March 04, 2019

Garver teaming with 100 schools for Garver Chain Reaction Challenge

To help celebrate a century of innovative engineering services, Garver is teaming with schools from across the country to advance the type of critical and creative thinking displayed by its founder Neal Garver in 1919. When Neal opened his one-person engineering firm in Little Rock, Arkansas a century ago, he set forth a chain reaction of events that is still impacting communities today. 

In a continuation of that spirit, Garver is partnering with 100 schools for the Garver Chain Reaction Challenge. Employees from across the Garver footprint recently kicked off this effort at Pat Henry Elementary School in Lawton, Oklahoma, where they presented a chain reaction STEM kit and monetary donation to create Rube Goldberg-style chain reaction contraptions.

“By teaming with these schools, we’re celebrating a century of doing business by giving back to communities that have helped us reach this point,” said Garver Chief Operating Officer Michael Graves. “Our hope is that providing hands-on STEM education opportunities like these will help develop the core concepts necessary to cultivate the next generation of engineers.”

Highlighted by the Lawton Constitution and the KSWO 7News, Garver employees worked alongside 50 fifth grade students to construct chain reaction machines, while passing along such core concepts as perseverance and teamwork. The STEM kits come complete with KEVA planks and Brackitz connectors to build 3-D structures, a DC motor, balls, ramps, and a slew of everyday items to create their contraptions.

“STEM has opened up a new world for my students,” said Doris Biegler, Pat Henry STEM teacher. “Garver was able to come to our school, do a very fun hands-on lesson with students, who would normally probably never get to meet an engineer in real life.”

Garver Chain Reaction Challenge entries will be judged by a panel of engineers from Garver based on the creation’s total running duration, innovation, and presentation. The top five submissions will receive an additional $1,000 for STEM education funding.  

To learn more about Garver's centennial, visit ourcentennial celebration page.