Saint John Students Win Big at STEAM Maker Festival

Students from Saint John School won top awards in the San Diego STEAM Maker Festival, an annual December event and competition that focuses on different activities that pertain to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

Some events in the STEAM Maker Festival are competitions, while others are exhibitions showcasing different projects and experiments that students have completed. Categories included: Hydrobots, Clock Design, Air Guitar Design and Minecraft. In addition, some students brought in their Science Fair projects to discuss in the Saint John School booth.

Saint John School took home the first-place prize in the Hydrobots challenge won by eighth grader Alex E. and seventh grader Brendan C. Alex recounted how he felt when he discovered he had won by saying, “I felt excited because we had been working on it for months and we won.” Saint John students also took home second-place (Christopher N., Lauren N., Kiera O.) and third-place (Ethan N., Conor B.). A special design award was given to Michael K.

Megan H., an eighth grader in Mrs. Gena Heins’ science class who participated in the air guitar design competition along with her partner and classmate Amberlynn L., said she believed they won the third-place prize due to their “really eccentric and bright design with real flowers” and their “strong presentation.”

“The STEAM Maker Festival is such a wonderful way for students to showcase their knowledge in the design process of engineering while creating a project that solves a real-world problem,” said Mrs. Heins.

Victor Ciccarelli, the director of the STEAM Maker Festival held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, said, “I was most excited for the opportunity to see people interacting with each other” and said he appreciates the fair, which draws students from across San Diego County, “because it’s important to so many people.”

The Hydrobot competition had five teams of sixth to eighth grade students who built a lever and pulley system to lift a weight, approximately 264 grams, to its highest level and hold it for 30 seconds. The Saint John students had to build, redesign, and rebuild many different prototypes in a five-week period in the hope that their design would work without snapping apart or bursting a hydraulic on competition day.

In all, there were 54 Saint John students who competed and/or were helping make paper circuits in the booth hosted by the school. “I am so proud of all of the students who took the time to compete and help out in the booth making paper circuits with the public. The enthusiasm each student displayed while doing their event or teaching their circuit reminds me of why I became a science teacher in the first place,” said Mrs. Heins. “Saint John Students Rock!”

By Leila B. and Leila C., 8th grade Journalism Students