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The Bowser Administration and DC STEM Network Announce Winners in 2019 DC Elementary STEM Fair

Monday, June 3, 2019
Annual event featured 135 projects from 200 students representing 33 public, public charter, private, parochial and home-schools across DC

Fred Lewis (OSSE) – (202) 412-2167; [email protected]

Today, State Superintendent Hanseul Kang, in partnership with the DC STEM Network, announced the winners of the 2019 DC Elementary STEM Fair, held Saturday, June 1, 2019 at the University of the District of Columbia-Van Ness.

Judges named first, second and third place winners in 16 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math categories. All winners received ribbons and tickets to see the Washington Nationals on June 20. The full list of winners is posted on the DC STEM Network website.

“Science, Technology, Engineering and Math gives students a chance to explore and question the world around them, experience the joy of solving a challenging problem, and innovate through creativity,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “The DC STEM Fair gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, learn from STEM experts, and network with their peers. I want to thank all the students who competed in the 2019 DC STEM Fair and all the parents, judges and volunteers who helped make the event a success.”

The DC Elementary STEM Fair provides an opportunity for District of Columbia public, public charter, parochial, private, and homeschool students in grades 3-5 to showcase their knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). This year, more than 200 students representing 33 schools throughout the District submitted more than 135 projects.

More than 80 volunteers from local universities, STEM professional organizations, research groups and STEM employers served as judges for projects in categories ranging from Botany, Chemistry and Earth and Space Science to Mathematics and Physics, Microbiology and Zoology. Judges chose the top three projects from each category.

The daylong fair included a STEM Expo where students, parents and teachers participated in hands-on STEM activities. The event also featured a Maker Row featuring 12 organizations where participants can engage in a variety of do-it-yourself projects. For District teachers, the DC STEM Fair offered a professional development opportunity, co-sponsored by TGR, the Tiger Woods foundation.

Aerospace engineer Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson kicked off the STEM fair with an inspiring speech and presentation. The first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University and the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, she encouraged students to engage in and pursue careers in STEM.  

For Zaicoria McLean and Makayla Jackson, fifth graders at Hendley Elementary School, the message resounded loud and clear. Both students, who are a part of a robotics team at their school, love STEM and want to be involved in STEM in the future. Their project, which they completed together, focused on the impact of oil on aquatic plants and came in second place in the Earth and Environmental Science category.

“What I like about STEM is we can engineer, build and create,” said McLean. “It gives me more opportunities in school.”

Jackson said, “Doing STEM has had a huge effect on my life. I’ve been making big changes in my life to be in STEM because it gives us more freedom to do what we love to do.”

Coralie Fagonde and Isabel Galdo, third graders from Oyster-Adams Bilingual School, came in first place in the Earth and Environmental Science category with their project “Ocean Acidification,” which examined the effect of acids and bases on seashells.

“We’ve been doing science together since the second grade,” said Fagonde. “STEM is everything we like to do. When we got into third grade, it got more serious. We’re very excited to get to share our conclusions.”

About the DC STEM Fair

The DC STEM Fair is presented by the DC STEM Network and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). The Network’s mission is to unite community partners in a sustainable collective effort to design, guide and advocate for transformative STEM learning opportunities for all DC students.

Sponsors of this year’s fair were DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), University of the District of Columbia College of Arts & Sciences, TGR Foundation, Battelle, Washington Nationals, Northrop Grumman, Broadcom Foundation, Subway, Octo Consulting, Dewberry, and Women’s High Tech Coalition.