Brookville Students Finish First in RIU6 Regional STEM Design Challenge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACLARION, Pa. – Riverview Intermediate Unit 6 hosted the regional STEM Design Challenge, with seventy-six students competing in teams from Allegheny-Clarion Valley, Brookville, Clarion, Clarion-Limestone, Cranberry, Franklin, Keystone, North Clarion, Punxsutawney, Redbank Valley, Saint Patrick, and Union.

(Photo above: 6th – 8th Grade Division – First Place: Brookville School District, “K’Nex & Konquer” Team Members: Donavan Hoffman, Chloe Johnson, Kyle MacBeth, and Aaron Park)

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to encourage students to apply critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills across all of their content areas.

The STEM Design Challenge is sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific and K’Nex, in coordination with Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3. The challenge involves developing a blueprint, using K’nex pieces to build the device developed on the blueprint, then presenting to a panel of judges.

This year’s challenge involved teams of up to four students using K’NEX pieces (interlocking plastic rods and connectors) to design an environmentally friendly building at least 1 meter tall and demonstrate that it could hold weight,

During the competition, each team had two hours to build their project – no pieces could be brought to the competition already joined. Each team also had to make a two-minute presentation to explain how their project met the requirements of the challenge.

One team from each of the two divisions (4th and 5th grade and 6th – 8th grade) was selected to represent the IU and their district at the state competition to be held at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology on May 13, 2016.

4th & 5th Grade Division:

First Place: Redbank Valley School District Team Members: Brooklyn Edmonds, Nick Moore, Bailey Laughlin, Elena Root Team Advisor: Laura Heasley

Second Place: Brookville
Third Place: Clarion-Limestone
Creativity: North Clarion
Presentation: Clarion

6th – 8th Grade Division:

First Place: Brookville School District, “K’Nex & Konquer” Team Members: Donavan Hoffman, Chloe Johnson, Kyle MacBeth, Aaron Park Team Advisor: Melinda Burton

Second Place: Cranberry
Third Place: Clarion
Challenge Success: Franklin
Design: Saint Patrick School
Teamwork: Punxsutawney

Judges for the competition were: Gary Whitling, retired 7th grade Science teacher; Carol Adams, retired 6th grade teacher; Patty Anderson, Penn State Extension Educator; Kevin Watkins, Director of Technology at RIU#6, Joseph Reinsel, Curriculum Specialist at RIU#6, and Kathy Daugherty, Training and Consulting team member at RIU#6.

Plaque and medals were purchased through All American Awards and Engraving, Shippenville, Pa.

For more information on RIU6 programs and services, visit the website at or call 814-226-7103.

Brookville 2nd Place in 4th - 5th Grade Division

Brookville 2nd Place in 4th – 5th Grade Division

(Article submitted by Tina Gibbs, Communications and Operations Manager Riverview Intermediate Unit #6)

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