Students vie in STEM challenge

More than 160 students from 17 school districts and nonpublic schools participated in a regional STEM Design Challenge competition hosted by ARIN Intermediate Unit 28 on March 19 at Elderton High School.Students worked in teams and used K’NEX building pieces to complete a predetermined construction challenge. K’NEX are interlocking plastic rods and connectors used to build models, machines and architectural structures. Teams competed either in the fourth- and fifth-grade division or the sixth- through eighth-grade division. This year there were 23 teams in each grade band category.The teams were tasked with creating a machine that moved three objects at least 6 inches across a table. The crane had to pick up an object, move it at least 6 inches and set it back down.Teams in the sixth through eighth grades also had to present a budget for their project.All teams were asked to consider how environmentally friendly their machine was and all teams arrived at the challenge with a blueprint that they designed. Winners from the 6-8 grade division were from Freeport Area Middle School: Anita Bhat, Olivia Giancola, Simona Pugliese and Elise Whitlinger. The teacher adviser is Clint Crowell.

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