Programming Competition and STEM in the Upper School at MVA

The MVA team recently competed in a programming competition and placed ninth out of 70 teams registered. The competition is to solve a certain number of programming problems correctly within a set timeframe. The problem set for this competition was extremely challenging. Out of 70 teams, only 11 managed to submit a successful solution, and only five were able to solve more than our team. This was an impressive showing for MVA, considering that we were down three team members.
Congratulations to the students who participated: Brianna Martin-Litchmore, Nicholas Knapp, Akash Tandon, Gary Finco, Dhyey Shah, and Hanh Nguyen (Lucy).
Our STEM program is actively encouraging a love of science, technology, engineering, and math in students. Last semester, the program focused teaching students about sources of knowledge. Students were challenged to research and find science presenters and share them with the group. The goal was to have students follow their personal interests and passions to encourage the idea that learning and science can be fun. There were some great presentations and students were introduced to new topics and scientists.
With the new semester, the STEM program focused on spurring creativity through the discovery of knowledge. Students were given a sheet of paper and a single goal: to get the paper as far across the gym as possible. Most students began with their favorite paper air plane design, but critical thinking intervened and it was soon discovered that the paper would fly equally as far by balling it up and simply throwing it. By the end of the meeting, three categories were established to measure success: distance flying, distance throwing and time aloft. Then, they were challenged to improve on their ideas. They can do all the research and testing they wish, and can request different materials, as long as there isn’t an energy source. We’ll see how far they can fly at the next meeting!