Students from Cesar Chavez with a fundamental interest in engineering, technology and architecture, recently visited Casaplex in Kensington, Maryland, for a Career Inspiration Day where they were tasked to design Smart Homes for a fictional client. Derek Goldstein, founder and CEO of Casaplex, shared his personal story of discipline, hard work, and faith that led to the creation of his growing international company. He explained that ‘Casaplex’ means “a housing of systems within systems” which the would practice throughout the day by learning how teams of professionals pool their skills and resources to accomplish their goals in a business setting. Students were introduced to the principles of design, programming, construction, and the sales skills that go into the creation of a Smart Home.
Students came up with ideas such as heated floors programmed to activate as soon as a specific persons’ feet touch the floor when getting out of bed, lights that go off throughout the house for goals during Washington Capitals games, and of course, a smart mirror that allows women to try on all of their outfits and shoes without having to take anything out of the closet! After students designed their smart homes, students presented their concepts to a panel of professionals from Casaplex and Mentor staff members who served as fictional clients judging the student team’s design concepts on creativity, presentation skills and functionality.
“It was truly wonderful to see the enthusiasm, level of engagement, and flow of ideas demonstrated throughout the day by the students and their career mentors,” said Beynu Osagyefu, Program Facilitator at Mentor Foundation USA. Adding that: “Some students that are typically reserved and introverted were so engaged in the process that teamwork and public speaking were not a problem!” Talyia, who is a senior and is going to Harrisburg University next year to study cyber-security said that “this experience truly engaged her.” Santos, who plans on a career in architecture and Cristin, who is focused on engineering, said they saw “the value in the experience as it directly relates to their future career goals.”
Mentor Foundation would like to wholeheartedly thank Casaplex for hosting our students. The Casaplex team provided a terrific experiential learning experience for the students of Mentor Foundation who all appreciated it greatly!