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Junior School Students Excel at STEM Challenge

Posted on: March 29, 2019
Thermo Fisher STEM Challenge

The 2019 Southwest Ohio Thermo Fisher Scientific STEM Design Challenge was held at the Activity Center on Friday, February 22nd. For the second consecutive year, Harrison Junior School had four teams out of 28 total competing in the challenge. In addition to the teams from Harrison, there were teams presenting from Cincinnati Christian, Edgewood Middle School, Middletown Middle School, Royalmont Academy, St. Ann Catholic School, Talawanda Middle School, Three Rivers Middle School, and Wilson Middle School in Hamilton.

The teams were challenged to make the world healthier by treating cancer. After researching various types of cancer, the teams were then given about three weeks to design and build a model of a nano-machine that can capture and treat a type of cancer cell or tumor of their choice. They were provided with specialized K’Nex kits to build their prototypes. The four teams from Harrison met after school during the three-week period to prepare for the challenge.

At the competition, the students gave a 2-3 minute presentation to engineers from Thermo-Fisher Scientific who served as judges. They discussed their understanding of the specific type of cancer they chose to research, and they demonstrated how their nano-machine prototype interacts with cells. The students were scored by the judges on their design, project narrative, blueprint, teamwork, creativity, and presentation.

A total of ten awards were handed out to the 28 teams participating, and three of those went to teams from Harrison Junior School. Two teams received Honorable Mention awards. One of those teams was made up by 8th graders Lauran Holland, Cheyenne Green, Jocelyn Hopkins, and Hailey Roudebush. The other team consisted of 6th graders Devin Fliter, Xavier Cottingham, Gaven Johnson, and Ian West. Receiving trophies this year for one of the four top honors was the 7th grade group of Anthony Pangallo, Sam Markarian, and Ryan Mirizzi for their use of the engineering design process.