Blowin’ Off STEAM

Fahim Rahman and Jordan Butler

On April 9th, students from all over Chesterfield County gathered at the new Tech Center on Hull Street to test their intellect and skill; this gathering was the STEAM competition. STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mechanics. Megan Barnes, Cosby High School physics teacher, says, ”The STEAM Expo is designed for middle and high school students to showcase their knowledge, expertise, and interest in STEAM fields. Students worked in teams during on-site challenges to solve a problem using the knowledge of two or more STEAM fields.”

Current Cosby physics students had an advantage in the math and science portions of the competition because some of the knowledge required to be successful in the competition is taught in class. At physics club meetings, which are held the third and last Fridays of every month, members practiced for the fair and helped build the technology competition entry. From the Cosby Physics Club, Matt Kozak, President; Ryan Thomas, Secretary; and Lauren Jones won first place in the STEAM competition.

This introduction of the art and design fields is a unique focus of the STEAM foundation, Hal B. Gregersen, The Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Chaired Professor of Innovation says, “If we get science, technology, engineering, and math folks into the same room with artists and designers and we have them do something—that is the best lubricant for the conversation.”

This focus on art and design in step with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math provides new challenges and more creative answers to science’s questions. This competition also encourages enhanced creativity in problem solving in the minds of these budding scientists.