2017 - Supporting Local Students in STEAM

Every year the Chapter supports local students and promotes the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM).  There is a thrust to change this term to include the Arts and may often be referred to as Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM). The Anne Arundel County Public School (AACPS) Science Fair and the Baltimore Science Fair, both geared toward Middle and High School students are standing events the Chapter supports and offers momentary awards for students based on a defined selection criteria.   The Chapter supported both science Fairs in March along with the STEAM workshop for middle school students in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park, Virginia.  

2017-03-04: AACPS Science and Engineering Fair

Contributed By: Don Gantzer

For the fifth year, we had a team of volunteers judging this year’s Anne Arundel County [Maryland] Public Schools (AACPS) Science and Engineering (S&E) Fair on March 4th at North County HS.  Our volunteers were Christie Best, Clinton Hilliard, John Lewis, Asia Morgan, CSEP, Thomas Platt, and I. Thanks also to Chapter Board support – Mike Pafford, Craig Tyler, ESEP, Tony Gigioli, CSEP, and Ellie Gianni, ESEP.

There were over 325 projects from 8th through 12th grades. Our selection of projects to evaluate was narrowed down to ~15.   Categories that we focused on were Computer Science, Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering, and Electrical and Mechanical, Energy & Transportation, Environmental Management, Mathematical Sciences, and Physics & Astronomy.  We also focused on projects presented by Grades 9+.  It has been our experience that even down selecting to a smaller number; it remains a challenge due to the limited time.  

To perform our evaluation, we essentially used the criteria for Engineering as provided to the students by the school system and included:

  • Research Problem – 10%,

  • Design & Methodology – 15%

  • Execution [Construction & Testing] – 20%

  • Creativity – 20%,

  • Poster – 10%

  • Interview – 25%

As usual we were impressed with what many of the students accomplished. All Award Winners received an INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter Certificate, Medal, and the Top 3 received Award Checks.

The winners were awarded first, second and third place checks and included:

  • 1st Place:  Andrew Karam, “AnTech 2.0 Quadcopter, an Autonomous Object”, $150

  • 2nd Place: Ava Lusby, “Understanding Acoustic Landmine Detection”, $125

  • 3rd Place: Alayna D’Avino, “Wi-Fi Cannon – Building a Super Range Extender”, $100.

  • Honorable Mention, Christian Hardy, “Cleaning Oil Using Magnetic Nanoparticles”

  • Honorable Mention, David Kravets, “Engineering a Novel Material”

At the Awards Ceremony on March 9th, our selected award winners also received awards from other organizations.

 Other Systems Engineering related organizations judging were: American Defense Spectrum Organization, Harris Corporation, Anne Arundel Community College, Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association, Defense Spectrum Organization, Rockwell Collins Information Management Services, Naval Science, AIAA – Mid-Atlantic, Intel, NASA, Society of Woman Engineers, and Yale Science & Engineering Associates. 

Don Gantzer (left) With 2017 AACPS S&E Fair Awardees

Don Gantzer (left) With 2017 AACPS S&E Fair Awardees

2017 Virginia STEM/STEAM Event

Contributed By: Mike Pafford and Michelle Douglass-Butler, CSEP

In its 27th year, the SUCCESS Conference is an annual event held each Spring where students in grades 5-12 who live in and/or attend Public Schools in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park, Virginia, are treated to a day of workshops with professionals working in the Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM) related career fields.

The goals of the 2017 “SUCCESS! Conference” were:

  • To increase students' awareness of the importance of and interest in the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics, plus the Arts-which enhance STEM;

  • To provide students with opportunities to meet women working in both traditional and non-traditional STEAM career fields;

  • To nurture an awareness of the many career opportunities which involve Mathematics, Science, Engineering, the Arts, and Technology;

  • To provide students with an awareness of women's important roles in history- locally, nationally, and globally;

  • To provide parents, educators, and community leaders with an awareness of the importance of the above goals; and,

  • To offer support and strategies to adults to assist in empowering their children’s and students’ aspirations and goals.

The Chapter supported this important STEAM event in two ways:

  • Being an Event “Corporate Sponsor” with a $200 donation, and

  • Being selected to make a presentation at the Event

2017 SUCCESS Conference.png

During the half-day event, the Michelle and Mike each facilitated a series of systems engineering “Systems Thinking Roundtable” sessions. Mike led two 45-minute sessions for Adults (Parents & Educators), while Michelle led three 30-minute sessions for Students. Both sets of Roundtable sessions were conducted using scripted “Systems Thinking Roundtable Guides” developed by Dr. James Martin and Dr. Susan Gabriele as part of their collaborative research and work for the INCOSE Systems Science Working Group. Michelle and Mike held several INCOSE WebEx meetings with Dr. Gabriele, who advised them on how to tailor the Guides for this specific STEAM event.

All five of the sessions were well-attended, with many participants saying how much it helped them better understand systems engineering roles. The plan is to make these Adult and Student “Systems Thinking Roundtable Guides” available to other INCOSE members to offer at future STEM/STEAM related events.

2017 Baltimore Science Fair

Contributed By: Charlie Welch and George Anderson, ESEP

We had a wonderful time at the Baltimore Science Fair held at Towson University on March 25th. We judged many presentations and projects, then selected some for awards and certificates. All the judges had a great time working together. Thanks very much to everyone for their time. We’re all looking forward to getting back together next year. Lesson Learned: The more volunteer judges on the team, the better we’ll be able to do a good job of interviewing the many high school and middle school projects. This year It took the Chapter judging team almost the entire seven hours to interview and judge just the high school projects. We did not have time to interview nearly as many of the middle school projects as we would have liked. More volunteer judges next year will allow for maybe two teams of three judges to cover each division.

The Chapter gave out several awards:

  • 1st Place: $150 to Amy Zhang for her presentation on, “Self-Folding Motile Encapsulating Microdevices For Use in Single-Cell Analysis”.

  • 2nd Place: $125 to Sabahat Fatim, “Catching the Sun with Transparent Solar Cells”

  • 3rd Place: $100 to Robert Blanchard, “Effects of Geometrical Constraints on the Mechanical Properties of Engineered Microtissues”

Honorable Mention:

  • Regina Hong, “An Active-control Mechanical Architecture for Blended Wing Body Aircraft”.

  • Alida Schott, “Deciphering the Sedimentary Record of Galle Crater, Mars”.

  • Danny Hemani, “Don’t Waste the Medical Waste: Reducing Improperly Classified Hazardous Waste in a Medical Facility”.

  • Sashita Subburaj, “The Effect of Different Materials and Designs of a Thermal Protective System on the Time That the Screw Stays Attached to the Dowel Rod”.

  • Jayshree Srinivasan and Rishika Kokatam, joint project.

  • Bryan Nichols, “The Color Nullifier”.

Chesapeake Chapter 2017 Baltimore Science Fair Judges (left to right) Chuck Struchen, Charlie Welch, Clinton Hilliard, George Anderson, ESEP, Judge not pictured: Tom Platt

Chesapeake Chapter 2017 Baltimore Science Fair Judges (left to right) Chuck Struchen, Charlie Welch, Clinton Hilliard, George Anderson, ESEP, Judge not pictured: Tom Platt

The Chapter is proud to support our local students, and we look forward to supporting future STEM/STEAM related activities. We courage your ideas and your support.