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HESPERIA, Michigan -- Natural disasters were the themed backdrop for the 70 students from 10 schools taking part in the sixth annual S.T.E.A.M. Challenge regional academic exhibition on Saturday, January 26.

Airplanes, rockets, engineering, the environment, nature, shelter and art were part of the mix, with more than 100 people in attendance at Hesperia Middle School and Hesperia High School. The first- through eighth-graders participating were from the out-of-school time programs Engage! in Hesperia;  REACH in White Cloud; and Project FOCUS  in Hart, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights and Walkerville.

The students are from Hart Middle and Spitler Elementary schools in Hart; Hesperia Middle and Patricia St. Clair Elementary schools in Hesperia; Three Oaks Public School Academy in Muskegon; Edgewood Elementary and Dr. Martin Luther King academies in Muskegon Heights; Walkerville Elementary School in Walkerville; and White Cloud Elementary and White Cloud Junior/Senior High schools in White Cloud. The schools and programs are located in Newaygo, Oceana and Muskegon counties

S.T.E.A.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. REACH is an acronym for Respect, Excellence, Academics, Community and Health. FOCUS is an acronym for For Our Children’s Ultimate Success.  

The out-of-school time programs are provided as a community service by TrueNorth Community Services. 

Hesperia’s Engage! and White Cloud’s REACH programs are funded through grants from Fremont Area Community Foundation. In Hart, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights and Walkerville, Project FOCUS is funded by federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants awarded through the Michigan Department of Education.

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