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BruWin | North Little Rock Team Spotlight

This weekend the North Little Rock team BruWin will compete for the big prize at Nationals! Students from Pulaski Academy Galen Jauss, Allen Thomason, Evan Goodwin and their teacher Les Williams will represent NLR and the AR Regional Innovation Hub.

Leaders from the City of North Little Rock called the ‘Trail of Tears’ community challenge. The ‘Trail of Tears’ was a series of forced removals of up to 60,000 Native Americans between 1830-1850. Teams were asked to create an outdoor-interactive tribute that would be on display along the North Little Rock Riverfront Park. The historical landmark provides acres of urban greenspace for outdoor events, biking, activities and a glimpse of the state's history. The city of North Little Rock plans to turn Riverfront into an experience to remember and recognize the history of the Trail of Tears.

Galen, Allen, Evan and Les will represent North Little Rock at Nationals

After 48 hours, teams had to present a ‘replica prototype’ of a singular Interactive Trail of Tears experience, as well as a one minute video explaining the prototype and its significance. BruWin presented their North Little Rock Trail of Tears Memorial to the panel of judges after learning and appreciating the scope and impact of the relocation of Native Americans and understanding it as a part of the American experience.

BruWin’s memorial will be built out of a recovered, era-accurate steamboat (between 20-40 meters long and 9 meters wide). The traditional monument features will merge with modern, interactive technology in order to be a storytelling vehicle for first person narratives, including each tribe’s cultures and experience.

Three judges had to make a decision after the pitch. The panel of experts included Dr. Daniel Littlefield (Director of the Sequoyah National Research Center at UAR-Little Rock), Jason Irby (VP of The Arkansas Trail of Tears Assoc.) and Tina Moore (Director of STEM at the Arkansas Dept of Education).

North Little Rock brought their A game. It was close, but BruWin won $2,000, a custom-made trophy and will be representing their hometown at the National competition in Kansas City, MO. Learn more about team BruWin.

Team BruWin with Tom and Amy Gray

What’s your teammate's hidden or secret talent?

Galen: I practice martial arts

Les: Though I teach Engineering/Robotics, I started my teaching career 38 years ago as a Band and Choir director in Montana while fighting forest fires for the Forest Service!

How did you form your team?

The younger members of the team are in my Engineering or Robotics Classes. Two members are Offensive Linemen on our 6A State Champion team this year.

What’s something we don’t know about your team?

After graduation, this will be the last time some of us will see each other.

What’s The Biggest Strength On Your Team?

Galen: We all have separate expertises and are very well balanced, and we are all very well organized and can easily divide and conquer.

Les: Other than obvious size (I'm sure our combined mass will outpace the next three largest teams combined :) ), is our age and stage diversity. I'm 60 (teacher), we have a High School Freshman, High School Junior, and a High School Senior on the team. Our range of experience and perspectives is both a strength and a challenge.

What do you think you’d do differently, if anything, at Nationals?

We are looking forward to meeting the teams and getting to know them. We'll try to be extremely careful with effective use of time.

At Nationals, What’s one thing you want to do, or see, at the Kansas City Competition?

We love to have more time with the tool techs and makers to learn from their experience. Our tool techs at NLR were a BLAST. Working with them and just hanging out to get to know them and their passion for their craft/art was one of the best parts of the Make48 experience!

For the first time, teams have a chance this year to win the Spirit Stick Award. The winners will receive a KC gift bundle and CEO, Tom Gray will take the team out to dinner (in their city). Where do you think the team will choose?

Les: Somewhere there is GREAT steak.

Galen: Assuming it’s in Kansas City, Golden Ox or Waldo Thai? I’m not familiar with the city but I’m happy with anything. (Two great KC choices!)

And our last question… Favorite snack at the M48 Event?

Doesn't matter, these guys will eat almost anything.

Team BruWin with Amy Gray, Errin Stanger (Innovation Hub) and Robert Birch (City of NLR)

Good luck to BruWin! To learn more about host location, The Innovation Hub at Winrock International, follow them at Instagram and on Facebook.

To learn about Arkansas sponsorship opportunities please email the Make48 team at

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