Inaugural Cedar Hill ISD STEAM Madness Competition A Success
Cedar Hill, TX – “It’s cool,” said Collegiate Prep student Marlon Harris of the first place Framer EV3 Robot that he and teammates Robert Lee and Ivette Pena built as part of the inaugural Cedar Hill ISD STEAM Madness Competition on Tuesday night at the CHISD Ninth Grade Center.
Harris was speaking both literally and figuratively, since his team was presented with a Robotics challenge. The answer was a fan attached to a robot. The fan was designed to be placed next to a car seat to prevent heat stroke.
Harris, Lee and Pena were three of the approximately 200 students who had the opportunity to flex their intellectual strength during STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) Madness, an interactive event that brought together scholars from across the District. Students in the younger grades built sleds and slides.
The event is the brainchild of Cedar Hill ISD Superintendent Dr. Gerald Hudson. It was implemented by CHISD Assistant Superintendent of Academics Dr. Charlotte Ford and STEAM Coordinator Natalie Garrett.
“We wanted to showcase all of our programs in the District and show the community everything that is available,” Ford said. “This highlighted the talents of all of our students. Parents had the opportunity to see different programs, which prepares them for 2020-21 enrollment.”
Ford said the event merged two previous CHISD Events – the Longhorn Showcase and the GT Showcase.
The event featured an Engineering Competition, Project Showcase, Fine Arts Gallery, Junior Makerspace and a Robotics Competition.
Collegiate Prep won the inaugural championship, with principal Heath Koenig hoisting an impressive trophy that was created by the Cedar Hill High Welding Department.
“I am super proud of our effort – on behalf of our scholars, staff and parents,” Koenig said. “All of their hard work and effort paid off.”
Garrett was impressed with the event and looks for it to expanding in 2021 and beyond.
“Parents had an awesome time,” Garrett said. “Judges were excited, and they want to return next year. We had excellent turnout from the community. We’ll make it bigger and better for next year.”
CHISD Board President Cheryl Wesley said the STEAM Madness Event was “phenomenal.”
“Our schools are amazing,” Wesley said. “You see all of the talent that we have as a district – how global and multi-faceted we are.”
Moises Villa, the Robotics Teacher at Collegiate Prep, said his fourth and fifth grade students were well-prepared after competing against middle school students recently in the Dallas area.
“The kids really pulled through – I am proud of their performance,” Villa said. “The students are tasked with identifying a problem, finding a solution and then a lot of re-working.”
In addition to the winning robot, another group of students created a Robot to pick up scrap pieces of paper, thus making cleaning easier.
Will Mosby was a judge for the event. He’s with Technofro, a local non-profit that aims to “bridge socio-economic gaps in the area of computer literacy.”
“I was curious to connect with the event and see what students are currently working on,” Mosby said.
Heather and Joseph Daniel, both CHISD Graduates who are now parents in the District, said the event shows just how far the District has come in terms of STEAM in recent years.
“I think it’s awesome,” Joseph Daniel said. “I wish we had something like this when we went to school here (approximately 12 years ago). There are multiple grades involved in the STEAM Competition.”
While the Elementary and Middle School students focused on STEAM Projects, several Career & Technical Education (CTE) Program had displays set up downstairs.
Chef Alex Goss of the Culinary Arts Department and his students prepared brisket and chicken nacho samples.
“We are here to showcase each pathway and show the inner workings,” Goss said. “The finished product of (our pathway) is something good and delicious.”
Audio/Visual Teacher Kelly Bobino said the event was a good opportunity to showcase her program.
“This was a chance for students to tap into their creative side,” Bobino said. “Creativity is more than just visuals, video games and the internet. Our portion shows the focus of studying Audio/Visual.”
Here are the results from the STEAM Madness Competition, with first place winners listed:
Kindergarten – High Pointe (Slides)
First Grade – Lake Ridge (Sleds)
Second Grade – Bray (Sleds)
Third Grade – Lake Ridge
Fourth Grade – Collegiate Prep
Fifth Grade – Lake Ridge
K-2 STEAM PROJECT SHOWCASE
3-5 STEAM PROJECT SHOWCASE
Collegiate Prep (Up, Up, Away)
6-8 STEAM PROJECT SHOWCASE
Collegiate Academy (Mario Madness)
Collegiate Prep (Framer EV3 Build)