Tomorrow is our sixth annual STEM Day Competition! [I’m sure you all know by now that STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math.]

As such, we stayed in the building today until 8:15pm. A lot of time, work, effort, and money goes every year into our annual STEM Competition. We’ve been working toward this for weeks now. I do definitely believe it is worth it, as it is one of the most memorable events of the students’ year. Each year when we come back in August, one of the students’ first questions is “When is the STEM Competition this year?”. Moreover, it is an event focused around academics, application of students’ learning in their S,T,E, & M courses, and being able to think creatively in a team setting.

We actually have six alumni of our program coming back tomorrow to help run the day and help judge some of the events (in addition to our usual industry judges and teachers who give a half hour out of their planning period to help judge). One of the six is making the trek (with help from some of the others, who are local) all the way from a college campus three hours away!

Four of those six alumni were actually at our school yesterday and helped sort out kits for each event, which is usually one of those last-minute things we are doing the night before. So that was great — with their help we were able to get that sorted and spend today on other plans! Here is a sample of what we did this year on STEM Eve, with the help of our MESA students and two other teachers:

  • Have students help carry & set up tables for each event
  • Have students help cut up materials, as well as make nametags & certificates
  • Run through the roster to check all our teams, the spelling of names, and whether they had gotten their STEM registration forms signed
  • Check each event materials, fill in a few missing supplies, & load them onto a cart
  • Form an assembly line to fill material kits for one event that our alumni helpers didn’t get to finish yesterday
  • Make a checklist of other equipment needed for each event
  • Send emails to provide additional info to industry partners who are coming to judge
  • Make reminder calls to our food suppliers about tomorrow’s orders
  • Run through each event to solidify it in our minds — tomorrow Ms. Ball and I need to run the show, knowing all details and being able to give directions about any event as well as how the day will run
  • Make copies of the events, other relevant information, and the schedules
  • Walk through the STEM Area to create a mental map of where each event will be & to hang up event signs

I’m excited & can’t wait for tomorrow!

Have a good night all,

Nick Yates


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Filed under engineering, math, teaching

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