The collaboration of innovative minds has earned two Harlingen high school engineering groups first and third place in the national Ford NGL STEAM High School Community Challenge.
During what was supposed to be a project presentation, members of the HCISD’s Robotics Community Service Team received a special video announcement of the national victory. Amid the shock and surprise associated with a phone call of this caliber, students on the team learned they earned $20,000 to expand on Project Wave, their latest venture.
Representing Harlingen High School, Harlingen High School South, and Early College High School engineering and science clubs, this team is building a vessel to gather data from our oceans, such as temperature and water salinity. With the additional funding through the Ford NGL grant, they plan on launching it into the Gulf of Mexico to receive live data about oceanic conditions as it travels through the Gulf.
The Harlingen High School South Engineering Club was just as excited to hear they won third place in the national contest. Earning $5,000, they will use this money also to expand and develop their community-focused project.
“Through their innovation, these students are putting Harlingen on the map,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “As we continue to expand STEM opportunities in our district, these teams are paving the way for students who are coming after them. They are truly doing remarkable work for our community.”
The Ford STEAM High School Community Challenge focuses on students enrolled in career academies affiliated with Ford Next Generation Learning, a signature program of Ford Motor Company Fund. The organization focuses on recognizing student-led teams that involve community organizations and school resources to address real-life local needs. In their grant proposals, students were encouraged to use their creativity and explore high-impact solutions in fields such as alternative energy, technology, design, and mobility.