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Goodyear's Annual STEM Career Day Continues to Evolve

photo of Rube Goldberg machine

Goodyear held its 17th annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math day over the weekend, mentoring middle and high school students interested in STEM careers.

The event at the University of Akron attracted hundreds of students who, this year, had to engineer a Rube Goldberg-like contraption. The winners received scholarships and grants from Goodyear.

Brandy Moorhead, director for global tire and molding, has helped organize every STEM Career Day since it started in 2001. She says interested students should try and learn more about the broad types of careers in the field.

“Seek out an opportunity to get some experience with STEM:; talk to existing some scientists, technology experts, engineers, mathematicians and understand what they do day-in and day-out.”

She adds that the event has evolved a great deal in 17 years.

“At the very beginning we used to have panels of discussion where we would have engineers that would come in and just talk to the students. What we learned over time is that we wanted them to be involved in hands-on activities so that we could engage them in learning: See concepts, see science everyday and then be able to take away something that they can live instead of just being talked to.”

Goodyear’s STEM Career Day originally began as a “women in science” event, but eventually expanded to include all students. Moorhead says many middle- and high-schoolers who participated in the past now work in the field and even come back to volunteer as mentors. At this year’s Goodyear STEM Career Day, about $52,000 in grants and scholarships were awarded.

See videos of the top-ranking schools in this year's competition... high schools Virtus Academy, Copley High School, Union Lake High School and middle schools Catalyst Academy, Buckeye Jr High and Edison Middle School.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.