A Heroes’ Alliance after-school Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program, focused on lightweighting and additive manufacturing technologies in vehicles, has found a new home at the LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow research and development facility in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit.
The program – now in the second phase of its pilot – is led by Heroes’ Alliance, a non-profit organization headquartered in Detroit with a focus on empowering young residents in urban communities. It brings together students from six high schools across Wayne and Oakland counties to collaboratively design, build, and test an electric-solar vehicle.
The first phase of the pilot, which was supported by LIFT and launched in December 2017, was housed at Detroit’s FOCUS: Hope facility. As the program has grown, doubling its enrollment from 10 students in Phase I to 20 in Phase II, additional space and engineering expertise were needed, which the program found those assets at LIFT.
This is an example of how an initiative can be designed to be replicable and scalable, and it is exciting to see that growth come to fruition,” said Emily DeRocco, Vice-President, Education and Workforce Development, LIFT. “Our headquarters in Detroit is not just meant to be an R&D facility. With the LIFT Learning Lab to be completed this spring, the LIFT Manufacturing Innovation Institute will become a true immersive educational resource aimed at addressing the skills gap in advanced manufacturing and aligning talent and technology development. We welcome Heroes’ Alliance to our home base.”