Ingenious ODA Students Enter STEM Fair Competition

Eight teams from the Lower School vie for gold in the 2023 Sarasota County STEM Fair. Click for photos.
This year, eight ODA teams of fourth and fifth graders entered projects in the Experimental and Engineering categories. Experimental projects included the study of salt water and mushrooms, flower pigmentation, soda variations and mentos, thunderstorms, soccer ball air pressure, and magnetic slime. Engineering projects included a hat with a solar fan designed to minimize battery usage and a dog feeder designed to control the time and amount of food and water released throughout the day. 

During the first semester, the teams worked on their STEM Fair projects independently and attended school workshops to guide them through each step of the process. Dr. Rose, Mr. Sheridan, Mrs. Miller, and Mrs. Cheney hosted many of the workshops, offering their experience and insight where needed. In addition, many other Lower School teachers volunteered their time on workshop days to support students along the way. 

Each group started by writing a testable question or a problem statement. After conducting research, students designed their prototypes and carried out their experiments. Once data was collected and analyzed, students wrote conclusions and considered real world applications. 

If chosen by the county for the final round of judging, teams will be invited to Robarts Arena on Thursday, February 23, where they will be interviewed by a panel of judges. County winners will be chosen from those finalists and a celebration of student accomplishments will be held that evening at Robarts Arena. 

We congratulate this special group of inquiring minds: Pearle Carey ’30, Jinob Cruz ’30, Jonas Schechter ’30, Damla Sargut ’30, Ava Donaghy ’30, Delaney Hermann ’30, Gabriel Arsenault ’31, Vihaan Lakhani ’31, Kenzie Randall ’31, Devyn McGrew ’31, Seeley Luke ’31, Hudson Turek ’31, and Raahi Babaria ’31.These ODA RISERS each began with an idea, completed the steps of the scientific method or engineering design process, and presented their findings through a video and display board. You are invited to stop by the Thunder Hut on Wednesday, January 25, from 7:45-8:30 am to see their display boards. Projects will be on display for the remainder of the day in the cafeteria where classes will be able to stop by and admire the final products.

The Out-of-Door Academy

LOWER SCHOOL |  Historic Siesta Key Campus  |  Pre-K – Grade 5
444 Reid Street, Sarasota, FL 34242  |  941-349-3223  |  Fax: 941-349-8133

  |  Uihlein Campus in Lakewood Ranch  |  Grades 6 – 8 |  Grades 9 – 12
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