Garrett Celebrates STEM Education with +250 Students, Competitions, Family Days & More
From California to India and many locations in between, Garrett research and development centers, plants and offices opened their doors throughout February for students, employees’ families and educators to inspire more passion for STEM-based fields within the next generation of innovators.
As part of the company’s WeCare4 community outreach and sustainability initiative, Garrett hosted nearly 300 students from almost a dozen schools and universities across the world to learn about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) not only for the company and the automotive industry, but for society as a whole.
“As a lifelong engineer, STEM has been an integral part of my everyday life,” said Garrett’s Chief Technology Officer Craig Balis. “That may seem obvious coming from the CTO of a technology company, but the truth is that nearly all elements of our modern world – our possessions, jobs, high quality of life, and so much more – would not be available to us if it wasn’t for passionate people in STEM fields. That passion is something Garrett can further strengthen in young people throughout the communities in which we serve – they are, after all, our future inventors, innovators and leaders.”
Garrett teams also sponsored several STEM-focused student competitions to encourage some healthy rivalry and engagement. In Torrance, Calif., 12 Garrett volunteers created and launched a competition where two local 8th grade classes will design and build a model car powered by hydrogen to experiment and perform various tests to understand fundamental concepts of energy, electrochemistry, and marketing/management. The volunteers provide guidance and support across a two-month period, ending with a marketing presentation in April to “sell” their car to the competition’s judges.
In India, Garrett’s Pune, Bangalore and Madurai teams hosted tech talks with several schools and universities that included Garrett engineers and leaders, guest speakers and competitions. In Pune, students from three different technology and engineering schools were pitted against each other in a contest to show which teams can come up with the best presentation around a turbocharger-related application.
In the Czech Republic, Garrett’s Brno and Prague sites kicked off several sponsored events with local schools, including a robotics competition; teams of students were challenged to build miniature robots that could complete an array of tasks. The winning team visited the Brno R&D lab for a tour and special presentations. The team also sponsored and participated in a second event, the European BEST Engineering Competition (EBEC), the biggest international technical competition in Central Europe, where Garrett defined an assignment for 24 EBEC Brno 2020 students around the concept of sustainable Future Mobility.
At the Garrett plant in Thaon-les-Vosges, France, many students got to see how turbochargers are tested and assembled. In addition to the tours and turbo education, the visiting students were given time to have thoughtful and engaging conversations with engineers and leaders at the site about STEM careers and to answer any questions they may have about the engineering world. Among the many questions and comments, one student said, “Now I know exactly what I want to do as a job, and I will continue toward some engineering degree. Seeing the process in-person and speaking with the engineers at Garrett made a big impact and helped put into perspective the advice we can get from orientation counselors in school.
Along with student visits, sites in California, India, and France hosted special family days where employees were welcomed to bring their children and other relatives on tours and technology presentations led by Garrett engineers and business leaders.
“I am incredibly proud of our teams for sharing their STEM passion with our local communities,” said Balis. “I truly hope it has served as a launchpad for those eager to learn more. Thank you to all those involved and we look forward to continuing to raise the flag for STEM!”
More photos and details from these events can be found in the gallery below.