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Local Science Competition Tests Elementary Students' Creativity

Students from 17 Leon County schools took part in the second annual STEM Bowl on Friday. The competition put teams of third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders through three events focusing on skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.

In the first phase, teams took a test.  The top four finishers went on to compete in a Brain Bowl.

Second, teams were given an engineering task.  It had students constructing small air-powered vehicles from ordinary objects like cardboard, tape, and balloons.  Some of the designs worked well, and some didn’t, but event organizer Anicia Robinson said the STEM Bowl is about more than just winning.

“We’re hoping that they’ve learned to apply some of those skills they’ve learned all school year – and not necessarily just the academic part – but learning to get along with each other, learning to collaborate, learning to share what they know, and bringing their special little expertise to the table,” Robinson said.

Demand for employees in STEM fields increasing. Event organizer Andrea Goddard said,

“My hope is they get excited about science and math and decide that’s a career path they might want to take.”

The STEM Bowl is just one way the district is promoting science, technology, engineering and math.  Some schools have STEM clubs, and prepare for the competition year-round.