The hands-on lab was put on by Engineering Tomorrow, a national nonprofit that provides the supplies and equipment to schools at no cost.
“The mission of Engineering Tomorrow is to inspire high school students to pursue an engineering degree in order to create a larger, more diverse engineering workforce that can address global challenges in the future,” said Megan Barrett, director of operations at Engineering Tomorrow.
Engineering Tomorrow recently expanded into Texas, and 26 schools across the state participated in the event with GM.
“It benefits us because sometimes us not knowing what’s available out there or some schools not having the finances to do it,” said Stevie Mayberry, a teacher at Allen ISD STEAM Center. “Some schools don’t have the whereabouts to bring everything together. It does help for anyone and everyone that reaches out and says hey, we’d like to do that.”
Mayberry has been an educator for nearly four decades.
“Hands on is the way to go,” he said. “You can talk it about it all day long, but until they get to experience it, get their hands on it, it’s like oh, the lightbulb comes on.”
Mayberry gave each group of students the basic components to build the electric vehicle, courtesy of Engineering Tomorrow. They worked together to come up with their own unique design to make it run.
“I think it’s a blessing, to be honest,” said junior Tae’Veon Stephenson. “It shows me that people in the world want to see other people prosper through engineering.”
Stephenson hopes there’s a lot more of this in future.
“I want to be able this what we’re doing right now,” he said. “I want to be able to design cars.”
According to Engineering Tomorrow, 25% of the students who participate in their labs go on to declare engineering as their major in college. Of those students, 40% are minority and 26% are female.
“We’d love to get more Texas schools involved,” Barrett said. “Any day of the week, schools can sign up to do electric vehicles, aerodynamics, machine learning, 3D printing, medical applications – really all of the major engineering disciplines are covered in our curriculum.”