Students solving problems for Nissan at a unique summer program is an unusual way for high school juniors and seniors to gain experience with engineering tasks in the real world.
At Nissan’s Smyrna plant, 52 high school students participated in Nissan’s 2015 Summer Enrichment Program, now in its fourth year. According to Justin Saia, corporate spokesman for Nissan North America, the objective is to allow the students from 14 cities and 27 high schools learn how engineers find and solve problems on four Saturdays during the summer.
The program provides historically underrepresented minority students an opportunity to experience a career in a STEM field. “The objective is to give these students the interest and preparation needed to succeed in a university-level science or engineering curriculum,” Saia said.
Problems were presented to the groups, and students set up displays to show parents and John Martin, Nissan’s vice president of supply chain management, how they would solve the assigned problems.
“When you get out in the real world, you’re going to have to explain things in a clear way,” Martin said before instructing members of one group to give their presentation again.
Martin explained that most of the projects were about the Japanese concept of “kaizen” . “It is the concept of small improvements and continuous movement,” Martin said.