Explore Engineering Fall 2017 program flew by so fast! I was able to once again meet a lot of wonderful students who are dedicated to learn more and better prepare themselves for their futures. Since the last blog on Nov 17th, 2017, a lot has happened. The students developed a close bond with each other and became real close friends.

One of the activities that the students enjoyed the most was being able to create a device that would hold a recording device on a RC car and the footage would be able to be watched in a VR headset, so it seemed like the person wearing the VR headset was driving the car. At first the students thought simple string and tape would work but did not take the vibration and bumps of the car into consideration, so once they realized that had a major effect, they thought it out in a more detailed manner and fixed their problems. We also talked about finances. One of the most shocking things that has surprised me from the two programs I have taught is that many students do not have bank accounts. I explained to them how important having a bank account is and how more important it is to save money. For some reason all the students were super interested in stocks, and bitcoin of course. Even though I personally don’t know a ton about stocks, I did do some research which I brought back to them.

One of the most important lessons from all of program, which I believe was the most intriguing to the students, was the lesson about college/higher education. I was shocked when there was an agreement that students said their schools have not talked to them at all about a higher education, so I believe that’s why they were so intrigued about it. The students were able to learn what the difference is between a public university, a private nonprofit university, a private for-profit university, a technical school, a beauty school etc. They were also able to learn the difference between the rankings and prices. At the end of our lesson I am happy to say mostly every student said they wanted to pursue some type of higher education based off everything they learned.

The students were also able to finish their car designs and spray paint them. It was the first time many students interacted with spray paint, so they learned how to properly handle it. They were excited to try something they didn’t think they wouldn’t be able to try until they were old, or others wouldn’t let them try. Personally, painting the cars is one of my favorite activities and they loved it too. Two of the students said being able to drive the cars with their pained car bodies was a great feeling.

One of the best moments of program was when one of my students said that because of the Explore Engineering program she was working hard to be able to transfer to a good high school since she currently attends an alternative school. She also told the rest of the class that she’s also working hard so she can have friends like them at whichever school she ends up transferring to.

Written By: Uzziel Fernandez

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