Free STEM Event to SPARK! Youths’ Interests

Tuesday, March 12, 2024
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This year’s SPARK! event will have students working together to program robots with gripping devices to complete a task. There also will be an egg drop contest and students will make visually striking banners. The entry deadline is March 20.

Middle school and high school students with interests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are invited to Rose-Hulman for a free, fun-filled day of creative design challenges and robotics.

The SPARK! event takes place March 30 from noon to 4 p.m. (Eastern time) in the college’s Sports and Recreation Center. The event aims to ignite students’ passion for STEM fields through hands-on learning, regardless of background or future academic plans. 

Teams of students will channel their creative problem-solving abilities to program the provided robots with gripping devices to complete an assigned task. They will also engineer devices to protect eggs after being dropped from different heights and make visually striking banners. Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams in the competitions. 

“We hope to show students that STEM fields can be really exciting. Getting them engaged with hands-on activities at a young age can spark lasting interests,” said co-organizer Michael Olabintan, a junior software engineering student.

Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to register by March 20 at to ensure availability of a free lunch and event t-shirt. Interested students can also register on the day of the event but may not get lunch and an event t-shirt. 

Carlotta Berry, PhD, Rose-Hulman’s Lawrence J. Giacoletto Endowed Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Computer Science and Software Engineering Department Head Sriram Mohan, PhD, are the faculty mentors for this program.