At the 14th annual College Bowl during the HENACC conference in New Orleans, a group of students coached by Disney engineers took home the competition’s top honors.
The conference is hosted by Great Minds in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to encourage and recognize new STEM talent and to help create a diverse workforce. Activities at the conference include networking, internships and recruitment opportunities, and seminars.
The motto of the conference is “Not for the Faint of Heart!” and hundreds of students participate each year. Teams are critiqued on communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. The judges include industry and government representatives.
The team coached by Disney engineers created a magic carpet model during a timed challenge. Each round of the competition is focused on career success, including presentation skills, creativity, and even resume writing.
The students on the Disney team competed against teams coached by professionals from NASA, Boeing, IBM, and other organizations. The team included students from Florida A&M University, University of New Mexico, University of Texas, California State University, Texas A&M University, University of New Orleans, El Camino College, and Rochester Institute of Technology.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has been a sponsor of HENAAC since 2004.