This spring, members of the UW EcoCAR 2 team visited First Place Elementary. First Place is a school for children that are exposed to domestic violence at home. After giving a brief presentation, team members broke into groups to help kids assemble solar powered toys.
Many of these students will be the first members of their families to attend college, which made this event particularly special. What started as a strictly high-level presentation about environmental issues and hybrid cars turned into a conversation about the college experience in general. UW likened college to a sleepover that never ends!
Two engineers joined communications manager Tyler Rose on this trip: Brendan Boyer and Myann Refai.
“Today I had a really good time talking to the kids a First Place Elementary,” Myann said of her experience. “I felt as though I was making an impact on these kids’ future–as cliché as it sounds. Being able to relate with them by comparing what we do to as engineers to what they do as kids – like playing with Legos – was really refreshing. When kids are that young they do look up to people like us, and I’m confident that these visits year to year from UW EcoCAR will be something they remember when they begin to think about their college career.”
Amazingly enough, many of the students remembered UW team members from their visit last year. All of them were rambunctious to say the least, which prompted Tyler to ask their teacher if they were over-stimulated by the visit. “No, this is actually very good!” she said. “To your credit, they are incredibly engaged with your group.”