By Courtney Power, Learning Programs Portfolio Manager, NextFlex
Wilcox High School students (Santa Clara, CA) continue to impress Silicon Valley engineers, academics, and government officials with their implementation of FlexFactor. This spring, Mr. Tony Raffetto’s Empowering Entrepreneurship class took on the FlexFactor program while attending class virtually. During the program small teams of students worked over Zoom to identify a real-world problem, conceptualize a hardware solution to the problem, and build a business model around it. At the end of the program, they pitched their product concepts to a panel of judges including Mission College Dean of Business, Technology, and Kinesiology, Mr. Jeff Pallin, as well as California Assemblymember Alex Lee’s District Director, Mr. Anurag Pal.
FlexFactor is designed to bring diverse stakeholders from across a manufacturing ecosystem together to help mobilize and guide young people into STEM-based pathways. Through program activities, FlexFactor serves to strengthen and reveal interesting connections between participating organizations. For example, Mr. Pal shared with students during the pitch that he is a proud alumnus of Mission College in Santa Clara. Having panelists with whom students can identify on a personal level is a great asset and helps students visualize their own path forward in life.
The winning team conceived and designed a product to help soccer players maximize each touch of the ball. The FootPro leverages FHE technology along with multiple sensors to measure precise impact points, number of touches, and force generated. The data is then relayed via Bluetooth to an application which allows the user and coaches to fine-tune performance for maximum results. Targeted at soccer players from 10 to 18 years of age, this product would revolutionize all levels of play.
The resilience displayed by all teams while they worked to develop innovative product concept designs during the pandemic is remarkable, and both panelists and audience members were inspired and impressed with students’ agility and tenacity throughout their distance learning experience.
This year marks the 5th year of FlexFactor in Santa Clara County and has served over 4,317 students locally. To learn more about FlexFactor, please visit nextflex.us/learning-programs.Back to all news