ENGINEERING COMPETITION BRING TOGETHER STUDENTS FROM ALL OVER CHICAGO
6/13/2018, noon | Updated on 6/13/2018, noon
Engineering Competition Brings Together Students From All Over Chicago
BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
Project SYNCERE recently hosted it’s inaugural ENpowered Games annual
event that brought together students from 16 schools on Chicago’s south and west sides to participate in a one-day engineering competition at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Project SYNCERE (Supporting Youth’s Needs with Core Engineering Research Experiments) is a non-profit organization designed to create opportunities for underrepresented students, grades 1 through 12, to explore careers in STEM
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.
“The ENpowered Games is part of our ENpowered programming model which serves as an introduction for young people to get them excited about future careers in STEM.
Through this program we partner with schools and community organizations to provide students with hands-on opportunities to really discover what engineering is all about,” said Jason Coleman, executive director and cofounder
of Project SYNCERE.
More than 300 students came together to compete in the ENpowered Games. Students were asked to test their engineering knowledge
in two projects during the games.
The first competition focused on the student’s ability to think outside the box, according to Coleman. Students were asked to create a device, in one hour, that would be able to float in rising water and detect when the water reached a certain level.
“The group that I was with, I knew that we could do it, but a challenging part was the first competition about the water level. You had to make an object float in the water while it was standing up and have a light being lit when the water rises up to a certain level and we ran out of time,” said Jermal Ray, an eighth-grader from Sumner Elementary who competed in the ENpowered Games.
The second project was about problemsolving and focus, students were given five different electrical engineering challenges and asked to design different types of circuits on breadboards, again in an hour, based on specific design criteria, according to Coleman.
“It made me think, it forced us to use things that we are going to need in life as a whole like teamwork and collaboration. That’s what I liked about the ENpowered Games, it taught us to be a team and to think and problem solve
and not to rush,” said Carvell Anderson, an eighth-grader from Sumner Elementary who competed in the ENpowered Games.
Though his team didn’t win, Anderson said he loved how diverse the competition was and that it showed him and his teammates what
they are truly capable of.
Project SYNCERE hopes to continue expanding the program and to have at least 25 schools involved in next years ENpowered Games.
“For us, this whole competition was about trying to bring more energy to the city about engineering and bring more awareness, especially within our communities. Often times so many students within our underserved communities just aren’t aware of what opportunities exist within engineering,” said Coleman. “We truly believe in the model that you can’t be what you can’t see so we are trying to help more young people be able to envision themselves in these careers.”