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Carnival-themed projects were the foundation for the seventh annual STEAM Challenge regional academic exhibition, with more than 350 students from 14 schools taking part on Saturday, January 25.

Marble roller coasters, ferris wheels, an open art display, fabric banners and a sweet-and-savory carnival foods mystery challenge were part of the event at the Hesperia Middle School gymnasium and Hesperia High School Commons.  The four-hour event also included 20 carnival games along with face painting, a cake walk, snow cones, cotton candy and popcorn for participants.

The first- through eighth-graders involved were from the out-of-school time programs Engage! in Hesperia;  REACH in White Cloud; and Project FOCUS  in Baldwin, Hart, Holton, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights and Walkerville. All the programs are provided as a TrueNorth community service.

The students are from Baldwin Elementary and Baldwin Junior High schools in Baldwin; Hart Middle and Spitler Elementary schools in Hart; Hesperia Middle and Patricia St. Clair Elementary schools in Hesperia; Holton Elementary and Holton Middle schools in Holton; 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 Lake, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana counties

STEAM 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.  

Hesperia’s Engage! and White Cloud’s REACH programs are funded through grants from Fremont Area Community Foundation. In Baldwin, Hart, Holton, 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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