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Academic News

“Best in State” awarded to STEM students

A team of 6th Grade STEM students recently won “Best in State” for the development of their Recycling Bin Verizon App Challenge submission.

The student team worked collaboratively to create an application in Mrs. Peterson’s math class to address the community problem of recycling.

Team members will be invited to participate in a live webinar hosted by Verizon Foundation, featuring industry experts who will share how they use STEM skills in their own careers. A distinguished panel of STEM educators and corporate innovators will then judge the top “Best in State” teams and provide feedback on their design concepts to each team via a live webinar. Five middle school and five high school teams will receive $10,000 cash grants plus professional support and training to help them bring their designs to life by building their apps and bringing them to the marketplace. Students on each winning team will receive a Samsung Galaxy Tab and be invited to present their developed apps in person - on their new tablets - at the 2013 National Technology Student Association Conference in Orlando, Florida in June.

Winners will be announced March 18.

STEM students excel at TEAMS Competition

A group of eight 7th grade students from the STEM Center won first place in the middle school division of the TEAMS competition held recently.

TEAMS (Tests of Engineering, Aptitude, Mathematics and Science) is an engineering competition where students compete collaboratively to problem solve real-world engineering challenges.

This year, the focus was on engineering a secure cyberspace.

The STEM Center group completed the test using their math, engineering, problem solving and 21st century skills. The team, coached by 7th grade STEM math teacher Holly Erickson, will move on to the second round of the state competition. Top-ranking state winners will be invited to compete in Florida at the national Technology Student Association (TSA) conference in June.

WFPS educator honored

On Jan. 10, STEM Center educator Holly Erickson was recognized with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing - Educator Award for her support and encouragement of young women’s interest in computing and information technology.

The Educator Award is conferred upon educators that have demonstrated a commitment to encouraging young women’s aspirations in computing. Awardees are selected from among those that have endorsed and written recommendations for applicants for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing.

As a recipient of the Educator Award, Erickson will receive an engraved commemorative award, and is eligible to receive up to $1000 of expense reimbursement for computing-related professional development. The official presentation of her award will occur at a North and South Dakota affiliate event on March 21.

Inman wins Great Plains NCWIT award

Allison Inman, a student at Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center, has received the 2013 Great Plains NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. The award, sponsored by Microsoft, Motorola Solutions Foundation and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), recognizes young high school women for their computing-related achievements and interests as part of an effort to encourage more young women to choose careers in technology.

A total of 8 award-winners were selected from high schools across North and South Dakota for their outstanding aptitude and interest in information technology and computing, solid leadership ability, good academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. Each winner will receive a Microsoft bag filled with goodies; an invitation to attend a fun-filled day at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, SD; dinner and an awards ceremony; recognition on the Great Plains Girls Collaborative website; and an engraved award.

“Encouraging young women’s interest in technology careers is critical: our workforce needs their creativity and their innovation,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-founder of NCWIT. “The West Fargo School District should be proud that one of its own students received this prestigious award.”

Schaeffer honored with award

West Fargo High School student Sarah Schaeffer has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

This award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of time to serve their communities and country, was presented by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama. Sarah participated in the Spirit of Community program this year as a representative of West Fargo High School.

“The recipients of these awards vividly demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities,” said John R. Strangfeld, Chairman and CEO of Prudential financial. “In recognizing these students and placing a spotlight on their volunteer service activities we hope to motivate others to consider how they can also contribute to their community.”