Alexis Fleegel and Veronica Diercks took first for creating a speaker system for smart phones that does not require batteries. Tahtankka Damm and Logan Searles took second for making a sliding and folding truck bed accessory to help people retrieve hard-to-reach items safely and quickly.
The first-place team receives a $4,000 scholarship and the second-place team receives a $1,000 scholarship; both receive funding for new product development assessment by the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center
Their teacher is Tracy Swedlund.
Project Lead the Way Engineering says it “empowers students to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers.”
BURLINGTON — A team from Wheatland Center School earned a second place finish in a national STEAM design challenge, according to a story in West of the i.
Students from Wheatland’s personalized learning academy, PATHS, participated in the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge, which asks middle and high school students to design solutions to the climate crisis.
Team members receiving recognition were Jaini Beck, Mason Biehn, Safyire Guthrie, Gavin Heriford, and Ronan Bacle. Students were awarded $750 to be spent on future school projects.
The students created “Reef Guard,” which protects coral reefs from UV radiation and rising ocean temperatures. They created a floating underwater shade structure inspired by giant lily pads and the UV-reflecting properties of spiders’ webs.
Judges said praised the team’s choice of topic and approach.
“I actually learned how the bleaching process works from their research and had not realized the algae connection. Their research is commendable, and the engineering they applied and the testing they did was very impressive.” said judge Scott Randall.
THREE LAKES — Though the Three Lakes School District’s fab lab has had to pause its hands-on STEAM education during the pandemic, it continues helping its local community.
The fab lab (short for fabrication laboratory) has created 95 face shields for the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, 12 for a local grocery store and 10 for another local business, fab lab director Nate Koch says. Face shields are believed to be an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as detailed in this April article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
It’s far from the first time the fab lab has helped its local community. Other projects have included the design and creation of magazine holders for the local library and models for the local railroad club.
WILLIAMS BAY — The Williams Bay History Club has been designated as one of the top 10 in the nation by the National History Club, according to a story in the Lake Geneva Regional News.
Robert Nasson, president of the National History Club, said the Williams Bay chapter was chosen because of its outstanding community involvement in activities such as maintaining Frost Park, hosting fundraisers, coordinating field trips and participating in the annual History Bowl competition.
“Williams Bay’s club is very active in the community,” Nasson said. “They’re just consistently spectacular in what they do.”
Williams Bay History Club adviser Deb Soplanda said she was proud the club was chosen out of hundreds of chapters t
ughout the nation, and she was glad that students’ work was being recognized.
“It’s great for the kids to see what they do and how they do it really does make a difference, and is noticed on a national level,” she said.
HAYWARD — A Hayward High School student has become the first to enroll in a dual enrollment technical diploma program offered by Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) and the Hayward Community Schools, according to a story in the Sawyer County Record.
Austin Conner, a senior, is earning both college and high school credit.
“Soon, students at HHS will be making their course selections for next year. Hopefully they will take advantage of the savings of earning college credit for free while in high school,” instructor Julie Thompson told the newspaper.
ALTOONA — Altoona football players are reading to third graders, who, as a reward for reading, will be able to toss a pie in a player’s face, WEAU 13 News reported.
“At that point we’re promoting reading and making reading a cool thing for kids to do because to get good at reading you have to practice,” Altoona Head Football Coach Chad Hanson told the TV station. “Each kid who reads 400 minutes will then get their name put in a hat, and then we draw one name and that name will get to throw a pie at the football player that their class adopted.”
The program teaches these children both content and the English language to prepare them for high school.
“Education is a lifeline for these people,” Kalyani Rai, an associate professor of urban community development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who works on refugee issues, told the newspaper. “They’ve lost everything. And now the education of the children is everything.”