During a visit to Oak Hill Elementary School, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, house science chair, and IBM scientists challenged the young Eagles to engineer a car using paper, straws, life savers—and wind power generated by the students' own breath.
After introducing the fifth-graders to a few engineering principals, Congressman Smith and IBM's engineers and educators watched as the students collaborated to design, build and race a puff-powered car. Each student team brought their own design strategy to the hands-on experiment developed by PBSKids.
Congressman Smith represents the 21st congressional district of Texas. A lifelong lover of science, the congressman was recently named chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which oversees a budget of $39 billion and focuses primarily on research and development.
Along with IBM's Rick McMaster and Sandy Dochen, Congressman Smith engaged Oak Hill fifth graders in the scientific process and encouraged students to begin thinking about the role science may play in their future.