Hundreds of students challenged at annual STEM competition - FOX34 Lubbock

Hundreds of students challenged at annual STEM competition

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"It's crazy how there are so many ways to solve the problem and a million wrong ways and they'll find both," Asst. Director of the University Interscholastic League Derrick Ramsey said. 

Students from all over the region come out each year, to flex their problem solving skills.

"I've always been competitive my whole life, so I love to get to the first place and it's cool because sometimes it can help other people out that don't necessarily have the things we do in the other places in the world," Jeremiah Aguire, an 8th grader at Smylie Wilson Middle School said.

This is the 6th year Tech has hosted the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) 2020 Lubbock Divisional STEM Competition.

First came the routine math and science tests and the the ultimate challenge: solving a real-world engineering problem.

"This project they get given the rules, and have an hour to build it, so they don't know what the challenge is until they get here. This challenge is related to separating oil, gas and water," Ramsey said. 

While the actual design challenge changes year to year, one thing remains consistent for the students.

They are always tasked with learning to build relationships with each other. 

"The students are in groups of students they don't know. They're from all different kinds of schools and areas so they have to work with different people and learn how to communicate and solve the problem as a team," Ramsey added.

"I think I got more comfortable working with new people, because usually I'm not very social, this helped me work with new people," Hunter Johnson, a 7th grader at Roosevelt Junior High, said. 

But for some, it can be harder than the task at hand.

Riley Laws is a 7th grader at Atkins Middle School who went to the state competition last year.

"It was harder this year, than last year because everyone probably had the same idea, but just trying to get it to work was really difficult," Laws said. 

The top students get ribbons and an entry at the state-level competition, where a win could score students scholarships and other prizes.

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