On November 9, 2015, the Maryland STEM Festival was held at the German School.
Students from the “Students Experiment” working group had the good fortune to have a team from the STEM program come help them with their projects and inspire them.
When everybody arrived in the Science Building, we were divided into two groups. The first group had two topics on its program, the second only one. In the first group, we worked on rockets first. We learned about the three elements that are required to shoot a rocket upward, that is, into space. The three elements that must be measured are the force, angle, and length of the rocket. After the experiment, we divided ourselves into groups of two and each group had to select one of the three elements, perform an experiment, and fill out a report about it.
Next, we built a boat of aluminum foil and placed it in a little tub with water. Then we dropped a lot of small metal rings called washers on the boat. Each boat had to float for at least 10 seconds; otherwise you had done something wrong. Some boats even floated for 50 seconds before they went under.
Meanwhile, the second group got small robots, called RileyRovers. We didn’t like this name, so ours was called “STEMmi.” Using a computer program, we had to enable the robots to go through a labyrinth. This sounds very easy, but it's actually quite difficult. If you programmed something a millimeter off, e.g. set one degree too many, then everything else was probably wrong. You always had to hope that you had guessed right and made the right setting. For one of the two groups, the 130 minutes of the workshop was not enough! In the end, we built in sound effects to make “STEMmi” seem more human.
Everything was pretty difficult, but it was all worthwhile, and we all hope that the STEM Festival will come again next year.
Long live STEM and its wonderful team!!
By: Maya K., Isabella W., and Sarah D.