Valley Metro is offering a free stem program for middle school students called Engineers of the Future, in which students are mentored by engineers working on light rail construction. Horizonte host Jose Cardenas learned more from Valley Metro’s Tony Santana.
The educational youth program started about two years ago. Prior to the pandemic, the engineering mentors would actually go into middle school classrooms and teach. The lessons involved various subjects surrounding science. Now, the mentors will be teaching their lessons online. “We’ll be using technology in our favor to have it accessible to the students,” Santana said.
For students who may not have access to these technologies, Valley Metro is working closely with them to determine what is available and how they can potentially help.
The program hits close to home for Santana, as he grew up in the inner-city of Phoenix. “My parents are very hardworking. They did whatever they could to push education on me but I just didn’t have somebody readily accessible to me as an engineer or somebody to tell me how I can apply my math skills and my science skills into making a career,” Santana said. He hopes he can mentor students like he wished he had. “We all know these kids love to play TikTok and all these things on their phone, but I think this is a really good base to have,” Santana said.
To find out more about the program, you can visit their website.