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"Tech Eddie" Chosen as Top STEAM Cart Design

There has been a national shift toward focusing on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education in grades K-12 for several years. Hampton has created Fabrication labs that have been used building-wide at the Middle School and High School. Previous grants from the Hampton Alliance for Educational Excellence (HAEE) and the Grable Foundation provided funding for these spaces.

HTSD received another $20,000 grant this summer, coordinated by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Center for Creativity. Funding for the grant was provided by Chevron, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Grable Foundation. The District earmarked the funding for the expansion of STEAM opportunities in the elementary schools in the form of portable STEAM carts. The carts will contain resources such as Bee-bots, Makey Makeys, littleBits, Hummingbirds and Chromebooks.

Elementary students will not be the only ones enriched by the addition of the portable STEAM carts. Students at the Middle School and High School will have a hand in the design and production phases of the new carts. Under the guidance of the technology department staff, Middle School students in the Technology Rotation course have been working on designs for the carts for the last six weeks under the direction of HMS Technology teacher Mr. Glenn Geary. Students were assigned to four different teams in a project-based design competition. Each team was responsible for creating a company name, a logo and a design for their STEAM cart. They also had to come up with a name for their product.

The four teams consisted of:

  • Lightning, Inc.
  • Sky High Engineering
  • North Star Engineering
  • Spark Engineering

Today, the four teams of students presented their designs to a panel of judges.  The judges were: Dr. Jacquelyn Removcik, District Curriculum Director; Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, Assistant Superintendent; Ms. Gwen Cohen, HMS Enrichment Facilitator; Ms. Elizabeth Farrell, Poff Elementary Enrichment Facilitator/Art teacher; Mrs. Joanne Greer, Wyland Elementary Enrichment Facilitator; Mrs. Laurie Tocci, Wyland Principal; Mr. Hartley Kennedy, HMS Computer teacher; Mrs. Marlynn Lux, HMS Acting Principal; Dr. Roberta Good, HMS Acting Assistant Principal; Mr. Edward McKaveney, District Technology Director; Mrs. Erin Prosser, Poff Elementary School Library/Media Specialist; Mr. Josh Lucas, WorkHard Pittsburgh; Mr. Mike Capsembelis, Google; Mr. E.J. Prosser, Modany-Falcone; and Mr. Joe Tavella, Massaro Corp.

The teams were required to introduce themselves and provide a brief overview of their product and how they determined its design. Judges had the opportunity to ask questions following the presentation.

Judges then discussed each of the presentations in detail, including the strengths of each of the designs. A majority vote awarded the winning design to Spark Engineering and its product, named the “Tech Eddie.” The product includes drawers for items, and will be covered in a special paint that allows the exterior surfaces to be written on with chalk like a regular chalkboard.

“I was flabbergasted by the amount of work and time you put into this,” Mr. Geary told his students after the winner was announced.

Dr. Removcik added that the winning product really “hit the nail on the head with the K-5 design.”

The winning design will now be turned over to the High School engineering students, who will be responsible for the production phase. The production will start immediately, with an estimated completion date of mid-January. Dr. Removcik said the goal is to have the completed carts – one for each elementary school – in the buildings and ready for use in the classroom by February. 

Posted by berg in Middle School, STEAM on Thursday October, 13, 2016 at 03:31PM

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