Students excel at STEM competition

Students excel at STEM competition

The Golden Triangle Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (GT-TAME) Divisional STEM Competition was held on Saturday, Feb. 9, hosting 79 students from Beaumont, Groves, Hamshire-Fannett, Orange and Port Arthur at Lamar University for the meet.

At the competition, students participated in a timed math and science test, and ultimately competed in a hands-on engineering design challenge that simulates a real-world professional experience. The challenge required each team of students to develop creative solutions using limited materials in just one hour. Volunteers from Motiva, ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, the U.S. Coast Guard, local school districts and Lamar University College of Engineering assisted as test proctors, judges and with other event needs.

GT-TAME Divisional STEM Competition winners represented the following schools: Harmony Science Academy, Bob Hope School, Lincoln Middle School and Lamar University GT-TAME Club. The winning Engineering Design Challenge team was Rhonaline Appu and Zaid Mohammad from Harmony Science Academy, Travionna Bailey and Ivionna Clark from Tekoa Academy of Accelerated Studies, Andy Simpson from Memorial 9th Grade Academy, Jacqeline Guiterrez from Beaumont United High School and Torri Culpepper from the Lamar University GT- TAME Club.

STEM competitions are an important part of TAME’s multi-pronged, age-appropriate approach to engaging student interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering and math. Through the development of a peer and mentor network, the competitions also provide a unique opportunity for students, many from rural and/or economically disadvantaged areas, to visit a college campus and to interact with STEM role models.

“This year we added a Parents’ Workshop that explored topics such as how to apply to college, funding college education and alternatives to a 4-year degree,” said Annie Carter, GT-TAME Chair and longtime volunteer. “The participants’ parents had the opportunity to learn and ask questions about college applications from subject matter experts.”

TAME is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that helps prepare Texas students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math by providing K-12 students, parents and teachers with STEM-related programs and resources. Working statewide, TAME promotes diversity in STEM careers through the focused recruitment of women and minorities underrepresented in STEM fields. While TAME programs specifically target underrepresented minorities and females, all Texas students are encouraged to participate.