University of Southern Indiana

USI provides unique challenge for high school students in 2018 STEM Challenge

STEM Challenge groupCreated through the I-69 Innovation Corridor Brainpower Initiative, Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce and Oakland City University, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Challenge is an annual event for high school students to solve real world STEM problems. Hosted at Oakland City University, the STEM Challenge partners with approximately 15 industry and educational organizations who provide unique challenges for high school teams.

On Friday, April 6, 32 teams had a half hour to complete each challenge, as each challenge partner picked the top three teams in their own challenge. Each successful challenge put teams in the running for first, second and third place. Teams in third place won $80, second place won $120 and first won $200. Money won by the teams can be used on activities and supplies for their student led clubs.

As the University of Southern Indiana has a STEM initiative to create a science and mathematical workforce, USI partnered with Manpower, a local staffing provider, to create a unique foam glider challenge.

Students were given a foam airplane, to color with their team color, two posts and elastic bands to launch their plane from and extra weights to add additional force variations to earn more points.

Group working with gliderThe goal was to obtain 100 points in the shortest amount of time by launching the team’s plane diagonally across the court toward the goal zone, where the plane must land in each target. Hoops were also set up across from the launching zone that let students soar their planes through the hoop to earn an additional 10 points. If planes soared through their competitors colored hoop, they reduced their competitor’s score by 5 points.

Winners for USI’s challenge included North High School in first place, SICTC High School in second and Harrison High School in third. Congratulations to all teams involved!


By Delaney Somers, USI Opportunity Development Communications Intern

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