Washington, March 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Solar panels, cryptography, and safety zippers were among the winning topics for projects at the 2019 DC STEM Fair held in Washington, D.C. over the weekend.

The DC STEM Fair provides an opportunity for District of Columbia public, public charter, parochial, private, and homeschool students in grades 6-12 to showcase their knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in a diverse array of projects. 

“The DC STEM Fair gives students across the District of Columbia the chance to demonstrate their knowledge and skill in science, technology, engineering and math and show their peers and the DC community what they are passionate about,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “Our students work incredibly hard to learn challenging concepts and ideas, and it’s exciting to see the creative ways in which they apply the knowledge and skills they’ve gained. I want to thank all the students who competed in the 2019 DC STEM Fair and all the parents, judges and volunteers who helped make the event a success. Congratulations to all the junior- and senior-level winners!”

Students from across all wards of the city demonstrated their knowledge and skill in a range of creative and rigorous projects that involve research and analysis, and engage students’ curiosity and passion. From engineering and coding projects that offer creative solutions to issues impacting students in their daily lives to projects that reminded us about the impact insects have on our local ecosystem, projects spanned over 20 categories. 

This year was as year of firsts, with over 10 new schools competing at this year’s event, including a team from River Terrace Education Campus, a DC Public Schools (DCPS) school serving students with severe physical or intellectual disabilities. Students participated with their project Flight Lessons, testing the flight patterns of kites made of different materials and Spinning Sculptures a project focused on force and motion. 

The First Place Grand Award Winners for the Junior Division was a team from Howard University Middle School of Math and Science. Their project Rx3 encouraged ways to reduce our impact on the environment through the use of robotics.

“This is one of my favorite events, it puts students in the driver seats of their own learning. They are the experts; with the adults as learners,” said Maya M. Garcia, director of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). “The DC STEM Fair demonstrates for students and adults alike that STEM skills are life skills, but more importantly it is an opportunity to listen to our youth about the issues they are passionate about finding solutions to. I am so very proud of all of our competitors this year, it was a phenomenal event!”

Winners of the Senior Grand Awards were:

  • First Place - Jadon Miller and Jamar Miller, students at Friendship PCS Technology Preparatory Academy High, for their project - Safety Zipper
  • Second Place - Abigail Greenhalgh, a student at Georgetown Visitation, for her project - Sensory Solar Panels
  • Third Place - Sofia Flynn, a student at Georgetown Visitation, for her project - Using C++ to Code the Baby-Step Giant-Step Decryption Algorithm for RSA and Elliptic Curve Cryptography

These students will represent the District of Columbia at the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, AZ, where they will compete among STEM peers from around the world for cash prizes and the opportunity to showcase their projects for an international audience.   

Winners of the Junior Grand Awards were:

  • First Place - Dionna Crisp Jones, Syiion Robinson, and Nia Turner, students at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science PCS, for their project - Rx3
  • Second Place - Gabriel Dowd, Noah Frick, and Lily Holt, students at Deal Middle School, for their project - DC Social Good
  • Third Place - Luc Jon Beck, a student at Sidwell Friends, for his project - The Inadvertent Discovery of Mystery Substance X and its Flame-Retardant Capabilities

More than 100 volunteers from local universities, STEM professional organizations, research groups, and STEM employers served as judges at the 2019 DC STEM Fair. This year’s fair also featured special awards from over 40 local and national organizations. 

“This was not only the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)’s first year presenting a special award but also its 125th anniversary, so serving as a judge made the 2019 DC STEM Fair a particularly exciting and memorable event,” said Mary Lord, deputy editor of ASEE’s Prism magazine, as she toured projects at University of the District of Columbia. “There were so many impressive projects with real-world impact that it was tough to select a winner. Congratulations to all the participants—our future engineers, scientists, and innovators—for their dazzling display of creativity and ingenuity.”

The Fair also included a STEM Expo where students, parents, and teachers participated in hands-on STEM activities. The STEM Fair also featured a professional development opportunity for about 100 District teachers, co-sponsored by the TGR Foundation.

The STEM Fair for elementary students will be held on June 1, 2019. Visit www.dcstemnetwork.org to learn more about how to get involved.

 

About the DC STEM Fair
The DC STEM Fair is presented by the DC STEM Network and OSSE. The Network’s mission is to unite community partners in a sustainable collective effort to design, guide and advocate for transformative STEM learning opportunities for all DC students.

Sponsors of this year’s Fair were DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), University of the District of Columbia College of Arts & Sciences, TGR Foundation, Battelle, Washington Nationals, Northrop Grumman, Broadcom Foundation, Subway, Octo Consulting, Dewberry, and Women’s High Tech Coalition.

Fred Lewis
DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
(202) 412-2167
fred.lewis@dc.gov