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‘Engineers of the Future’ Take Part in Science Fair in Phoenix

PHOENIX — Dozens of Valley middle school students and their families came together in Phoenix Saturday for a special bridge-breaking competition and graduation. It was all part of a unique opportunity, which was meant not only to celebrate science but also to support the next generation of innovators.

Teams of students from five different Valley schools in light rail communities shared their creations Saturday morning. Every team made a bridge out of popsicle sticks, which was tested in the bridge-breaking challenge. The challenge was part of the fall Engineers of the Future science fair in Phoenix.

Several agencies, including Torres Multicultural, PGH Wong, Valley Metro and the City of Phoenix, made it all possible. The program enables students to team up with mentors across the Valley.

“These are engineers that work with our students, to be able to learn a little bit about engineering,” JP Armenta, one of the organizers of the event with Torres Multicultural said. “As we’ve worked with the light rail systems that are now going up on the south-central side of Phoenix, as well as the north side.”

Armenta says their main goal is to grow the next generation of engineers.

“Not only are they utilizing the system, but they get to be the next engineers to help build these across the Valley,” he said.

The program is inspiring students like Christian Kulyk-Tran and Sarahi Ochoa interested in careers centered around science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

“It was nice,” said Kulyk-Tran. “One mentor inspired me to build under parts, not just the bridge, but under parts to secure it.”

“It’s really fun to do stuff with your friends and different projects and see what engineers do and how they do it,” said Ochoa.

It’s an enriching experience for the students.

“I want to be an astronaut or a scientist,” said Ochoa. “This helped me because I’ll learn how to be able to do those things… how to construct things, how to build, to think outside the box.”

“It’s a neat celebration because the project that we’re near has the largest span across open freeway,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “It’s an engineering marvel, and we’re using it to inspire the next generation.”

Mayor Gallego attended the science fair to congratulate our future innovators.

“I hope so many of these young people will fall in love with STEM careers and help us build the Phoenix of the future,” she said.

Congratulations to all the students who took part in the program. All the students received a certificate upon completion.

As for the winners of the bridge-breaking competition, the 1st place students won a laptop to help them with their education, the 2nd place students won an Amazon Fire tablet and the students that came in 3rd won wireless earbuds, all things designed to help them with their future academic endeavors.

Source: 12News