National Geographic : 1970 Nov
Our amazing machine. It taught these kids to hope. When a boy sees no future in education, how do you keep him from dropping out of school? Out of everything? One answer came from a course at Louis D. Brandeis, an academic high school in New York City. On paper it was Shell's Automotive Professional Training course, with Shell providing sophisticated electronic equipment and learning materials. Actually it was a plan to introduce boys, many from underprivileged backgrounds, to a world they have never known or imagined. A world of scientific instruments, like the electronic Autoscan. A world of scientific thinking, where using your head pays off better than using your fists. The results were pretty tremendous. The boys stuck to a strict code of behavior. There were few dropouts. No absenteeism. Since the course began, over 100 have graduated. And many of the graduates have gone on to good-paying jobs in automotive or aircraft repair. But the big surprise was this: many of the boys went on to college. After this initial success, Shell extended the course to 12 other schools, and 25 more will soon be added. One thing we learned from the Brandeis experiment: if a boy can be encouraged to learn by shaping up a sick engine, he has a SHELL pretty good hope of shaping up his future.