Diego Cruz’ science homework just landed him $2,500.

Dallas Middle-Schooler Honored as a Winner
of Nationwide STEM Video Contest


Completing homework assignments really does pay off. Diego Cruz’ science homework just landed him $2,500.

Diego, a 6th grader at Grand Prairie Collegiate Institute (GPCI) just outside of Dallas, completed an assignment for Joyce Atayde’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) class that was truly out of this world. His task was to design a habitation module for Mars-bound astronauts and create a video about it. This video was then submitted to the Lockheed Martin Generation Beyond Video Challenge.

Out of 400 entries, Diego’s video about the “hab” captured attention of judges, earning him a third place individual spot in the contest.

“I think science and technology is really cool. When I get older, I want to be an engineer because I like knowing how things are put together and then making it,” Diego said.


The Lockheed Martin team congratulates Diego on his winning video, which featured impressive ideas for a space habitat. Diego hopes to be an engineer someday.

Diego was honored Thursday night with a celebration ahead of GPCI’s schoolwide STEM event. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Vice President of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems, Gaylia Campbell, presented Diego with a $2,500 check, a 3-D printer for his school and a personal letter from Lockheed Martin CEO, Marillyn Hewson.

“For Diego, this was just another assignment because he didn’t know about the money. But he always gives 110% to everything,” said Nadia Cruz, Diego’s mother. “We were all high-fiving each other when we found out that he was finalist.”

Generation Beyond is a Lockheed Martin initiative that provides STEM curricula to schools across the country to inspire a new generation of world-changing scientists and engineers.