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  • Writer's pictureGeared Up

Geared Up @ Cary Middle School

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

After Life School Oak Cliff, we expanded to Cary Middle School in Dallas, TX. We had 4 great sessions with new design challenges, new guest speakers, and more students than we’d ever had before! In our 4 weeks, we covered general engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and electrical engineering!


For our first week at Cary, we covered general engineering, and we had an amazing guest speaker from the Lyle School of Engineering, Madeline Adler. She studied mechanical engineering and mathematics and worked at Texas Instruments before coming back to SMU. She explained what engineers do and why engineering is so cool!


After the great talk, the students completed their first design challenge: Eggpocalypse. We had done Eggpocalypse at every school before Cary MS, but at Cary, we saw a lot of new, creative ideas! It was cool to see what students from Cary came up with!

For our second session at Cary, our students learned all about mechanical engineering! Our guest speaker was a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader + mechanical engineer who works at Encore, Melissa Wallace! She told the students about her experience, what mechanical engineers do, and why mechanical engineering is awesome!



The students loved it, and they asked a lot of great questions – we might’ve had some future mechanical engineers in the room!


After Melissa’s talk, the students got to be mechanical engineers. The design challenge that week was Roller Coaster Ride – the students had limited time and materials to build a roller coaster with a minimum number of drops and loops that could transport a marble without human interaction! The students had to consider potential and kinetic energy as well as momentum and velocity/acceleration!


During our third session at Cary, our students explored industrial engineering. We didn’t have a guest speaker that week, but our volunteers described exactly what industrial engineers do!


After our explanation, the students completed their design challenge for the week: The Great Escape. They built edible cars and raced them! The fastest car was that week’s Geared Up Champion!


For our fourth and final session of Geared Up at Cary, our students learned about electrical engineering! We had a fantastic guest speaker from New York Life’s Technology Organization, John Everett. John talked about his experiences as a low-income student and how he never imagined he’d go to college or become an engineer. He shared his story, his hardships, and his tips for success. The students were intrigued and had a lot of fun learning John’s story.


After learning about all the opportunities available to them through John’s talk, the students went on to be electrical engineers for the day. The design challenge for the week was: Spooky Circuits! Each student had a foam pumpkin and circuit supplies. The students carved their pumpkins and learned how to build a circuit, step-by-step.

The students enjoyed their time learning all about engineering over the four sessions. It’s safe to say that we have a group of future engineers at Cary Middle School!




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