Students at Ephrata Middle School formed a team to participate in the annual IU13 STEM Student Competition and recently found out they received first prize in the grade 7-9 category.
The winning team of seventh-graders Tegan Grim, Gavin Haupt, Parker Loose, Montgomery Sensenig, and Lance Wilson proposed an idea to make the pedestrian crossing safer at the Route 272 and Academy Drive/Old Mill Road intersection. They recognized how frequently students walk across the busy intersection, and suggested an overpass be created that would make it easier to walk from the campuses of the middle school and high school.
The students’ proposed solution was in response to the specific challenge of the competition – to identify and improve an area of their community. The solution was to directly address an issue associated with community infrastructure and challenged students to think beyond “something as simple as adding an additional lane for traffic or faster internet.”
The students researched data, created a cardboard prototype of the overpass, and produced a video explaining their rationale and specifics of their proposed project. All items were reviewed by a panel of IU13 judges before being selected as the winner.
Each winning student received a gift card valued at $100 and a certificate of recognition.
The STEM Student Competition is organized by STEM Solutions at Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13. The contest, for students in grades 4-9 from schools that are members of the IU13 STEM Consortium, aims to increase STEM-related educational opportunities for students within the region. In addition, the IU13 STEM Consortium intends to raise awareness of the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through this consortium activity.