Our 9 Year Old EdTech Reporter Played Piano With Bananas And Played Mario With Play Doh
It’s not often that a gigantic oil company can come together and help kids create things, but that’s exactly what happens when Chevron teams with the Fab Foundation and Odessa College at South By Southwest EDU.
During the annual South By Southwest EDU event in Austin Texas, global oil company Chevron went back to their roots of creating things in partnership with the Fab Foundation.
Chevron showcased their continued commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by bringing one of their mobile fabrication labs (fab labs) on-site for administrators, educators and the occasional 9 year old edtech reporter to play and create.
“The mobile lab is part of our Fab Lab Permian Basin located at Odessa College in Odessa, Texas, where we celebrated the grand opening last month. The grand opening featured a series of stakeholder events, including a tour that attracted over 1,000 community members. Developed in partnership with Odessa College and the Fab Foundation, the facility is called the Fab Lab Permian Basin in recognition of our major investments in the region.” Chevron said in a release.
Now it’s one thing for a multinational billion dollar company to through marketing dollars at a cool event for education. But at South By Southwest EDU, regional executives for Chevron rolled up their sleeves and got down and dirty coding, creating with makey makey, creating pine wood derby cars, 3d printing metal Texas jewelry, and doing science experiments. In fact on day one of SXSWedu they were still creating all kinds of different things in the fab lab way past the 3:00 end time of the expo.
When Tatum arrived at the Fab Lab location she was greeted by Chevron executives and students from Odessa College. She assembled a pinewood derby car and then went through a lesson explaining how when different weights were put in different parts of the car, the car went faster or slower. A lesson in both aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. Chevron was quick to point out that lighter more aerodynamic vehicles were more fuel efficient and gas cost less.
In the lab trailer she saw 3D printers and a metal printing machine. That was being used to create metal Texas jewelry.
Tatum thought the coolest part was where the Odessa students showed off how to create and program with Makey Makey. Tatum as able to play the piano on a half dozen fresh bananas. She was also able to help create a Nintendo controller that controlled Mario through the original Super Mario Brothers level.
Chevron is committed to STEM to help the community and to help inspire future engineers. The oil business has changed ten fold in the last two decades. As electric cars become more and more relevant and even autonomous electric cars, Chevron will need to continue to innovate in order to compete.
To that end, Chevron has seven Fab Labs from Bakersfield California to Washington DC. The labs are open to both students and the community.
“We’re excited by the progress we’ve made in partnership with the Fab Foundation. This work is vital to our larger goal of empowering students to pursue STEM subjects through hands-on learning. The partnership is one of several STEM programs to inspire and equip the next generation of innovators.” Blair Blackwell the Manager of Corporate and Education Programs said in a statement.
Find out more about Chevron’s STEM initiatives here.