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Science Rocks @ APS

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education is a vital part of APS learning. Two recent highlights:

  • APS middle and high school students participated in the Northern Virginia Regional Science Fair. We had 10 first-place winners at both the high school and middle school levels, who will go on to compete at the state level, as well as 3 Grand Prize winners.
    See the full list of APS winners and their projects
  • As part of Kenmore’s Arts and Communications Technology Focus program, students at Kenmore have the opportunity to earn a STEAM Certificate. Students are eligible to begin earning the certificate at the beginning of their 7th grade year. To earn the certificate, students must take the STEAM Foundations class in 6th or 7th grade, participate in science fair in both 7th and 8th grade years and do 8 hours’ worth of activities in three different pillar areas during their 7th and 8th grader years. The pillar areas include the Arts, Project Based Learning and Real-World Applications. Activities must take place outside of their normal school day coursework. Additionally, students must pass their math and science SOLs. The program is designed to encourage students to get involved with STEAM related activities at the school as well as the community and to recognize the students who go above and beyond in their academic and extra curricula activities.“As a result of this program, I have seen students pushing themselves to do and try things that they normally would not do. This year I had two students take the ACT 2 Media Journalism class because they needed hours for their arts pillar. It turned out that they loved the class and wanted to take it both semesters” shared Shauna Dyer, Kenmore Focus Coordinator who mentors students through the certificate program.

STEM Speaker presents to class

Students working with computer programming cars

The program continues to grow. This year there is a record number of 34 8th grade students who are on track to earn their certificate in June and 49 7th graders who are currently working to meet the 7th requirements.

Every year the school hosts a STEAM Speaker series for the STEAM Certificate students. During this program, people who work in a STEAM-related careers speak to STEAM certificate students about their profession and the educational path they took to get to their job. The purpose of the program is to make students aware of the variety of STEAM related careers and to show students that there are many different paths that can be taken to get to a profession in STEAM. This year students heard from a Neuroscientist who earned a degree in English and Child Development, was a sailing coach, traveling around the world before deciding to go back to school to be a neuroscientist.

One of the extra curricular activities STEAM students can participate in to earn hours for their certificate is the Edu-Futuro Robotics club. Four Kenmore students attended the annual regional Edu-Futuro robotics competition held on Saturday, February 24 at Robinson High School in Fairfax, VA. During the competition students were challenged to program VEX IQ robots to navigate mazes. Competing against other schools from Arlington and Fairfax, the team of Kenmore students which included Keshav Maripuri, Cameron Lieberman, Conor Burke and Nathaniel Shikher took first place. Edu Futuro partners with Kenmore to provide an after school robotics club for middle school students that meets for 2 quarters after school one day a week.

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