Detroit Edison Public School Academy students took part in the CSTEM Challenge Send-Off event, sponsored by RushCard and Russell Simmons (Co-founder of RushCard). Twenty students from Detroit Edison prepared their entry for the national CSTEM Challenge, which will take place in Houston on May 20. RushCard donated $10K to support the students’ participation in the program. Photos of the students from the event are included below.

The students from Detroit Edison eagerly worked to put the final touches on their entry for the competition, which is a fully functional robot created from scratch. They also took part in other STEM activities such as programming, coding and building model molecules. The students had a great time exploring the various STEM fields, and six of them said they are interested in pursuing degrees in STEM.

RushCard will also fly out and provide accommodations for six of the Detroit students in Houston, where they will participate in the national CSTEM Challenge, which will feature 1,000 students from Pre-K through college competing in the areas of robotics, computer programming, innovation, debate, film, photography, mural and sculpture under the theme of environmental stewardship.

The CSTEM Challenge is hosted by nonprofit organization C-STEM, which was founded by Detroit native Dr. Reagan Flowers. Dr. Flowers grew up in Section 8 housing in Detroit and overcame many obstacles including failing second grade and having a drug-addicted mother, before going on to get her Ph.D. and founding C-STEM, which has helped over 200,000 under-resourced students (predominantly young women of color) to the STEM disciplines.

RushCard’s partnership with C-STEM is part of their efforts to bring STEM opportunities to Detroit youth and young students of color. Earlier this year, RushCard and Simmons sponsored 150 students from Cody High School in Detroit to see the film Hidden Figures that showcases the story of African American female mathematicians working for NASA in the 1960.

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