LaBelle High School students may have surprised themselves a little when they worked together using Science, Technology, Engineering and Math STEM to meet challenges and, in the end, learn things about themselves.
Thirty-eight LHS students attended this amazing event Wednesday, October 28. led by LHS teachers Catherine McVay (math) and Ann Daniel (chemistry), who coordinated the event for the LaBelle students.
The October event was intriguing, very structured and “huge,” Ms. Daniel commented. The LHS students broke up into groups of four, heading to different areas – each group with a different task:
The Beat – where they learned the language of robots – basically binary code – and got a feel for what is possible with robots.
The Race – students worked on enhancing the performance of a remote control electric race car and examined concepts at the core of engineering.
Leadership – what leaders do, how to pull together to “move from ideas to action” and the principles of leadership.
The Pitch – learn to make an effective 30-second ‘elevator speech” promoting your ideas. After the workshops the LaBelle students had to pitch their ideas to the judges.
Members of each of the four teams returned to the original four and teach taught what they learned to the others.
The US Army sponsored the event at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa to teach students how to do things as one – even a physical challenge. For instance, in one challenge, students had locking arms and interlocking fingers, then figure out how to do sit ups as a group – and they were successful! Such challenges taught them to work together using their own unique abilities.
This year is the first time the LaBelle students participated in the event and, in fact, Ms. Daniel said she and Ms. McVay were a little surprised themselves at how interested their students became in the project and how they spread the enthusiasm to their friends. The deeper they got into the project, the more excited they became.
Excited about the way it all worked out, Ms. Daniel said they will “explore all avenues to expose the kids to similar STEM activities. In fact, she said the students are looking forward to a similar event at USF in February focusing on engineering.