LAKE TWP. Lake High School’s STEM team won first place in the 2018 Goodyear Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Career Day Competition at the University of Akron. This is the third year a team from the high school has competed. The first year the team placed third, the second year it placed second.
Teacher Frank Pilato for GenYes and STEM said the school receives $2,500 with first place. The money will be used to buy new robots for teacher Dave Wood’s STEM and computer science classes. The team also won a trip to the Goodyear headquarters.
Dave Wood was the team’s coach. Team members are in grades 10-12 and include Nathaniel Clevinger, Owen Coldsnow, Allison Cunningham, Nathaniel Green, Brett Hewitt, Jordan Hopkins, Noah Lamadanie, Bella Marshall, Nolan Mason, Thaddeus Ochs, Nick Paschke, Jaron Smith, Aidan Stalker, Tate Testa, Alex Tieche, Carson Wolfe, Alex Xuan and Trey Zeiger.
Senior Tate Testa was one of the 18 team members. He said the experience of winning first place was "super challenging but was 100 percent worth the hard work."
"The task this year was to create a Rube Goldberg machine to fly like a blimp and pick up a set of rubber tires about the size of pencil erasers," Testa said.
Aiden Stalker was the leader and Testa was second in charge. Testa said the machine was built in his garage and he and Stalker spent hours brain storming and buying the equipment. He said there were several things that helped them win first place this year.
"We received a $300 grant from the Zachary Doherty Memorial Scholarship Fund and the team used the grant to buy wood, paint and plywood. Other teams were using cardboard and tape where we had wood and screws, plus our machine was bigger than the others," Testa said.
The team also completed an entire series of tasks plus some additional tasks for extra points. The Lake team used a couple of robots programmed to pour water and kick a soccer ball among other tasks.
"Our team used a consistent sports theme throughout the competition which I think made us stand out more than some of the other things," Testa said.
GenYes Presents at Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OTEC)
Pilato said the GenYes students also had a unique learning experience this semester. Five students from the program presented information about the GenYes program at Lake during the OTEC in Columbus on Feb. 14. This was the first time the group presented at the event.
The conference is considered a premier P-20 state educational technology conference. The P-20 designation is an educational term describing time from preschool through the postsecondary level and starting a career, equaling approximately 20 years.
The event attracts more than 4,000 educational technology professionals and enthusiasts annually to explore the forefront of P-20 learning and innovation in Ohio.
It’s designed to cultivate partnerships, promote collaboration, deliver high-quality information and make technology accessible for educators. The conference is meant for P-20 teachers, curriculum and technology coordinators, administrators, higher education professors, and others interested in learning more about what’s happening in the world of technology today.
The GenYes students presented on "Moving 1:1" and the Career Tech GenYes programming offered at Lake High School.
"Presenting at the OTEC was something I had talked with our Assistant Superintendent Pat Carroll about and we both thought it was a great opportunity for the students. It was a chance for us to show people what we do here and how we do it. There’s a great need across the state for this type of program," Pilato said. "It was a chance for our students to present to a group of people they aren’t used to presenting to such as superintendents and principals. The students did an amazing job and handled themselves with the utmost professionalism."
Drew Lantzer was one of the presenters and he believes the experience was amazing.
"It was the first technology conference I’ve ever attended, and I enjoyed learning about some of the new technology," Lantzer said. "I was nervous at first about presenting to the some of the highest-level people in the school districts. We used a PowerPoint slide show and each of us talked for about 10 minutes about what we’ve been doing in GenYes for the past few years."
Pilato said the feedback was positive and the group received a lot of questions after the presentation. Some of the activities GenYes students have participated in around the district include working with the elementary classes on robotics literacy, holding professional development for high school teachers and participated in developing a science and engineering a car for the Soap Box Derby in Akron.
Testa was also one of the presenters and said of the experience, "I had no idea what to expect. There were close to 70 of the highest-level people in school districts from around the state. At first it was daunting. In the end, it was a great experience to present to people who typically present to us."