At the start of the 2018-2019 school year, students in 3rd-5th grade applied and were selected to be part of the ODA STEM Fair team. From this group, students decided whether they wanted to complete an engineering project or an experimental project, and were grouped according to interest. Students worked through the engineering design process or scientific method, defining the problem, asking questions, researching, experimenting and prototyping, analyzing the results, and finally presenting their findings.
Students worked before school, after school, at home, and during class on their STEM Fair projects. They followed the guidelines given by the county and used an electronic log book to keep track of each step of the process. Students were able to decide on a project based on their own interests and the needs of the community. They considered problems, brainstormed solutions, and then designed their projects.
More than two dozen public, private, and independent schools participated in this year’s fair. More than 400 area students traveled to Robarts Arena to display 365 STEM projects to be judged in five categories; Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics and Technology, and Engineering. Out-of-Door Lower School submitted 12 projects for judging. Students created a display board detailing their project and then prepared for interviews by community judges. They demonstrated their RISER manners and behavior, answered questions about their project, and discussed the real life applications for their prototypes.
ODA is pleased to announce that two projects received awards. Starlla Jackson ’28, Sophia Paterson ’26, and Quincy Van Hoesen ’26 received 2nd Place in the 3rd Grade Engineering category for their project “The Scented Bean Bag Chair.” The Student Choice Award was won by Abby DiPinto ’28 and Alana Kaplan ’28 for their submission “Happy Headbands.”