Several 6th and 7th grade Prince William students were awarded for winning the ‘SySTEMic Solutions Engineering Challenge’, hosted by Northern Virginia Community College’s (NOVA) STEM outreach program, SySTEMic Solutions.
The challenge is sponsored by The Micron Foundation, with the hopes of inspiring students to get interested in STEM, and pursue a STEM career, according to a release.
More on the challenge, from a release:
The ‘SySTEMic Solutions Engineering Challenge’ is a set of three STEM challenges for PWCS middle school students based on Standards of Learning (SOL) parameters. The grade level challenges are as follows:
What’s Up with the Weather? – a 6th grade challenge where students design and build a Weather Station, collect data for a minimum of seven days and keep a detailed science notebook. Data must be clearly documented in the notebook with title page, school name, teacher and students’ names, graphs of their data, pictures of their instruments and a detailed summary.
The Biome Games – a 7th grade challenge where students develop a survival guide and a long term plan for habitation in a new biome. As an environmental ‘tribute’ students are theoretically dropped into a new biome and must develop a survival guide and long term plan for habitation in that biome. To help prepare other environmental ‘tributes’, students compare and contrast their new biome with the biome they currently live in.
Rube Goldberg Machine – an 8th grade challenge where students create a Rube Goldberg Machine that does one of the following: turn on a light switch or flashlight; inflate and pop a balloon; and/or squeeze a tube of toothpaste onto a toothbrush. Challenges are due in April around Earth Day, therefore each Rube Goldberg Machine must incorporate 5 recyclable items and 3 examples of energy transformations.
The 6th and 7th graders completed these challenge projects, and were selected as this year’s winners, according to a release. This year, five middle schools – Manassas Christian, Saunders, Marstellar, Porter Traditional, and Gainesville – participated, and there were more than 29 finalists.
In addition to the awards ceremony, the students had the opportunity to meet with engineers at Micron in Manassas, according to a release.