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Thursday , 21 October 2021

E”steam”ed students prepare for NLPS science and tech challenge

Over 325 students from throughout Northern Lights Public Schools will gather at the Bold Centre in Lac La Biche on Thursday, for the school division’s STEAM Challenge.

Each school will select competitors from Grades 6-9 to compete in teams of five to solve three challenges using their Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math skills.

These challenges remain a secret until competition time.

“The whole point is it’s supposed to be a surprise. That’s part of the challenge that they have to think on their feet and come up with solutions,” said NLPS communicators director, Nicole Garner.

Students are given an assortment of materials to complete a task

Last year’s challenges included constructing an arm out of newspaper that could hold coins in a bucket, building a marble roller coaster, and constructing a paper airplane that could transport an egg without breaking it.

“Sometimes we throw in materials that are kind of like not really necessary for the challenge, but will make students think,” said Garner.

“I think one year we threw in plastic spoons and some of them use this or that.”

“Our students look forward to this event every year,” said Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk.

“It gives them an opportunity to apply what they are learning in their classrooms, have fun, and meet other students from across the division.”

Some bigger schools hold their own STEAM competitions as well.

The STEAM challenge evolved from their division science fair with the added element of teamwork.

“We are so grateful that our partners recognize the importance of offering an opportunity like this to our students,” said Hrynyk. “We appreciate their continued support and commitment to the STEAM Challenge.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.