STEM Expo 2022: TAF@Saghalie
On February 28th, over 500 students participated in TAF@Saghalie’s annual STEM Expo sponsored by Google. STEM Expo is the biggest learning exhibition of the year at TAF’s co-managed schools, and the projects presented were 3 months of work in the making. Students collaborated, problem-solved, and used their creativity to identify solutions to real-world problems or build a STEM oriented product. Each grade focused on a specific theme or problem to address.
6th graders responded to the driving question: how can growing my food help me, my community, and my planet? As a class, they created a community garden to better understand the topic. In their group projects, students explored sustainability and the benefits of a hydroponic system.
The 7th grade classes tackled the driving question: what is the impact of plastic production and pollution around the world, and how can we mitigate that impact? In projects answering this question, they identified various potential re-purposes for plastic water bottles including phone case covers, dog houses, solar chargers, jewelry, and more!
8th grade students constructed theme parks designed to keep community issues in mind such as homelessness, food insecurity, unemployment, and policing. Students considered the question: how do the marketing & design aspects of your theme park allow accessibility and community building? They built roller coasters, worked on the economics of making a profit, and designed marketing pamphlets.
High school teams identified solutions to the supply chain issues our world is currently facing. They took on the question: how do we ensure the sustainability of the world’s supply chains in a mounting world economy where interests collide? Each group analyzed a different supply chain product, from creation and distribution to economic, social, and environmental impact. Students collaborated to provide solutions or resolutions to the conflicts they found.
Some of the high school groups took on everyday essentials like milk, toilet paper, shoes, and menstrual pads. Others looked at products reliant on precious metal mining like computer parts, gaming consoles, and electric car batteries. Some groups researched the goods at local shops like Theo Chocolate and 35th Ave Skate Shop. Beyond these examples, there were many more projects that showed the wide breadth of topics investigated by TAF@Saghalie high schoolers.
The day after STEM Expo, TAF@Saghalie held a virtual awards assembly to acknowledge students in all grade levels. Students were awarded for risk taking, creativity, technology innovation, and community impact. It wasn’t just the adults who were impressed either! From a sample of student reflection surveys, here are some common themes of what the students had to say about their experience with STEM Expo:
Creativity, risk-taking, innovation, and community impact abound, the awards were well earned, as this STEM Expo was an excellent day of learning. Students everywhere are incredible drivers of education, when given the tools to explore. Well done TAF@Saghalie students!