Martin Marietta donates to THS engineering program

Published 10:37 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – With projects ranging from low-cost prosthetic legs to basic utility vehicles to help those in need in developing countries, development and material costs can quickly add up for the Thompson High School engineering program.

“As a public school teacher, we just don’t have the funding for all of the projects we’re doing,” said THS engineering teacher Brian Copes. “It does get very pricey.”

While the program does get plenty of support from the city’s school system, Copes said he relies on support from other organizations such as Skilled Knowledgeable Youth to provide funding for special projects such as the utility vehicles and electric cars the students have been building over the past several years.

On Sept. 27, SKY received some support of its own, as the Martin Marietta continued its seven-year tradition of providing financial support for the organization. During Copes’ second period class, Martin Marietta District Production Manager John Stalcup and Area Sales Manager Kelly Harrington visited to deliver a $1,500 check to SKY to support the engineering program’s projects.

“I appreciate each and every one of you for what you’re doing today and what you’ll do over the next few weeks, months and years,” Stalcup told the students. “As a company, we’re blessed to be able to support organizations like Skilled Knowledgeable Youth.”

Stalcup said he benefited from high school engineering and shop classes when he was younger, and said the information he learned in those classes laid the foundation for his professional life.

“The education you get today is your future,” Stalcup said. “Don’t give up, work hard, do your homework and go to class.”

Stalcup praised the students for working on projects to benefit those with limited resources in developing countries, and said Martin Marietta is proud to back the engineering program.

“What you are doing as part of your classes is giving back to the community, so this is our way to give back to our community,” he said. “The skills you are learning today will apply to everything you do in your life in the future.”