September 5 to 7 the National Center played host to the NFB STEM2U Leadership Academy, bringing blind high school students together for a weekend of accessible, entertaining science. On Friday one of the activities was building race cars out of recycled objects. Yang Heppe works alone with Styrofoam, cord, old CDs, and wooden spools on his race car. Others, like Elijah Anderson and Angel Ayala worked together on their car. Elijah confidently wields scissors to cut package tape to secure dowel rod axels onto their car, while Angel holds the CD wheel in place. Once the recycled racers were completed, the cars were put to the test. Ashley Ritter, one of the mentors, manned the top of the test ramp to keep consistency in the starts for each car’s test.
It wasn’t all ramps and race cars, though. Other activities that weekend included musical chairs, attempting to eat donuts suspended on strings, and other activities to challenge the young scientists such as copycat towers, where pairs were challenged to replicate the towers made with paper cups and construction paper.