Area Students Compete in 2012 STEM Challenge
EL PASO - Dozens of area high school students participated in the 2012 STEM Challenge that encourages students to become inventors and entrepreneurs in the areas of science technology engineering and math.
Teams have ten minutes to present their invention and business plan to a panel of judges acting as potential investors. It's a real world experience for students still in high school.
"It's pretty overwhelming to know that you're pitching something that could possibly make you billions of dollars," said Daniel Gutierrez, a student at Center for Technology and Career Education.
Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande along with several area companies put together the competition to get kids interested in math and science because that's where the jobs are at.
"There are employers who are looking for this talent," said Commissioner Andres Alcantar. "The options available for students with foundations in math and science are pretty significant."
In the first challenge in 2010, Jeffrey Brown and his friend Carlos Amaro pitched the traction jack. The jack is designed to help off road vehicles get out of sand or mud and the pair is currently looking for manufacturers to help them get their jack in stores.
This year the winning project was Coronado High School's Inkblot. The Inkblot is a 15 cent bar code that will allow the postal service and consumers to track mail at a much cheaper rate.
A member of the winning team, Meagan Abel, said what they learned from the competition is something that you can't learn in the classroom.
"It really teaches you a lot of speaking skills, how to put together a business plan, how to navigate through this world that as a high school student you're not familiar at all," Abel said.
The group hopes to have the postal service take a look at their product.