The Solanco High School STEM team has finished as the first runner up in the Pennsylvania state-wide STEM competition (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Team members are seniors Jenna Brown and Andrew Craig, junior Owen Brazelton, and sophomores Paige Althoff and Jacob Trimble. Their presentation was PULSE: Passive Underwater Low-Impact Sediment Extractor. Each student on the STEM team will receive a $1,000 scholarship to the school of their choice.
“Pennsylvania is a leader in STEM education and this competition demonstrates how students are using the skills they have learned in their classrooms to create real-life solutions to everyday problems,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “This competition inspires students and every year we see teams who have accepted the challenge and shown us the remarkable work happening in our schools.”
The Governor’s STEM Competition challenges student teams from across the state to research, design, and present a device or project that can make the quality of life better for Pennsylvanians by accomplishing a series of practical tasks that can fulfill real-world needs. This year’s theme was Improving Pennsylvania Through STEM.
“We must continue to grow and support our population of skilled workers to keep up with the increasing economic demand,” Governor Wolf added. “Career-centered programs and initiatives for our students, such as this competition, will help us accomplish this goal and cultivate the next generation of leaders in STEM and computer science fields.
During the school year, teams of students designed and built solutions to real-world problems. Teams were required to work with a member of their local community, a business, or an educational entity to help create an authentic experience while also providing opportunities to learn more about careers in STEM.
This year, all 56 participating teams moved directly to the state level of the Governor’s STEM Competition, bypassing regional competitions. This is a different process than prior years and was implemented to help maximize participation and support each team. Teams were split into two divisions: Division 1, which included teams who have competed in the state competition in the last five years; Division 2, which included teams who have not competed in the state competition in the last five years. Solanco’s team was in Division 1.