TechForce, Ariz. Science Center Inspires Next Generation of Techs

TechForce, Arizona Science Center Inspires Next Generation of Techs

TechForce Foundation, a organization that encourages and supports students through their technical education, worked with the Arizona Science Center to host CREATE at the Center.

TechForce Foundation, a organization that encourages and supports students through their technical education, worked with the Arizona Science Center to host CREATE at the Center. The event was held to showcase the projects created by Phoenix’s Estrella Middle School students who participated in a unique, 12-week after-school program called “CREATE U/TechForce Foundation Transportation Challenge.”

During the program, specific “challenge scenarios” were created that the students could chose from and execute. The goal was to help students solve real-world technical challenges that have been faced in the transportation industry. The Challenge concluded with students demonstrating their projects to their parents and a number of special guests from the community and the transportation industry.

“The Transportation Challenge is an initiative directly related to our FutureTech Success Campaign,” said Jennifer Maher, CEO/Executive Director of TechForce and speaker at the event. “If we’re going to solve the qualified technician shortage problem, we need to work at the grassroots level offering tangible and relevant experiences to adolescents as they start to think about their careers.”

Leading up to the event, three student teams utilized their STEM skills by spending two hours each week at CREATE at the Arizona Science Center where they had access to CNC machines, laser cutters, 3D printers and an entire woodworking shop to bring their transportation prototype to life. Industry experts served as coaches to provide real-world insight and training to the students.

“This [Transportation Challenge] program not only gives youth opportunities to invent, design, and fabricate materials for actual use, but opens their eyes to the opportunities they may have in the workforce beyond going to college,” said Chevy Humphrey, the Hazel A. Hare President and CEO of the Arizona Science Center. “Every child has a path and for some, college isn’t the best fit. But when presented an opportunity to gain a high level of training to become a mobility technician and fill much needed workforce positions, our youth see alternate ways to become successful and utilize their talents and passion.”

The Transportation Challenge program was underwritten by General Motors, Nissan North America, Advance Auto Parts, Snap-on and Universal Technical Institute. It will continue at CREATE at the Arizona Science Center in 2018 with new teams and new projects to be announced at a later date.


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