Local students build race vehicles at 1st school in Ga to offer specialized program

News 12 This Morning/Wednesday March 19, 2014

RICHMOND CO., Ga. (WRDW)--"My dad's an electrical engineer so my dream is to become an electrical engineer like him," said Michael Phillips.

Phillips, 10th grade student at the Richmond County Technical Career Magnet school, is already beginning to live that dream with the school becoming the first to pilot a pathway program in energy systems.

"It helps foster engineering, math, science, technology skills," he explained. "Since we're the first students to ever do this, it's kind of amazing because we know we're paving a way for other students to do it too."

These students are learning about energy in three fields: creating the energy, moving it and getting it to the people.

"We build go karts, robots and [radios that] the military uses. And we had those before the military got them at Fort Gordon. We take pride in that," said Phillips.

"I like that there's more than one way to distribute energy and that energy can determine the future," said Starlet Perry.

Perry is a ninth grader in the program and tells me she's also sure about a future in engineering, even though it's a predominantly male run field.

"It doesn't matter at all," she explained. "When I'm around everybody else, I just try to do the best [and] try to be the best of everybody else."

The program allows them to hear from successful engineers, like Dr. Gary May, Dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech, who tells me 60 percent of graduate engineers there stay in Georgia.

"The state, the country, the world actually needs more engineers and scientists," said May.

"What he talks about...I take it to heart," Phillips said. "It makes me more aware."

The students have been in a few go cart races throughout the school year and are now prepping to host their own in April.

We'll be following up with more information on that race and how you can get involved.


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