Light Rail expansion engineers teaming up with local schools to mentor students

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- In South Phoenix, engineers working on the METRO Light Rail extension in area are teaming up with local schools, in order to mentor the next generation of bright young minds.

The engineers are helping kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math. The program, called "Engineers of the Future", kicked off at South Pointe Junior High School.

"I know I have had opportunity to think about engineering, and children here have not," said Clifford Wong PGH Wong Engineering. "All students should have those same opportunities."

Engineers working on the METRO Light Rail extension to South Phoenix will mentor these bright young minds.

"I think it is awesome to get an opportunity to be one of them and build stuff," said student Miguel Manqueros.

"Engineers of the Future" is a major boost for South Pointe Junior High.

"We are extremely ecstatic host at our school help our school get exposure to things they wouldn't otherwise," said Melissa Barnett with South Pointe Junior High School.

Valley Metro officials say this is just the beginning.

"Well, it is just starting, and so far, it has been great," said Scott Smith. "We have several schools signed up. Engineering firms, kids, bright energetic and ready to go with competitions to help them be connected to a career they wouldn't be connected with on a day-to-day basis."

People behind this program are confident it will lead to a new generation of talented, homegrown engineers and scientists in Phoenix. Meanwhile, Valley Metro and engineers working on the light rail extension are looking to expand the program to cover more schools.