Students showcase Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
Students showcase Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
Posted on 04/18/2017

Everyone is invited to view science projects presented by students in grades K-12 at the fourth annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Showcase held at the Washington State Spring Fair on April 20-23.

With a little coaching, a project checklist, and a few examples,STEM Fair students in grades K-12 take the reins to create, design, and present projects in scientific practices, technology, inventions, or reverse engineering. The projects are typically created outside of the classroom and reflect students interest in a scientific practice of their choice. They are entered into Science Fair events at the local school where judges follow a criterion to select projects for the STEM Showcase competition.

Planning for the Science Fair events and the STEM Showcase begins in October with teacher planning meetings and a STEM committee. In November, parent information meetings are held to provide information about how to select and work on these projects.

The projects will be on display in the Pavilion building on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday during the Spring Fair. Students will be on hand Saturday, April 22 to provide detailed explanations to judges about their projects. Community volunteer judges will discuss the projects one-on-one with the students as they judge the projects with the same checklist criteria used at the local school level.

STEM FairSaturday evening and Sunday the STEM Showcase will include many hands-on activities and two building competitions open to all grade levels: straw tower building at 11 a.m. and cardboard structure building at 2 p.m.

Cari Ake, director of instructional leadership, encourages everyone to come and see the hard work of Puyallup students. “There are so many cool science projects to check out. One project that I get excited about is the reverse engineering. The student takes apart an everyday item that they may be curious about to learn how those components work together in order to function,” she said. An example she cited is an electric race car that was taken apart, and the project describes how all the components come together to make it work.

Ake said the technology projects can open the door to demonstrate a different way of looking at science. Students use technology to design, create, and program using computer software. “This can really connect students to some of our secondary programs and career-and college-ready opportunities. For example, we have an AutoCAD program—is used in a few engineering and design computer science courses. It is one great way for kids to increase their knowledge into computer science fields,” said Ake.

 “I would love to see everybody come out and support all the students who clearly love science in a way that they are willing to spend time at home working on these projects. It’s a great way to showcase all of the young great minds that we have in our community and recognize them for it.”
Cari Ake, director, instructional leadership k-12