AKRON—The next generation of great engineers and innovators can always use some inspiration. That's why Goodyear and the Cleveland Cavaliers are teaming up to help bring science, technology, engineering and math initiatives to students throughout Northeast Ohio.
Together, the partners have invested $1 million in the Akron Public and Cleveland Metropolitan school districts, to open co-branded STEM laboratories that create learning opportunities for students. A lab opened at Buchtel Community Learning Center, part of the Akron Public Schools, in April. The other, at Cleveland's East Professional Center, was christened May 21.
"Students, we hope this lab becomes a space for you to learn, create, explore and most importantly, we hope this becomes a space for you to dream of the possibilities your future will bring," Todd Macsuga, Goodyear's general manager for brand marketing told the students when the Cleveland lab opened. "We hope to see some of you working for Goodyear someday—managing projects, enabling technology, designing tires or even flying blimps—your future is just beginning."
Students from Orchard STEM, Riverside School and Tremont Montessori were invited to help open the new lab in Cleveland by participating in a ribbon cutting and making use of some of the new materials and resources that are part of the new laboratory.
In all, more than 150 students had the chance to explore the lab on opening day in Cleveland. They brought their designs to life with vinyl and 3D printers, used Legos to give shape to their ideas and tested out technology-enhanced communication devices.
In April, middle school students from Buchtel helped to christen the new STEM lab in Akron, which also included new paint and flooring, in addition to the technological resources.
Both events gave the students a reason to celebrate by bringing Cavs-themed activities such as face painting, tattoos and pop-a-shot. Goodyear also hosted STEM-related activities that kept students engaged in learning.
The STEM collaboration is just one of the ways in which the tire maker and the sports team have combined its resources to support science- and art-related initiatives. The duo recently teamed up to homage to the Cavs' and the tire maker's basketball history by commissioning artist Blake McFarland to create works of art out of tires.
Goodyear is the Cavs' jersey sponsor.