TechForce Career Center offers hands-on activities for Gen Z

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The TechForce Foundation announced that Penske Truck Leasing has donated a specially equipped 26-foot Freightliner M2 box truck to house and transport the foundation’s Mobile STEM Career Center. The truck was presented at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction during a press conference on January 22.

The TechForce Mobile STEM Career Center is a traveling exhibit designed to engage Gen Z and help them discover the rewarding career path as professional transportation technicians. Part of TechForce’s national workforce development initiative, the center can be deployed for indoor or outdoor activities and can grow from several hands-on activities to more than a dozen. It includes an integrated outdoor video wall as well as retractable awnings and two large freestanding shade covers. It doubles as a mobile billboard and its eye-catching design is the result of a collaboration between artist Kevin Paige and Roush Industries who donated the integrated design and packaging.

“This generous donation from Penske Truck Leasing helps amplify TechForce’s ability to engage directly with many more young people who may not realize they might have a talent for this career path,” said Jennifer Maher. , CEO of TechForce Foundation. “Although we have developed STEM career activities over the past few years, we have been limited by our ability to deploy them – they are large and heavy activities. This Penske truck makes us very mobile and we can’t wait to hit the road in 2022. The real reward for us is to see these young people light up by discovering their skills and how much they enjoy these activities which can lead to considering a career. rewarding as a transport technician.

Penske Truck Leasing President Art Vallely added, “Technicians are a key part of keeping the supply chain moving by servicing existing diesel engines and emerging electric vehicle technologies. Investing in the next generation of technicians is vital to our business and our industry. Our ability to configure this vehicle to meet the needs of the Mobile STEM Center was the perfect opportunity for us to align with our ongoing commitment to supporting TechForce and its efforts to engage with future technicians.

Mobile STEM Career Center activities include:

  • Pit Stop Challenge – Race against the clock to see who can change tires fastest on the front clip of a real NASCAR. Learn how to use real power tools from the racing pits.
  • Come on Nutz- See how well you match the fasteners (nuts) to the snap-on keys.
  • The virtual V8 – Experience the inner workings of the virtual V-8 engine projected into your real world.
  • Offline – Test your reflexes on a real tree of light from a drag strip starting line.
  • Slot Car Race – Find out how shape and weight can determine the winning car when taking on challengers.
  • High-tech circuitry – Build your own working circuit with real circuit boards, wires, motors and lights.
  • How it works – Discovery station run by instructors who demonstrate some of the common automatic systems and possibly even catastrophic failures.
  • Power model – Try building a working, scale model of a V-8 engine.
  • V-10 Cup – Discover the inner workings of a true high-performance V-10 engine.
  • Code-A-Car – Write code to power miniature automatic functions like lights and fans.
  • Ford GT – Find out and maybe even take a picture of yourself behind the wheel of the Nicolas Cage Ford GT.
  • TechForce Network – Explore free competitions, events, training, and other resources designed specifically for the next generation of technicians.

All TechForce partners have contributed to the realization of this Mobile STEM Career Center. In addition to Penske and Roush, several others have been integral, in particular Shell Lubricants for helping fund its deployment at events like Barrett-Jackson, and Ford Motor Company, Sunstate Equipment and Snap-on for helping outfit the center.

For more information about TechForce Foundation, visit techforce.org.

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