Students to display research, new technology at STEMfest event

A special assembly schedule for STEMfest May 21 will allow upper school students and faculty time to view a variety of research by students, such as an Unmanned Aviation Vehicle (a drone), a Quadcopter (a helicopter powered by four rotors), hovercraft, video games, a mood-meter and multiple iPhone and Android apps.

At STEMfest, students will present science and math-based research results and inventions, such as apps or statistics of Harvard-Westlake daily life.

STEMfest started as the annual display of research results from the Studies in Scientific Research class taught by science teacher Antonio Nassar.

The popularity of the event led to the Middle School having its own STEMfest for the first time this year.

Both STEMfests will feature displays and demonstrations from classes such as Advanced Topics in Computer Science, Molecular Gastronomy, Studies in Scientific Research, Studies in Sports, Video Game Design, Topics in Calculus and Statistics and Web Programming.

STEMfest opened participation to any club that wants to display its work.

The event will feature demonstrations from Bridge to a Brighter Future, Girl Scouts Dominate STEM, Computer Hardware Club, Beat-the-Bot NCAA Predictors, Computer Science Club and Robotics Club. There will also be a Science Bowl battle between students and teachers.

“We’re going to pull out the Wafflebot and this year’s competition robot,” Robotics Club co-captain Frank Yeh ’14 said. “People can come by to eat some waffles and see the results of three months of work.”

Many past science or math based student start-ups, competitions and activities will be brought back for STEMfest. Some of these projects include H-W Scramble and H-W Innovation Lab, Coder Dojo, Harvard-Westlake Center for Sports & Science, Intel Science Talent Search, Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology and Women in Engineering Club.

“Every year, we have off campus visitors who are blown away by the creativity of H-W students,” math department head Paula Evans said. “I also like to be able to have students who have been recognized nationally show the work that got that recognition.”

This year, two students were selected as finalists for the Siemens Competition in Math, and as a reward, Harvard-Westlake received a cash prize that will go towards funding this years’ STEMfests.

“It’s kind of a self-sustaining cycle: one of our students did well, and they won this competition and then they get some money, and then we get some money and then we’re able to use it again to make science better at this school,” Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said.

“I think it will go great, as I’m looking forward to flying my UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] project at the school and I think it will be an exciting addition to the already awesome lineup of presentations,” Christian Stewart ’15 said.

Food will be provided to students and faculty members who attend the STEMfests.

“I am always amazed at the energy and excitement,” Evans said. “Students from throughout the school look forward to sharing their creations.”

 

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