When Class of 2022 members Leena Mehendale and Jules Johnson started volunteering at Foster Elementary, they realized that the students there were as passionate about soccer as they were. Read more
As members of the Varsity Hockaday soccer team, they had partnered with DISD schools as part of their Institute for Social Impact work with the soccer team, through repurposing practices and holding clinics. But in order for the kids to really thrive, they decided to fill a desperate need at the school – soccer goals!
“We looked into purchasing goals, but they are really expensive,” said Leena. “So we sent an email out and asked if any students wanted a STEM project!”
Leena and Jules researched the best way to build a soccer goal and had to consider multiple angles. “We had a limited budget, so we had to figure out a way to do it economically,” said Leena.
The duo headed to Lowe’s (six times) to experiment with PVC pipe and different types of nets. Jules’s interest in engineering kicked in to figure out the best way to design the goals. “I drew out three different designs, and we worked with the school so they could pick which one they wanted,” she said.
it took a while to nail down which net worked the best. “We tried deer netting, because we thought it would be strong,” said Leena. “It ripped a week later. Now we have real soccer nets on the way that we bought online.” The project totaled about $300 for each regulation goal. For comparison, regulation goals cost around $4,000 new. Leena and Jules also mowed the lawns and painted the regulation lines so the kids could play and practice.
“This was the perfect project for us because we have different experiences,” said Jules. “Leena handled the soccer part, and I was interested in the science and engineering. We really had to problem solve and work together. We are really proud that our skills came together to build something.”