March 30, 2017
Fort Couch team qualifies for state STEM Design Challenge
A team of four Fort Couch Middle School seventh graders placed first in the 6-8 division at the regional STEM Design Challenge on March 27, 2017, at Duquesne University. Zach Sileo, Linus Friedman, Joe Reeder and Will Closser now advance to the state-level competition set for Friday, May 19 in Harrisburg.
Sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific, the STEM Design Challenge tasks teams of students in grades 4-8 with designing and building a structure using K’Nex that addresses a given challenge. Teams were required to use at least one motor and could not exceed 1,400 K’Nex pieces.
“The STEM Design Challenge encourages students to apply STEM skills and use K’Nex building products to accomplish the given goal,” Connie Gibson, gifted education teacher, said.
Student teams compete within two grade level divisions, grades 4-5 and grades 6-8 and are judged on creativity, teamwork, challenge success, design and presentation. The top team in each division at each regional competition will advance to the state competition.
The 2017 Challenge:
Your team has been hired to create a new amusement park. However, this new amusement park is making “green” a priority. The owners are working to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer and are creating a fun family park that will inspire others to be environmentally friendly. You will need to create a ride for this new park. Your ride must represent the environmentally friendly approach that the owners are requiring. Teams competing in the grades 6-8 division will also be asked to present a budget of their project. They will need to inventory each K’Nex piece they use and list a price for each piece. They will need to present their inventory and an overall cost of their project.
In addition to Upper St. Clair’s first place Fort Couch team, a team of Boyce Middle School students earned a second place finish in the 4-5 division. Team members include Leona Chen, Rachel Thomas and Ananya Tripathi.
Other Upper St. Clair students who participated in the STEM Design Challenge from Fort Couch include: Phoebe Chen, Sophie Chen, Milan Giroux, Shivani Jajoo, Eden Ma, Shana Reddy, Sujay Shah, Evan Tefft and Daniel Wang; and from Boyce: Phillip Markovitz, Quinton Miller, Evan Sarkett and John Scherer.