Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Presents $425,000 Check to the A World in Motion Program
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, which sponsors the AWIM program locally, announced during Wednesday's event that it will continue sponsorship of AWIM and presented a $425,000 check to the Foundation.
ATLANTA, Ga. — Five hundred local fifth graders traveled to Atlanta Wednesday to take part in the SAE Foundation's JetToy Challenge, part of the Foundation's A World in Motion program to encourage STEM educationin schools. Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, which sponsors the AWIM program locally, announced during Wednesday's event that it will continue sponsorship of AWIM and presented a $425,000 check to the Foundation. KMMG has sponsored AWIM for the past three years. It began with Troup County Schools, but has sinceexpanded to include schools in Harris and Meriwether counties in Georgia and Chambers County in Alabama. That's the reason the JetToy Challenge had to be held in Atlanta. The program has grown to the extent that there' no local venue that can accommodate the size of the competition. In announcing the funds for continuation of the AWIM program locally, Randy Jackson, KMMG's senior vice president of human resources and administration, noted that the AWIM program has grown dramatically in the counties surrounding KMMG's plant in West Point. He thanked everyone who had helped support the implementation of the program "It's getting larger," Jackson noted, indicating the large audience present for the competition. That included the 500 students and more than 200 adults, including teachers who accompanied their students and volunteers who helped man the 18 tracks where the balloon-powered vehicles were raced.
Jackson noted that today's fifth graders will be part of the new workforce coming on line in about 11 years. He said supporting AWIM was a way Kiacan invest in the future of its workforce, and in the career opportunities available to the fifth graders when they enter the workforce. Jackson told the students that it is important to like what you do for a living. He encouraged them to find career paths that they like. He advised the students to study hard, listen to their parents and teachers and listen to each other. He stressed that workforce development is important to KMMG. "Kia will continue to grow along with its suppliers," he said, noting that local economic development personnel are working effectively to bring other industries into the community. "You will be the workforce for them," he said.The check presentation is for continuation of the AWIM program in the local school systems.
The students competed in four-person teams, three teams from each participating school. At the outset of the competition, they were given a book of materials and tools. From those materials, they had to construct a balloon-powered vehicle, and race that vehicle against all the other teams in the competition for distance, accuracy and time in motion. In between the construction and competition, students were served a catered box lunch and heard inspirational comments from Cris Ciuca, director of pre-professional education for the SAE Foundation. In the closing ceremonies, winning teams were presented medals, and all participants were awarded a sportsmanship medal.