Adient sponsors 11th JetToy Challenge, brings STEM education to Detroit

DETROIT, April 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Adient, the world’s leading global automotive seating supplier, sponsored the 11th annual JetToy Challenge today at Cobo Center in Detroit. More than 500 students from schools in southeast Michigan competed to make the best balloon-powered vehicle.



The students were part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International’s “A World in Motion” (AWIM) program, which brings together science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for a hands-on learning experience. Engineers from Adient and other companies volunteer their time in classrooms teaching STEM lessons to students in grades third through sixth.

“Adient engineers provide real-world knowledge by taking concepts of theory and making them practical,” said Russ Burgei, vice president of engineering and program lead for AWIM at Adient. “They are placing the idea in a student’s mind at a young age that anyone can become an engineer.”

Adient joined the SAE program in 2008 and started the first ever district wide AWIM program in the world. Now the JetToy Challenge is open to all schools in southeast Michigan and some from different states and countries.

“I like the teamwork aspect of the JetToy Challenge,” said Spencer Nickerson, fifth grader from St. Michael’s in Livonia, Mich. “I get to make a lot of friends, but I also get to build a car which is my favorite part.”

Adient employs approximately 4,500 engineers in research and development technical centers and manufacturing plants across the globe and is continually looking for new talent to fill its offices.

“There are two things I love about the JetToy Challenge,” said Burgei. “One, the energy that is at the event and schools is infectious. You know the kids are excited about competing and learning the concepts. Second, the gratification the volunteers get from working with the students. Not only do you see the impact the engineers have on the next generation, but the impact the students have on them.”

About Adient:
Adient is a global leader in automotive seating. With 75,000 employees operating 230 manufacturing/assembly plants in 33 countries worldwide, we produce and deliver automotive seating for all vehicle classes and all major OEMs. From complete seating systems to individual components, our expertise spans every step of the automotive seat-making process. Our integrated, in-house skills allow us to take our products from research and design all the way to engineering and manufacturing – and into more than 25 million vehicles every year. For more information on Adient, please visit

About SAE International: 
SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our charitable arm, the SAE Foundation, which helps fund programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.