Nearly 200 students from throughout Mobile County took part in the first MCPSS/AMSTI Elementary STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) competition, held last weekend at the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative education center near Phillips Preparatory School.
Students competed in STEM-based challenges such as the egg drop, where contestants had to select something edible in which to protect an egg as it was dropped from a high platform; penny boats, where contestants tried to build the aluminum foil boat that would hold the most pennies; and Barbie bungee, where students had to calculate how many rubber bands they’d need to drop a Barbie doll closest to the ground without hitting it.
There were also robotics stations and judging for the best banner and most school spirit in the competition, which is planned as as annual event.
“The students blew all of us away with their problem-solving skills, creativity and enthusiasm,” said Stephanie LeGrone, MCPSS science supervisor. “It really shows that STEM is a way to truly engage students in the classroom and connect what they are learning to real-world situations. The events made them work collaboratively and think quickly on their toes. This is definitely an event that I see growing more and more over the next few years.”
Category winners were:
Egg Drop: 1. Semmes Elementary, 2. Burroughs, 3. Dodge
Penny Boat: 1. Dodge, 2. Council, 3. Collier
Barbie Bungee: 1. Kate Shepard, 2. Hutchens, 3. Eichold-Mertz
Banner competition: 1. Semmes Elementary, 2. Tanner Williams, 3. Collier
Team spirit: 1. Eichold-Mertz, 2. Collier, 3. Semmes Elementary