STEP has always been dedicated to helping the students of Nash and Edgecombe counties further their learning and give them exposure to STEM jobs that will be available to them in the future. The Brick City Challenge, the Twin-Counties STEM Design Challenge, and the Invention Convention are all put in place to reach those goals.
On March 25, 2022 from 10:00AM-2:00PM STEP hosted the Brick City Challenge for elementary students in 3rd-5th grade. The students who participated were from Nash and Edgecombe county schools. The goal of the students was to work together and expand their creativity through design, construction and literature.The students started the year with a novel study by reading "A Wrinkle in Time" and then had to code a robot to travel through different setting like in the book. Pfizer employees judged the competition, as an organization we are excited to have dedicated community partners who are able to see the need for support in education.
A week later, STEP hosted the Twin-Counties STEM Design Challenge and the Invention Convention. Both of the challenges were for middle school students in grades 6-8. The STEM design challenge consisted of students reading the "Maze Runner" and creating robotic Grievers, using Kinex pieces which are a versatile construction product, whose job was to move and capture Maze Runners then return to their original location. Students also had to code a robot to escape the maze. Students got to work alongside consulting engineers from sponsor companies so they could have exposure to real life STEM workers and ask them questions and have their invaluable input.
The Invention Convention was a new competition for STEP this year and encouraged students to create a new product that would attract customers. Once students created a new product they then had to produce a prototype using a 3D printer for the judges to get an idea of what it would really look like, Once students had their prototype they were tasked with preparing a business and marketing plan for the product and present it to the panel of judges. It allowed students to see the process of creating a product and how to market it to clients.
It was a fantastic two weeks of competition and watching the students flow with creativity with their builds and products. Everyone had such a great time and we can not wait to grow it next year!