Microsoft continues to be deeply rooted in technology and the arts and with the current social climate, they continue to spread values to today’s youth. With their Unity through diversity themed events, Microsoft empowers young, minority students to explore and engage in STEM careers. MantisEdu operates within a similar narrative, therefore making Microsoft’s yearly event Blacks in Microsoft, the perfect opportunity for MantisEdu to extend its reach into the community.
In March of 2018, Mantis CEO Laron Walker and his team participated in Microsoft’s Blacks in Microsoft event. This was the teams first visit and it would become one of many more. The Mantis team, behind the lead of Mr. Walker, introduced a group containing a mix of about 50 juniors and seniors to 3D printed technology and how effective data collection can be in mapping out solutions to everyday issues.
Broken up into 5 groups of 6, the students were equipped with a Microsoft Surface, 3D printed catapult, and a ruler to complete an exercise. Given objects possessing various weights, the students had to generate a spreadsheet that documented the data they collected showing the relationship between the weight of an object and the distance it travels when catapulted. After collecting the data, students had to convert the gathered information into a readable and accurate line graph. The execution of this exercise gave the students their first view of how individuals in STEM positions such as Statisticians, Environmental Engineers, and Financial Advisors formulate solutions based on the data they collect.
To enhance the student’s experience even more, each group made presentations explaining their findings and the steps they took to gather their information and comprised their graft. Including this aspect to the session afforded the students the chance to demonstrate and understand what a person with a STEM position such as a Data Analyst, is responsible for and how the collecting of data correctly, affects the end result of any process.
Finding creative methods to connect the youth to technology is one of MantisEdu’s top priority and being involved with Microsoft’s Blacks in Microsoft event allowed the company to expand their influence upon future leaders and future developers.