I’m Tara Powell, the Chief Operating Officer at Catapult. My journey to Catapult Engineering Academy began as a mom of an engineering-minded child.
Like any mom I was seeking the best for my son so I explored the opportunities available. Unfortunately there was nothing in our school system at the time to satisfy his love of designing and building. I investigated possible clubs, competitions and camps that would expose him to and prepare him for a college engineering curriculum. My experience sparked an interest that flamed into a passion for ways to prepare pre-engineering students.
I spent three years establishing and sponsoring a BEST Robotics team and an engineering club at our high school. I was so proud to watch these young people benefit from this glimpse into the huge world of engineering and use what they learned in their college career.
Once my son graduated high school, I was recruited to develop an after school engineering camp for 4th and 5th graders as an outreach program for The Engineering Academy at Hoover High School (EA). A unique aspect of this program was employing high school students from the academy as camp instructors. I was impressed with how the EA experience equipped these high school students with the poise and skills to convey complex engineering concepts to the younger students. Again, I was enthralled with the idea of high school students engaging in programs that prime them for the rigors of college engineering courses.
It is exciting to imagine how high school students everywhere will benefit from a college-prep engineering curriculum. So it is a natural fit for me to be involved with Catapult Engineering Academy.