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In 1999, Goodyear held its first day-long event to enlighten and enrich area students in the field of engineering, and two decades later, that tradition continues to expand through Goodyear's STEM Career Day, creating opportunities for students interested in pursuing such careers to learn about them.
STEM Career Day is designed to inspire and open doors for students who may not have had the chance to immerse themselves in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Goodyear creates these opportunities by introducing students to STEM in their formative years and incorporating dedicated STEM professionals who encourage them to pursue opportunities in the field.
"All of us at Goodyear take great pride in our long history of encouraging young people to pursue careers in the STEM fields, which are core to our business and our ability to continually innovate our products and services," said Chris Helsel, chief technology officer. "Our outstanding STEM professionals of today are dedicated to inspiring and motivating the STEM professionals of tomorrow."
Goodyear's 20-year history with STEM education began in 1999 with the title Goodyear Engineering Career Day for Young Women and was created to inspire young women to consider careers in engineering.
Nearly 300 middle school and high school students would enter the doors of the former Goodyear Hall to attend this event each year, where female Goodyear employees and volunteers from other companies presented sessions on engineering disciplines.
"Goodyear Engineering Career Day for Young Women was created to introduce engineering to female students and motivate them to pursue a career in this field," said Brandy Moorhead, director, global off-highway product development. "It's essential to introduce young women to engineering, because they often don't know what their options are."
By 2012, the number of student attendees grew to 1,000, and Goodyear broadened its engineering education program to include a wider audience. The program was renamed Goodyear Engineering Career Day to encompass male students interested in pursuing a career in engineering.
Three years later, Goodyear extended its scope even further to incorporate all careers in the field of STEM, not just engineering. As a result, the event was renamed to Goodyear STEM Career Day and restructured to introduce students to various STEM careers, which brings in approximately 1,500 students each year.
For Akron associates, supporting STEM education is not just a day-long event. The company has multiple programs, including associate outreach to local schools and an Engineering Explorer Post for high school students, to introduce students to the STEM field and develop their skills for a future career.
Goodyear's dedication to STEM goes beyond the United States. In December 2018, associates in Luxembourg launched the Goodyear STEM Student Challenge, in which all participating students between ages 14 and 21 are required to design a machine similar to a Rube Goldberg Machine™.
A total of 86 students registered for the challenge involving a project to move a load of model tires with an inflatable Goodyear Blimp. The event will culminate in July 2019 with a live demo day, where the top 10 teams will be able to demonstrate their machines for final judging at the Lycée Edward Steichen in Clervaux, Luxembourg.
In addition to the STEM Student Challenge, associates in Luxembourg have participated in the bi-annual Luxembourg Science Festival to promote science and research to students. There, more than 200 students from 12 different schools participated in the Goodyear workshop, learning about tire components and various Goodyear concept tires. Goodyear will again participate in the festival in November 2019.
Jennings Middle School students (from left) Fadhilia Fofana, Seth Adams, Nadia Anwaar and Smita Biswa participate in a hands-on activity as volunteer, and Akron Firestone High School student Connor O'Brian advises at 2017 middle school STEM Career Day.
Goodyear associate (right) and student participate in one-on-one mentoring at 2019 high school STEM Career Day event.