Florida Students Wrap Up School Year With STEM Projects
More than 200 middle-school students in Sarasota
wrapped up their school year by designing drinkware, developing a space
prototype and vying against teams in a robot competition.
The 2015 STEMsmart Middle School Summit was the
the STEMsmart science and math education initiative sponsored by the Gulf Coast
Community Foundation and held at the Ringling
College of Art and Design.
About 120 students broke up into teams of 10 students
took a different phase of the product development cycle, coming up with
drinkware product. They were helped by product development executives
pitching a prototype design and marketing plan for a product
aimed at 12- to 14-year olds.
"And you did it in four hours," said Tervis executive
Agnes Lauwagie. "It takes us months, even years sometimes, and we're really amazed at
came up with."
About 60 students divided up into four-person teams that each
used a graphing calculator to design and assess a spacecraft and its
creating a small capsule with a protective heat shield and a working
As part of their work, they analyzed a simulated fluid sample to select
healthiest astronaut for their mission.
"I get excited when I think about the amazing
these kids will make to our society," said Texas
Technology President Peter Balyta. "Whether it's discovering cures
or next-generation engineering, these students will go on to change
make our world a better place."
And about 20 students worked on teams that had
built robots that then went head to head in a game-based engineering
In each case, the student teams were advised by
companies like Tervis, PGT
Hydraulics and Texas Instruments.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.