Students participate in annual event

Every year, students in our Out-of-School Time Programs take part in the S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) Challenge, participating in a series of fun and educational activities.

Students in our REACH program at White Cloud and Engage! program at Hesperia held their S.T.E.A.M. Challenge on Saturday, March 5th at White Cloud Junior Senior High School, which had approximately 80 people in attendance including students, staff and parents. Their theme was “Our Planet Our Future.” Students had three options to choose from; Art, which had to be a 3-dimensional project made out of recyclable materials. The Art piece had to have an environmental message depicting the artists’ ideas; The Main Project was to create something that would help the environment. Students could choose to improve upon an invention that is currently helping the environment or design something new; The Day of Challenge, which was to design a way to protect sea turtle eggs and once hatched, protect them on their journey to the water.

“Site Coordinators designed a whole month around the S.T.E.A.M. Challenge where they could work out what they were designing. Classrooms were filled with recyclable materials with signs telling the janitorial staff not to throw it away!” – Mandi Krbez, Site Manager at White Cloud Jr. High and Event Organizer.

125 Students from all ten of our Project FOCUS sites (in Baldwin, Hart, Holton, Muskegon Heights, Three Oaks and Walkerville) along with staff and a handful of parent visitors attended the Challenge on Saturday, April 23rd at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Muskegon Heights. The theme of their Challenge was “Out of This World.” Challenges included – 3D Solar Systems created by students; Moon Rover, where students were provided a base (small remote control car) to build a moon rover that would be able to deliver supplies from one space station to another. The moon rover needed to be able to hold the supplies in its designated container without losing them while navigating the moon terrain; Alien Art Form, themed art projects, which was open to students’ interpretation of what an alien or other space life would look like; Team Challenge, which saw groups of five students compete in a mystery competition the day of the event. This year, it was building a space suit to survive on another planet out of a collection of random materials.

“This was our 7th annual STEAM Challenge event, and I believe was the best turnout from students and parents that we have had. After having to cancel last year’s in-person STEAM Challenge, I was happy to see the kids work so hard on all of the projects for this year’s competition. This event truly is one that our students look forward to every year.” – Sam Bolles, Site Coordinator at Walkerville and Event Organizer.