Students in the Westlake High School Technology & Engineering (T & E) Department participated in the 17th annual Goodyear STEM Career Day sponsored by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company on April 30, hosted on the campus of the University of Akron.
Goodyear’s STEM Career Day mission is to inform and encourage young men and women in grades six through 12 to pursue opportunities and careers that exist in various science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
Students participated in the college and career fair as well as the many different engineering presentations and activities led by representatives from over 40 local STEM-related businesses and universities. Campus tours were offered to parents, guardians and teachers who attended. The WHS TechMates team participating in the event included Elise Kennedy, Anna Renkel, Sean Freeman, David Eppele, Jackson Liang, Sneha Ramachandran, Mark Sargent, John Anitas, Jill Eddy, Jordan Sherwin, Erik Hoke, Michael Rees, Connor Reis, Connor Harte, John Willi, and Katie Willi.
Kicking off the day was a welcome introduction and keynote from Goodyear Chief Technical Officer Joe Zekoski.
Throughout the day, students were engaged in a multitude of activities, including:
The college and career fair, where colleges and local companies presented information about the profession of engineers as well as college degree offerings;
Interactive activities, where students learned about various engineering disciplines and college preparation while interacting with current engineers and learning about their jobs, their experiences, and their enthusiasm for engineering;
A large group hands-on activity where students were challenged to apply their engineering know-how to the solution of a problem, while working together as a team; As part of a new presentation, students were offered speed mentoring sessions to network with professionals one-on-one from a variety of industries and STEM disciplines on next steps for pursuing a career in STEM.
The Rube Goldberg Machine Challenge, where the Westlake junior team of David Eppele, Jackson Liang, Sneha Ramachandran, Mark Sargent, and John Anitas won the honorable mention trophy for finishing fourth overall. Their project was titled “Game On”, a theme focusing on different sports and events that Goodyear sponsors.
The concluding awards ceremony celebrated seniors pursuing an engineering major, led by Akron University handing out 4 college scholarships, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University giving out one each, and Goodyear handing out 2 scholarships, representing $35,000 in scholarships to the winning participants.
Nearly 2,000 students representing 218 schools attended the engineering and STEM event, including over 300 volunteers, the majority of which were Goodyear engineers.