave it to me right after graduation, and it was a great lab coat. It was lab gray and really sturdy and thick.

“When I got into the lab, the chemistry lab, that thing saved me a few times with some chemicals,” he said. “If it was cotton, it was really tightly stitched, almost like starched jeans. That’s great, because if you spill acid on something like nylon-type textiles, it could melt onto your skin. With this lab coat, if you spill something on it, it rolls right off of it.”

Keck said no other student in the NSU labs had a lab coat.

“I’d be walking around in my lab coat and everybody else would be wearing their nice clothes,” he said. “And a few people actually had holes in their shirts from where the acid got on them. It didn’t exactly make me cool. They were like, ‘Oh, look at the nerd.’”

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