Ingalls Shipbuilding employees inspire students with a challenge

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A group of women engineers at Ingalls Shipbuilding celebrated national engineering week by sharing what they do with students in hopes of inspiring the students to pursue a career in engineering.

Some of the students were challenged to turn a piece of paper into a cup.

"You can seal the paper by putting water on it," Kiarra Benjamin from Burns Middle School said.

Other students were tasked to make a robotic arm out of cardboard, tape and toothpicks. The goal of the projects was to spark creative thinking and teamwork.

Burns Middle School Student Christian Leytham said, "I learned to never give up even in the most difficult times and tasks."

Cameron Holloway with Magnolia Junior High said, "I learned how to work with my group not to argue, communicate and basically have fun."

Trophies waited for the winners, giving students an extra incentive to push themselves and wow the judges, engineers from Ingalls Shipbuilding.

President of Shipbuilder Women Engineering April Martin said, "It's a very rewarding career and we just want them to learn it's a part of your everyday life and you will love it and it's fun."

Nikeland Cooper has brought his students from Magnolia Junior High to the competition two years in a row and said each time the students leave with big aspirations.

"When they get here they are so excited, they like to participate hands on and compete with each other and when there is competition more intriguing ideas tend to flourish," Cooper said.

Holloway said, "I would like to do this when I'm older, I'm inspired by my dad, Frederick Holloway, he works here."

Turns out Cameron Holloway not only left inspired, but also with the winning trophy.

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