Young students learning the fundamentals of engineering through a unique outreach
program run by the Chicago State University (CSU) Engineering Studies Program took
home several awards at the Ten80 Education Student Racing Challenge NASCAR STEM Initiative,
held at the National Society of Black Engineers 2014 National Convention. This event
was held in Nashville, Tennessee March 26 – 30, 2014.
The goal of the PREP Program is to use the educational resources of Chicago State
University to have a positive impact on pre-college students beyond just the walls
of the classrooms by helping future college graduates build a strong foundation in
science and technology. The next generation of students will need to be more literate
in science and technology based jobs in order to compete in the global economy and
programs like PREP are a great way to get young people started early on a path that
will lead to lucrative careers in STEM based industries.
The CSU PREP/STEM program invites students from grade 6-12 to Saturday classes at CSU where they are exposed to science, technology, engineering, and math
activities. One such activity in the Ten80 Student Racing Challenge, where students
work together in teams to build electric radio controlled cars that are later used
in a simulated NASCAR race. The exercise gives students hands-on education in electronic
engineering, aerodynamic and mechanical design and renewable energy while also teaching
them about the importance of collaboration and project management.
The Chicago State PREP program sent three teams, Team In10sity, Team Shock and Team
V12, to the competition, each which brought home awards.