By Katerina Guerrero
February is the month that many love, as the weather gets warmer and pinks and reds are spread throughout schools, offices and more to put a smile on your own face or someone close to you. This month I had a big smile, and it wasn’t because of the ‘you are amazing’ Valentine card I received in the office. It was because of Racing the Sun Career Days in Phoenix and Tucson.
Career Days are part of Racing the Sun, a program that challenges high school students to come together as a team to design, build, and race electric and solar-powered go-karts. To see this program in action, join us on April 27th for Race Day at Musselman Honda Track as a volunteer or spectator!
On Career Day, Racing the Sun participants visit companies and universities as part of a field trip designed to inspire them to understand and pursue STEM careers and education. They tour multiple facilities engaged in solar energy, engineering, transportation, and manufacturing. Because of the number of teams across the state, SARSEF hosts Career Days in both Phoenix and Tucson.
During Career Day in Phoenix, I had the amazing opportunity to go to ASU and visit the engineering buildings. I watched high school students get so excited to be on campus and see the many opportunities available to them. They met with ASU students and got to ask questions about their college-going experiences as well as the opportunities available to them in engineering. They went on a tour of the engineering campus and saw labs where they could do research as ASU undergraduates. After they toured the campus, students also had the chance to visit Rosendin and Legacy EV.
I joined one of the tours with Cesar Chavez High School students and their teacher, and I had the best time listening to what the students had to say. The tour was given by Valeria, a senior who came from Mexico City and moved to Arizona to study at ASU. She had the students so engaged and answered as many questions as she asked. Students saw the work ASU students were doing and connected it back to what they were doing in their classrooms. After each building, the teacher and students would huddle just to talk about what they were learning and how it could inform their project of building the go-kart. It was truly an inspiration to see these students so engaged and ready to dive right back into their projects after leaving the engineering campus.
Not only did we have Phoenix Career Day, but Tucson Career Day as well. Students had the opportunity to meet with UA College of Engineering, Musselman Honda, Texas Instruments, CATalyst, EMI, AGM, Howmet, and Creative Machines. Watching these students get involved in engineering happening in their own communities was amazing.
“Seeing our community come together to show our young engineers all they can become has been incredible. I have enjoyed watching the students get engaged with different fields and futures,” shared Anissa Alvarado, Racing the Sun Programs Manager.
This year’s Racing the Sun Career Days were amazing, and now I’m excited and ready for our Racing the Sun Race Day in April!