A group of students from Western Oaks Junior High are designing and making a solar cell phone charging station. It's part of a relatively new program called Engage Learning. But for the first time, the students making up the group has a different look.
On Tuesday, day seven of the two-week program, the students were sawing, grinding and painting as they finished up construction.
“I think people find it more of a boys job to be doing something like this,” said Taleigha Harris, one of the students participating.
That is a large reason why for the first time, no boys are allowed.
“We’ve had teams of 12, eight girls and four guys. Brilliant young women, but we would see them defer to the guys when it comes to anything new. It’s like oh power tools, skill saw, miter saw, whatever. We wanted to see what happens if that’s not an option,” said Bart Keaton.
Keaton founded Engage Learning about a year ago. In the program students are given an challenge and spend the first week designing and engineering the details.
“There was a lot of figuring out how we should slant the bench and what angle the top of the butterfly should be. So there was a lot of trigonometry.”
The second week they get to work building.
“We’re going to have plug-ins along the bench and then we’re going to have this big butterfly and it’s going to be rainbow colored. Kind of like the monarch. It’s going to be super cool,” said Peyton Woolery, another participant in the program.
Throughout the process the ladies have certainly developed a passion for power tools. But the hope is they’re also finding the confidence to spread their wings.
“We’ve seen these women step up, they’re bold, they’re courageous and they’re not afraid to say that’s scary but right after that I’m going to do that,” Keaton said.
Tomorrow the girls will be down in Norman at OU where they will be working on the electronics and other components of the charging station.
For more information on Engage Learning check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/engagelearningOK/