Project SYNCERE (Supporting Youth’s Needs with Core Engineering Research Experiments) will host its 4th annual ENpowered Games event virtually on Friday, May 7th, with a focus on addressing social justice needs through STEM. The ENpowered Games Competition attracts hundreds of middle school students from across Chicago’s South and West sides, allowing them to showcase their knowledge and skills against other students.
“The ENpowered Games Competition shows Black and Brown students they can exceed in the STEM fields and provides them with a vehicle to jump start their journey in these disciplines,” said Jason Coleman, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Project SYNCERE. “We want our inner-city youth to know they can not only compete, but excel in STEM fields, and this gives them the opportunity and confidence to do so.”
The ENpowered Games Competition is the culmination of a 10-week program in which students have engaged in learning the engineering design process as it relates to addressing social change. This year’s competition will bring together 300 students from 10 Chicago area schools.
The half day virtual competition will showcase student’s work in engineering social change as they apply what they’ve learned to create and contribute solutions to prevalent issues within their respective inner-city communities, and situate themselves as thought leaders who deserve a place at the table, now and in the future.
Students have been working on innovative designs that will impact social change. They’re tackling problems such as pollution, affordable housing, access to healthy foods and equal healthcare. A panel of judges will assess each student’s work and crown a champion at the end of the half day competition.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to create arenas for our students to compete in year’s past at Wintrust Stadium and the Museum of Science and Industry,” said Coleman. “Despite all of us having to adapt this year, we are thankful to our sponsors who have allowed us to create a virtual arena to ensure the competition continues and our future STEM leaders remain engaged and focused on using their skills and talents to better their communities.”
This year’s game sponsors include The Boeing Company, ComEd, Peoples Gas, Molex, Polk Brothers Foundation, The Donley Foundation, Millhouse Charities, ArcelorMittal, Lenovo, U.S. Department of Education and PepsiCo.
“Project SYNCERE’s mission is important to the Boeing Company not just because they’re creating a pipeline of students that I hope to one day hire,” said Candice Smith, Director of Enterprising Engineering at The Boeing Company.” “The impact here in Chicago, the uniqueness of this program to be year round, reaching these students, and to see the joy they have coming out of this program early in their academic career.”