STEM thoughts


They changed two things this year…

  1. STEM became a video
  2. Didn’t count for excellence

#1 made the project more difficult. Kids have to do presentations in school with science fair poster boards all the time. They were used to doing it. With the video submissions, which I thought would be more accessible, turned out to be quite inaccessible. While a number of kids are native video editors, the majority just can’t pull it off. As a coach, trying to make the STEM project even accessible to my students has been really tough. And I have 20 teams… I can’t even begin to help each one even if I wanted to…

#2 made the kids not care… At all… Events with 40 teams would turn in 3 or 4 Stems, even when it counted for states. At an elementary tournament I did in December we couldn’t give away a STEM… No one turned one in…

Also, I was hoping that with the videos online that they would be shared like the robot designs at competitions so other teams could see and improve… And quite the opposite happened. Before at least you could see their poster board and ask them about it. Now, STEM isn’t seen or mentioned until the end of the day… When the award is given out.

I actually really like how CREATE does it:

So, what I would like is to use the CREATE model, when you can’t make edits and simply do a presentation with no effects AND require it for Excellence… Or just get rid of it.

I’d be happy either way.

Pick me for getting rid of it. Building Robots here, Science Fair is the next room over. (cue Monty Python skit about arguments, )

I like the Create rule, since when you show up to present in front of Judges it’s “no edits and cuts” (well, I have said, “This didn’t start well, do you want to start over?”)

I would like to see more of the inspire, community, etc awards at a local level. I’d love to give away Partner of the Year award .

Ditto above. VEX is for building robots.

I think it should be moved to an online challenge.

That being said, I prefer the VRC rules to the CREATE rules concerning how the video is done. My kids used a voiced over PowerPoint converted to MP4. It worked pretty smooth for them.

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It is like pulling teeth to get my kids to create a STEM project/video. They make enough of these during the school day. When they come to robotics, they just want to build robots and work on the game. I would prefer they just eliminate the STEM project all together.

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