Students build bridges at S.T.E.A.M. Challenge 

Every year, students in our Out-of-School Time Programs take part in the S.T.E.A.M. Challenge utilizing skills and knowledge they’ve learned regarding Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics. This year’s event took place on Saturday, March 11th, and approximately 150 students from our various sites took part.

Bringing students from four counties together, this event, themed “Building Bridges,” took place at Hesperia Community Schools. In addition to the day’s highlighted competitions, the students rotated through activities such as creating boats that float out of only aluminum; creating buildings using jellybeans and toothpicks as their foundations; and making inchworms out of construction paper and then propelling them in races using straws and their own lung power.

For the main challenge, students built bridges out of either popsicle sticks or balsa wood, depending on their grade level, and entered them into the challenge. Judged on structure, creativity, thought process, and integrity – the winners were those bridges that could hold the most weight! There were LEGO challenges, both 2D and 3D student-created art exhibits, and lots of other fun, hands-on activities. 

“Some students took the theme not only to mean bridges over water, but building bridges amongst students, communities, and friendships – which was really cool!”

– Danielle Siegel, Youth Programs Director 

“Our participants began brainstorming their bridge structures weeks in advance, and it was impressive to see their designs transition from paper designs to strong wooden bridges. The anticipation and excitement on our participants’ faces as the weights were added to the bridges was one of the highlights of the day, and I was extremely proud of the staff and students for their hard work and dedication,”

-Donna Grodus, Project FOCUS Director