A local program is giving hundreds of Chicago students on the South and West sides an eye-opening look into critical engineering skills that organizers hope could spark a career ambition.
Project SYNCERE, a non-profit launched by three South Side Chicagoans in 2008, is exposing middle school students to a 10-week workshop that teaches them science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills that are then applied to a major project.
George Wilson, one of the cofounders says the goal is to make these tasks fun but educational.
“We want them to understand that the things you’re doing now on this small scale, you can do this on a larger scale as you get older,” said Wilson.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
This week, the students are completing the workshop with a 3-day competition called the 'ENpowered Games.'
Students have to build robots that can automatically pick up a cup and move it to certain locations on a playing field, a shuffleboard.
Regino Daniels is a 7th grader who is completing the task. He says the program was difficult but rewarding.
“It is a challenge. It’s a challenge because you have to know what you’re doing,” said Daniels.
Adrianne Ball, Project SYNCERE’s Director of Programs says having diversity in engineering fields is critical.
“Engineering is all about solving problems. When you have a diverse mindset at the table, you’re able to create better solutions for our world’s problems,” said Ball. “I studied civil engineering at the University of Illinois in Champagne, and I was the only black female that graduated from my class.”
Project SYNCERE has plans to take its program mobile this summer.
Organizers say they will use mobile trucks to set up projects in local parks to reach more kids when they’re out of school. “STEM in Motion” is scheduled to launch in July.
More information is expected to be released in the coming weeks. Click here to learn more.
To get an inside look at what this project is all about, be sure to watch the video above this article.