Hubbard students got an engaging science, technology, engineering and math lesson


By Samantha Phillips

sphillips@vindy.com

HUBBARD

Excitement and anticipation filled the Hubbard High School gymnasium as students competed in carbon dioxide-powered car races, paper roller-coaster contests and other science, technology, engineering and math activity competitions.

A few hundred Hubbard High School students spent Friday at the school’s STEM Festival where they put their creativity and STEM knowledge to the test.

Students could choose to participate in contests including bridge building, creating and testing a trebuchet and an egg drop, in which students had to figure out how to best protect an egg from cracking after being dropped from the top of the bleachers.

Tiffany Bendersky, science teacher, said she has been involved in the festival for six years, and it has been more engaging than the regular science fairs done previously.

“This fest gives examples of how fun these concepts can be, and the stuff they learn in the classroom inspires the projects,” she said.

Participation is voluntary, but about 80 percent of high-school students signed up, Bendersky said.

Jessie Jones-Canter, math teacher, said hands-on projects help students grasp STEM concepts, and “it has to be fun, or they won’t do it.”

Students stood on chairs to work on their paper roller coasters towering above them. A marble would be dropped from a funnel on top, and whichever structure was able to stay stable and keep the marble traveling the longest won.

“We are thinking of how much momentum it will take to go from the higher bars to the low bars,” said sophomore Cassie Herberger. “It’s very fun.”

Max Korenyi-Both, junior, said he and his friends look forward to the festival every year.

“There are a lot of activities. It’s fun to compete against other minds and work as a team with your friends,” he said.

Dan Scarmack, the woods technology teacher, was in charge of the carbon dioxide car race. The competition is for advanced wood technology students. The cars must weigh between 80 and 90 grams and are powered by a carbon dioxide cartridge.

“It’s really awesome to have the chance to show students the process of how the car is built, how it gets running and figure out the mathematics and engineering side of it, from start to finish,” he said.

General Motors has employees come to the fest every year to help students with their projects.

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