SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Nearly 100 fourth through eighth-grade students from schools in Lackawanna, Wayne, and Susquehanna County put their building skills to the test for the annual Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19’s Stem Design Challenge.
Putting stem skills to the test.
On Tuesday Johnson College hosted and sponsored the NEIU 19’s 2024 Stem Design Challenge.
the builds are made entirely of K’nex Construction toys.
“We built an agricultural robot, but it’s built out of K’nex pieces, and it has an arm and it rotates up and it’s supposed to move forward and help farmers,” said Sadie Booths a Western Wayne student.
This year’s theme is agriculture.
Working in teams, students had two hours to put their heads together to create prototypes of equipment designed to help farmers with their jobs.
“So it’s called the poop-en-a-tor. It cleans up chicken poop and turns it into fertilizer and it helps farmers because farmers spend a lot of money on fertilizers and they also spend a lot of time cleaning up chicken poop,” says Sadie Malamud a Lackawanna Trail student.
“So we built a solar-powered tractor with a solar-powered sprayer, and the sprayer is for irrigation,” added Cody Maros a Western Wayne student.
Students from King’s College and Johnson College help judge the projects.
The builds are judged based on creativity, attention to detail, and theme. Organizers say STEM and events like these teach kids valuable problem-solving skills.
“It also helps students that sometimes struggle in the traditional route to the kind of really showcase their talents which may not be necessarily just on facts and components like that, but it really gives them a different mindset and almost like a creative mindset also,” explained Stephanie Williams MIS coordinator in NEIU 19′
Teams from the Wayne Highlands school district took first prize in both divisions of elementary and middle school.
Those teams will go on to compete at the state competition in Harrisburg in May.