Cummins Continues Partnership with NSBE
Last summer, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Cummins Inc. teamed up to launch the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program in the Greater Twin Cities area of Minnesota. The program was a success, as the inaugural summer helped students realize significant gains in math and science when analyzing data from pre to post-test. The students' scores increased by 10% in mathematics, 4% in science and problem solving, and 30% in curriculum knowledge.
This year, Cummins and NSBE continued the success in the Twin Cities, reaching more than 120 elementary school students for the 2019 SEEK program. During this summer's three-week program, the students learned about key engineering disciplines such as civil engineering by working on the gravity cruiser, computer science engineering through the lens of cybersecurity, and mechanical engineering by learning about the trebuchet. The students also learned more about the engineering process, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
The SEEK program is designed to expose the underrepresented populations to STEM and is a major cornerstone in NSBE's 10-year strategy. SEEK's goal is to increase primarily 3rd to 5th-grade students' aptitude in math and science subject matter, as well as their interest in pursuing STEM as a career by having them engage in interactive, team-based engineering projects and competitions.
Twenty-one Cummins employees volunteered to serve as judges of the engineering competitions, contributing 110 hours to the program. On the last day of each week, students presented their engineering prototypes and showcased what they learned throughout that week. They competed before their peers, parents, and staff. Cummins volunteers judged each team in three categories - physical competition, prototype design, and oral presentation/quiz bowl, with the winner of each age group announced at the end of the week's ceremony.
Cummins Executive Director of Worldwide Engineering (Power Systems) and SEEK sponsor for the Greater Twin Cities, Gary Johansen states, "We believe an effective pipeline engages students at an early age with STEM learning experiences and sets them on a trajectory to pursue a STEM-based career." Johansen added, "the SEEK program truly reflects our company's values, as well as builds the groundwork for the future potential for innovation in our local communities."