More than a dozen Project Exploration students showcased their engineering tech skills yesterday morning with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg during their spring break “Motorama” program. Highlights from that visit appeared on ABC’s 6pm News aand the Chicago Sun Times.

Mayor Emanuel and Ms. Sandberg spent nearly an hour with the 15 Project Exploration middle and high school students. They asked questions about what the students were learning, why they attended, and what was challenging. The students in turn asked about what it was like for the Mayor and Ms. Sandberg when they were in school. Ms. Sandberg is visiting Chicago as part of a book tour for her new book, Lean In.

After the visit, students debriefed about what it was like to host the guests. “They were very down to earth,” commented the students. “They seemed really interested in what we were doing.”

Project Exploration’s Motorama program is part of an immersion into a year-long exploration of engineering. During the week-long program students built and programmed robots, built and fostered high-functioning teams, explored life on a college campus, and showcased their work at a culminating program earlier today.

In addition to working with engineers from Project Syncere, students were introduced to chemical engineering with Diane Hickey-Davis, met college admissions recruiters from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and talked about college life with IIT students who attended Chicago Public Schools growing up. This Spring Break Program was supported, in part, by the Motorola Solutions Foundation and Chicago’s Department of Family Support Services and hosted by the Office of Student Access, Success and Diversity Initiatives at IIT.

Read more about Project Exploration’s Engineering Pathway in blog posts about students experiences with engineering at NASCAR,  computer engineering with Starter League, and the engineering inherent in functional morphology at the Field Museum during an exploration of Extreme Mammals.

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