Southern Columbia Area Middle School captured the top two prizes in the Grades 6-8 Division of the inaugural Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit K'Nex STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Design Challenges. The students, and those from Mount Carmel, Midd-West, Danville, Central Columbia and Benton school districts, were required to build energy-efficient “people-movers,” which had to overcome at least one obstacle, said Christine Mitcheltree, a curriculum specialist with the CSIU. All totaled, more than 100 students in grades 4-8, accepted the challenge to build a moving model, or “people mover,” using up to 1,400 K’Nex parts in two hours or less.

K’Nex vehicles had to travel at least four feet and overcome an obstacle. After the two-hour competition, each team of students gave a presentation about their vehicle. Prior to the competition, teams submitted a blueprint for the project and wrote a short narrative about how they believe the vehicle will overcome the obstacle. Engineers from Metso Minerals (Danville) and Thermal Product Solutions (New Columbia) judged the teams’ vehicles and blueprints. They also scored the essays and presentations, and allotted points for creativity and teamwork.

First and Second Place winners from each division will advance to the state competition at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in May. The CSIU is one of 20 intermediate units hosting the K’Nex challenge.

Grades 6-8 Division

First place - Southern Columbia Area School District
(pictured in the photo to the right)

Mikaela Brouse (far right in photo)
Kayla Hauer (far left in photo)
Erick Shufeldt (front)
Nate Hicks (back)

Second place- Southern Columbia Area School District

Carly Britch
Meredith Fahringer
Victoria Romania
Connor McKinley

Congratulations to our winning teams- and their advisor, Mrs. Vicky Kozlek- for their excellent work!

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