When Matthew Haggins, a student from Virginia, learned about Thermo King's Frederick McKinley Jones, he knew he had found the perfect subject for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Manufacturing (STEAM) historical project that he was preparing.
Matthew's mother, Brigitta, explained in a letter to Thermo King how her son was amazed to learn about Mr. Jones and his contributions to American technology as an engineer and inventor. "What a great American treasure we have today because of his hard work and determination."
Matthew is part of a group of students who meet for monthly enrichment activities that help them with leadership development, volunteer service, civic duty, and philanthropic giving, and he was preparing for a living wax museum that was held in conjunction with the Hampton City History Museum. Approximately 50 children in grades 1-12 participated in the project, giving them the opportunity to learn about historical figures within the STEAM areas.
According to Brigitta, Matthew's research and speech on Frederick McKinley Jones helped him to learn about innovation and invention, as well as gave him an opportunity to develop his public speaking confidence.
The Thermo King team did their part by sending some props to Matthew to assist with his presentation and in bringing Fred to life, if for only a brief moment in time.
"As the parent of a teenager, thank you (to the entire Thermo King team) for supporting Matthew in this project. The "Cool" props boosted his confidence by enhancing his presentation," said Brigitta.
One of the props was a model truck featuring one of our latest Thermo King units, and, according to Brigitta, that truck and Fred have inspired more than just Matthew.
"My husband saw the truck and said that he wants to buy and drive his own truck after seeing the model. He has been talking about this since retiring from the Army in 2015. So, you have my whole family dreaming and thinking in the vein of Frederick McKinley Jones and Thermo King.
"It is amazing how much good a little knowledge, an idea, and effort on the part of strangers can change lives. My son is learning about a great American, and my husband is now ready to embark on a new adventure. I thank you greatly!"