STEM Stars Shine

pic 1PHOENIX, AZ – Alta Loma Christian School’s six STEM teams traveled to championships of the
Association of Christian Schools International –Grand Canyon University International Christian STEM Competition (ACSI GCU ICSC)in Phoenix on March 2, as the Eagles competed with other Christian school STEM teams from as far away as Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, and numerous states across the U.S.
pic 2This year’s ACSI GCU ICSC was the largest in the three-year history of the event, with more teams, more students, and more schools from further away than in any of the previous competitions. Approximately 24 schools (the majority of them high schools) entered teams into the STEM competition, including student science squads from California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia.
pic 3ALCS brought four teams in Aerospace Engineering and two teams in the Onsite Design Challenge to the championships. In Aerospace Engineering, ALCS teams placed 7th, 9th, 10th, and 11th (out of 21 schools), and the Eagles’ Onsite Design Challenge teams placed 14th and 17th. In the first two years of the event, ALCS captured three international STEM championships, in Aerospace Engineering, IT Coding, and Software Engineering, in addition to placing in other experiment divisions. ALCS director of STEM education, Mrs. Martinez, had nothing but praise for her Eagles.
pic 4“You all did a great job and I’m very proud of you, we’re all very proud of you,” affirmed Mrs. Martinez at the end of the competition. “Thank you for working so hard.”
ALCS head of school, Dr. Nichols, echoed Mrs. Martinez’s sentiments.
pic 5“Our kids did a fantastic job, and we’re very proud of them,” smiled Dr. Nichols. “To be able to work for months and come here and set everything up and perform experiments in front of a live streaming audience, including judges, and then interview with judges where it is just your team interacting face-to-face with adult professionals, that takes great courage. Our students have great courage, exceptional courage, and we’re incredibly proud of them and their accomplishments.”Mr. Metzinger an ALCS alumnus who helped engineer the school’s first experiment sent to the International Space Station in 2017 and who has been
pic 6serving as a mentor and assistant to Mrs. Martinez in this year’s STEM program, also praised the Eagle competitors. “They did a great job,” explained Mr. Metzinger, who as an ALCS student was part of the start of the school’s ramped-up STEM program. “They worked hard and I’m very proud of them.” Each team had to create and submit an Engineering Design Notebook (EDN); perform their experiment on-site in front of judges and a live-streamed broadcast audience; and then be interviewed by judges about their experiment and their experience. Points were awarded in each of the three experiment assessment categories, then tallied for a final points total.
If the ACSI GCU ICSC organizers had given an award to the school for bringing the largest entourage and having the greatest support group, the honor would easily have gone to ALCS, which had approximately 50 people (including students, staff, and family members) travel to the GCU event. "Every year that we’ve competed in the STEM championships, our students, staff, and families have represented us very, very well,” said Dr. Nichols. “We are incredibly proud of our kids and thank the Lord for the tremendous effort they put forth this year and all of their accomplishments.
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