Waco Precision Machining Technology and Building Construction Technology

(WACO, Texas) – One has an affinity for clothing in earth tones. The other likes to wear Hawaiian-style shirts.

Carter and Samuel Marek, of Dripping Springs, are twins attending Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus. Carter Marek is studying Building Construction Technology, and Samuel Marek is a student in the Precision Machining Technology program. Both are scheduled to graduate in December.

Coming to TSTC

The brothers are graduates of Dripping Springs High School but did not start TSTC at the same time.

Carter Marek attended a four-year university to study audio engineering but only stayed for a semester. He said he did not know anyone attending the university who was from his high school and that he also missed his hometown. He finished general academic classes at a two-year college in the Austin area and then decided to join his brother at TSTC in fall 2023.

“It was definitely helpful the first time in the fall because Sam had made a bunch of friends,” Carter Marek said. “We are similar in different ways, but usually friends of his I can get along with pretty well.”

Samuel Marek said he knew in high school that he did not want to be at a four-year university.

“I just decided I wanted to go to a technical school because it is not so preppy,” he said.

Choosing technical programs

Both are self-professed hands-on learners. Some of the projects that the brothers have pursued on their own include building a roller coaster in their yard using a weather-destroyed trampoline, and creating metal armor. Their current project involves converting a gutted microwave into a computer with the help of classmates.

“We are both eccentric, so oftentimes me and Sam will be like, ‘We should build this thing,’ or do this thing and since no one else is on board, we initiate our ideas and our buddies follow along,” Carter Marek said.

Carter Marek said choosing Building Construction Technology came from playing the video game Minecraft and spending time outside while growing up. Some of that time was spent building treehouses and a tower made of wooden pallets.

Samuel Marek said he learned to weld when he was in middle school. Along the way he learned how to do 3D printing. He said he enjoys the engineering, science and physics that go into the manufacturing process.

“If you can think it, you can make it,” he said.

Being a good brother

The brothers do not live together. Samuel Marek lives on the floor above his brother at the on-campus Village Oaks student apartments.

“The thing is, if I want to wake him or get his attention, I can stomp on the floor,” Samuel Marek said. “Being on top is kind of nice. I like my balcony.”

Carter Marek said he enjoys living on the bottom floor because he can grow plants. Currently he is cultivating blueberries, green onions, and potatoes in large buckets outside his front door.

“I tend to be a pretty conservative guy, but as for the environment, I am a tree hugger,” he said.

Carter Marek said his brother is practical.

“He is a lot more regimented and does not stray far from the line,” he said. “He’s adaptable, but only when he wants to be.”

Samuel Marek said his brother is subdued.

“When you talk to him, it’s a lot slower because he has nowhere to be — in a good way,” he said.

After graduation

The brothers said they look forward to graduating together.

Carter Marek wants to pursue an engineering degree after departing TSTC.

“I would not mind taking more math classes,” he said. “It depends on the job I am able to get.”

Samuel Marek said he wants to be involved in metal 3D printing when it becomes more developed.

“It is so valuable because you are saving so much material,” he said.

Carter Marek said TSTC has benefited him in terms of confidence.

“It has helped me be OK asking questions and not be nervous doing things without messing up,” he said.

Samuel Marek said TSTC has helped him learn self-reliance.

“There is a lot of stuff you have to do yourself (at TSTC),” he said. “You have to take initiative to figure things out. That is a very good thing.”

Registration for the summer and fall semesters continues at TSTC.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu

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