It’s a clear, warm Sunday morning in Portland. Sandy Boulevard is nearly deserted and Tom Haig is cruising on his bicycle. He tucks into the teardrop position, thinking, This is awesome.
Suddenly, an elderly couple blow through a stop sign. Haig reacts quickly—but he’s pissed and, looking back at them, yells something unprintable. A second later, he returns his attention to his direction of travel. Yellow light! And a truck coming at him. Bicyclist and driver lock eyes. Both brake and Haig thinks, I’ve got this. That truck has enough clearance for me to lay it down and slide right under.
Sean Neal is good at math, but one bit of geometry he can’t master involves moving ten feet up and two feet over. The wheelchair-bound teen isn’t able to climb into a combine to help harvest his family’s wheat fields.
While Neal’s dad was carrying him up a ladder and helping him into the operator’s seat, his math teacher at Garfield-Palouse High School was pondering ways to nudge students toward careers in which they could use their number-crunching skills. Jim Stewart thought an engineering design contest might do the trick. A former baseball coach, Stewart knows kids like to compete. Sure enough, his Gar-Pal design … » More …