Alcoa employees volunteer at summer engineering camp for youth
Nearly 15 members of the Alcoa African Heritage Network (AAHN) volunteered at Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) camps in Detroit, New York and Philadelphia. SEEK was developed to raise the interest of underrepresented minority students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), by having them engage in fun, interactive, team-based engineering projects.
SEEK is an important step for students interested in pursuing STEM-related careers. The program participants are:
- Exposed to STEM through hands-on engineering projects
- Mentored by minority collegiate STEM students
- Taught the roles and responsibilities of engineers
Each week during the free three-week summer camp, students learned different science and engineering concepts, which culminated with a presentation and competition. The curriculum included age-appropriate lessons about the laws of physics, gravity, motion and electronics. The students participated in a series of projects, including:
- Solar Car: Constructed miniature solar powered cars and measured speed
- Gravity Cruiser: Designed a “toy” vehicle powered by gravity
- Can Crusher: Created a can cushier to make recycling easy
Alcoa volunteers from the Cleveland Works (Ohio), Lancaster Works (Pennsylvania) and New York City locations judged the weekly design competitions, and were impressed not only with the quality of the final designs, but the thoroughness of the preparation, including data from trials with previous prototypes.
“The Alcoa volunteers who participated as judges were a tremendous asset. They were genuinely engaged in the competition phase and NSBE greatly appreciates their time and commitment,” said Franklin Moore, Director of SEEK (Summer Engineering Experience for Kids). “Alcoa Foundation's support of SEEK helped expose children to STEM that may not otherwise have the opportunity and provided NSBE members with an opportunity to serve as mentors.”
Alcoa Foundation’s $50,000 grant funded stipends for 50 collegiate members of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) who served as SEEK mentors in California, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Texas and Washington, DC.