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Toyota opens 1,200 school children’s eyes to STEM fun

TME supported “GO Moving Forward” in Halle, Belgium, together with other partners
15/06/2022
Hosted by two secondary schools in the city of Halle (GO! Middenschool and GO! Technisch Atheneum), the event aimed to raise interest in STEM* as a choice for studies and career amongst 1,200 participants aged 10 to 18 from primary and secondary schools in and around Halle.

Our society needs STEM brains

The event was also open to the students’ parents to highlight the important fact that our society needs STEM brains of all genders. TME employees from various business functions accompanied the children as STEM role models or volunteers.

 

A day full of STEM fun

The day’s programme was centred around a go-kart race. The karts were built by 13 and 14 year-old students of the two secondary schools which organised the event. Through a year-long project, the youngsters had put their learning of science and technics into practice. Amongst several prizes awarded by a jury of the organising schools’ board and the event partners, Toyota selected the winners for the most sustainable concepts and the best learning process.

Other highlights included interactive workshops on Energy & Mobility and Hydrogen & Fuel Cell. The Toyota STEM role models gave hands-on explanations on the basics of sustainable mobility technologies, while the volunteers offered fun with hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai test drives and radio-controlled mini Mirai.

Inspiring Girls Belgium also engaged with the teenagers through their ‘Break the Bias’ workshop and ‘Anything Is Possible’ photobooth.

 * Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

… for us, too

Some of the Toyota STEM role models and volunteers look back at their day.

“My colleagues and I were happy and proud to be part of this fantastic event as a key partner. Interacting with the children and seeing their eyes sparkle with enthusiasm was a great reward.”

Frederic Knockaert (TME Research & Development)
“During my 1-hour workshop I showed Toyota’s current low- and zero-emission powertrain technologies from hybrid to battery electric and fuel cell electric. The message I tried to convey to the children is that science and technologies can help solve problems facing our society and bring happiness to everyone and this is why we love our job.”

Simon Heylens (TME Value Chain)
“I was truly inspired by the curiosity and creativity of the students in the diverse and inclusive context of this unforgettable event. Students passionate about STEM can bring significant, positive changes to our future society. I felt very proud to be a female role model.”

Tine Slabbinck (TME Information Technologies & Digital)
“As a team we were very proud to be involved in this fantastic event and show the young generation what they can potentially do in STEM. Engaging with the children and seeing their smiles throughout the day was the most rewarding experience I could ever imagine.”

Wesley Verschoren (TME Research & Development)
“We don’t have a STEM background, but we could help promote STEM which is very important for our company’s business and our society. We are happy that we could participate. It was also an excellent opportunity for cross-functional team work and giving back to the local community where we operate.”

Laetitia Bouckaert & Dorien Evenepoel (TME People & Innovation)
“I was excited as much as the participating students! I love being able to show and tell these young talents that STE(A)M is fun and cool, inspire and guide them towards STE(A)M education and career. I hope that our future society will have even more problem solvers and innovators.”

Ann Heylen (TME Research & Development)