Every year, the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering brings together students to compete and celebrate achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). During a STEM Competition, formerly known as Math and Science Competitions, students participate in both a math and a science test, and then team up to solve real-world engineering problems in a timed Engineering Design Challenge. This year students were challenged to design a satellite with solar panels that unfolded using Chinese take-out boxes, construction paper, popsicle sticks, string and straws. 

In support of the competition two Joy Global Structural Engineers, Bill Porter and Cody Paxton, served as judges for the local high school challenge. Cyndi Nyvall, PTISD Secondary ELAR/SS Coordinator appreciated that our judges “added such a layer of authenticity and community support to the whole event. The students enjoyed spending time with ‘real life’ engineers and learning from them as our celebrity judges”. 

The experience as a judge was just as enjoyable for the Joy Global employees. 

“Engineering and STEM are fun and exciting fields to be in. When I was a student in High School, I was not exposed to engineering and STEM. It wasn’t until college when I realized how enjoyable these fields are. I hope that exposure to STEM will guide these students to a path in life that is rewarding and enjoyable” shared Cody Paxton. 

“Students learn how to work in a team and solve problems in a creative way. These two skills are incredibly important and will be a necessity in whatever career they pursue in the future.” 

Bill Porter also saw the benefits of the program adding, “They gain critical thinking skills, evaluation skills, and creative skills. These students are tomorrow’s work-force and they could possibly fill roles.” 

Joy Global employees across the globe are engaged in positively encouraging the next generation to pursue STEM careers sharing Cody Paxton’s belief that it important that we are part of the process.

“The many conveniences of our everyday life were born out of the STEM fields. More awareness and participation in STEM programs will lead to more scientists, engineers, and mathematicians; which will bring about even more advancements. I am excited to see what advancements the upcoming generations will think up.”

Investing time, talent and resources into local STEM education programs is a priority for Joy Global. We recognize the importance of playing a role in inspiring today’s youth to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math as they will be the innovators of tomorrow.